Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Word 'No'

Sadly, today was the last day for visiting colleges on the East Coast. We got up and left for Harvard at a little past 9 AM, and made it to the campus to watch the admissions video. Though the area and buildings were gorgeous, I don’t think that the atmosphere really clicked with my personality. Many of the students weren’t on campus during summer, but I think there’s a feeling that you get when you first get to a school; Wesleyan and Dartmouth emitted an aura that was really attractive to me, but Harvard had a more competitive feel. The mildly ostentatious feeling that permeated that halls of Harvard’s halls were only furthered by the tour guides—and the fact that we couldn’t even take a tour. Weirdly enough, only families are allowed to go on tours, not groups. I never heard any rationalization behind this policy, but it turned out to almost be better for my day. Instead of walking around, in the rain, to see a school that I didn’t have any real passion about, we got to talk to the Northern California Admissions Officer, for about an hour.

Three Harvard students were also there, and told us about some of their experiences. One girl told us that she was an only child, so she was rarely ever told ‘no’. I’m not an only child, but I was bratty enough that ‘yes’ was a familiar word; this changed a few years ago when I realized that people who always have to get their way can be very unlikable. Because the ‘just graduated’ student literally said that she wanted to go to a school where everyone was like that, I decided that Harvard is not one of my dream schools. 

We went back to Boston after visiting Harvard, and it was more amazing than I even remembered. After grabbing lunch at Quincy Market (clam chowder—even though I’m allergic, it was worth it) we walked to Paul Revere’s house! Admittedly, I was itching from my hives for most of the walk through the house, but I did see a lot of the original furniture that the Revere family actually used hundreds of years ago. Outside, there was a special production with people dressed in colonial clothing, using ancient muskets. Of course, they weren’t loaded, but it was still a lot of fun!

Our last dinner in Providence was a) delicious and b) depressing. Even though, logically, I know that I’m leaving tomorrow after brunch, it really just doesn’t feel real, at all. This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I honestly wish that I could just relive, over and over. 

1 comment:

  1. Emily,

    I’m reading blog after blog about your trip to Harvard and I’ve yet to read anything redeeming about the school. From the attitude of the students to the attitude of the administration Harvard comes across as a place where I would never want to send my children or, for that matter, any student in our District.

    I’ve known many Harvard graduates and they seem to be rabid believers in Harvard. I respect these people so there must be something that they saw once they actually attended classes or something that we outsiders can’t seem to see on our own.