Penn was definitely my wild card out of the bunch. I knew that the school was an Ivy League but I knew the least about it. However, I heard Justin and Lisa praising the school and they really wanted to go there. Once again I decided to keep an open mind and take in the experience.
The first thing that I noticed about Penn is that its architectural structure is different from the rest of the Ivy Leagues that I've seen so far. I liked how it’s buildings were a mixture of modern buildings and old style buildings. I also liked the way that the campus was laid out. When I was at Yale yesterday, it seemed like everything was spread out in long walking distances but I didn’t get this feel from Penn. There was something about Penn that was standing out from the rest of the schools that we’ve visited so far that I don’t think I can pinpoint.
We went to the information session for Penn but I didn’t find it very helpful. Some of you may not have realized this, but when you go to enough information sessions about similar schools in a short period of time, they all begin to merge to some degree. The information sessions are less informative for me now but more of a chance to go through brochures that tell me more about the school.
After the information session, we had a tour with an awesome guide, Jordan Holmes. He took us to different parts of campus and I thought he was the best tour guide I’ve had so far. It also helped that he was an architecture/art history major because I finally found a student that I had common interests with. The funny thing is, I had no idea he was going to be at our dinner that night. I even wanted to invite him but I wasn’t sure how the rest of the group would feel about it. I’m glad it all worked out anyways.
The dinner was so helpful. After my tour and info session at Penn, I still didn’t really have a feel for the school itself and what type of students admissions officers at Penn are looking for. At the dinner I got to speak with two admissions officers, Alex and Landon. Both former Penn students, they gave me broader idea of what Penn is looking for in students and what opportunities students are able to take advantage of. I got to ask both of them about the application process (which I’m pretty grateful for) and I also got to speak to them about what they enjoy doing and how they ended up being admissions officers at Penn. Two students, Jordan and Joshua, were also at the dinner. Jordan gave me much needed information about pursuing a career in architecture, not only at Penn, but also in college. They were both very friendly and sociable and I felt a real connection in our conversations.
I was impressed by Penn so much after the dinner, but I think I’m going to have to let my experience sink in before I decide whether I want to apply or not. It’s definitely up there on my list of prospective schools though. :)