Friday, July 6, 2012

Who? Me? A Brandy Baby?

Yes! We were finally given a night to catch up more on our sleep and to rise a little bit later in the morning (nine). Today we went to visit Brandeis, which was more closer to us than yesterday's trip to Dartmouth. I felt a deeper connection and a special spark as soon as we arrived. Much of it has to do with our phenomenal information speaker, Meghan Mchale, an administration counselor.

Along with Meghan's speaking were two monitors that showed her presentation. I found that really helpful in case if I misheard her or if I needed to take more elaborate notes. Brandeis is a major research and liberal arts college and offers 70 different countries for study abroad with 300 different programs.  There are 3,319 undergraduates and 1,834 grad. Of those students, 56% of students are females, 44% are males, 11% are international, and 26% are students of color. 26% doesn't seem much, but hopefully that will grow by the time I start to apply. Brandeis has 19 varsity teams for sports, but if you don't want to stay committed, you can take up a club sport. The number one sport is fencing. An alum went to the Beijing Olympics taking home one silver medal! This past year there were over 8,000 applications! Unfortunately, only 800 were accepted. Brandeis uses the common app, requires a personal essay, and recommendations. Financial aid is available, but a unique thing is that merit scholarships are accepted unlike other colleges. Since this school is fairly new, there aren't any traditions to do. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, it just gives the students the chance to create their own instead of following the customs.

The tour was led by Margaret, a rising sophomore double majoring in film and sociology. She brought us to the science building, which was founded by Einstein. This building had solar fins on the outside which make the campus more eco-green friendly. The fins block off the sun's rays which keeps the interior cool on hot days. Our next stop was at the school's castle. This was the last thing I would have expected. The reason why there is a castle is because of a guy named John Hall Smith. He visited Scotland and wanted to buy off a family's home which happened to be a castle. The family was so mortified so they slammed the door in his face. Still determined, John decided to build his own castle, but from the outside then in. Issues did occur, flights of stairs may lead you to the third floor before the second! On the bright side, this amazing construction is a dorm! Unlike other college tours, we were able to see a dorm today. Inside had two beds, two desks, and two closets. It looked simple, but it's efficient enough for a a yearly stay.
Crazy Random Castle

Since Brandeis was founded in 1948, the environment gave off a more present day feel. I loved everything from today. Visiting a leading research college made me want to attend since I do want to learn more about the prevention of HIV/AIDS and new medication that can help. I also like that it's trying to become eco-friendly. Although I do want to apply to Brandeis, the limited acceptance seats do scare me. When the tour ended, we went back to hotel and prepared for dinner.

Dinner was with MIT, Wellesley, Yale, Brandeis, Dartmouth, and Brown. I sat at the Brandeis table, which made me excited that I received the chance to obtain more information. Ms. Kronenberg started the dinner off by welcoming everyone for attending. When she finished, she called me up to do a speech. I was so nervous that I had to speak. I found out the previous day before this dinner so I didn't have as much preparation as I would have liked. I gathered all my nerves and stood up and finally talked. I went over the reason of why I wanted to be apart of the ILC and if I didn't have this opportunity, where my mind set would be. When I came to a close, I felt so relieved and proud of myself that I actually did it, especially in front of all the alums and admin officers. After me, Emily Grove spoke which was similar to what I said. Everyone else clapped and I think I made a really great impression of those at my table.

Brandeisian Table

I sat next to Alana Hamlett, an alum, and Meghan McHale, our information speaker from today. Both loved their experience at Brandeis. Alana went to Brandeis as an undergrad but to MIT to graduate school. She said that Brandeis offered a more liberal experience where as at MIT when you try to change something, it's not easily accepted. Meghan went over internships and more about class. She said that if you apply for an internship, that it counts as credits. I love that if you do intern, it's not a waste of time and it can fill up for one of the 32 courses you need to take to graduate. The average size per class has 17 students and the ratio of student to faculty is 9:1. Hearing more about Alana's personal experience along with information about classes made me consider Brandeis more as one of my top college choices. Despite the limited spots available, I'll still give it a shot and see if Brandeis is the right place for me!

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