Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Touring MIT and Harvard

Au Bon Pain's selection window
Our day was jam-packed. We started our day the healthy way with breakfast at a little pastry shop/cafe called Au Bon Pain. Emily and I both got a cup of fruit and an egg white sandwich on a skinny wheat bagel. The breakfast was really good and lasted me for a good portion of the day. After breakfast, our group split up into two separate cabs and went to MIT (Michigan Institute of Technology) so we could go on a tour of the school. Mrs. Thrift, Justin and I arrived a bit before the rest of the group and waited for their taxi to arrive. Once we were reunited, we proceeded into the building for an information session where we received brochures advertising the school and listened to an enthusiastic admissions officer named Matt McGann. He told us about the admission requirements (2 SAT subject test, and the SAT or ACT, along with a transcript and short answer section), campus life, and academics. One thing that really stood out to me was the amount that he stressed their focus on internships and research. MIT has a one month break in January and the majority of the students use this time to take up experiences that they might not get with a busy school schedule. I think that this aspect of MIT was my favorite because it shows that the school is really committed to developing their students for the work force. 
MIT's wacky architecture
After he finished his presentation and answered a few questions, we moved on to campus tours. Our tour guide was a girl named Caroline who is going into her junior year and majoring in the STEM. She started off by showing us to Building 10, a dome building with a history of having police cars and plastic cows on its roof. Later on, we moved on to see the humanities building. MIT does offer humanities courses and majors, but their focus is directed towards their famous STEM field. We also went to a couple of their facilities such as the exercise building which houses a swimming pool, a gym, and multiple other sport sites. We weren't able to get a close look at most of the dorms, but one dorm that really stood out was the Baker House that was designed to maximize the view of the Charles River. 

After the tour concluded, we grabbed a bite to eat at MIT's on-campus market and caught a cab to Harvard. The driver pulled up to a beautiful entrance near Aggassiz House. My group walked through sidewalks surrounded by beautiful brick buildings and took our seats in the intimate proscenium stage. Two students along with an admissions officer. They all talked about their favorite aspects of Harvard including the freshman dorm selection process, advising, and their academic programs. One thing that appealed to me the most was shopping week. Unlike the class enrollment of most institutions, Harvard students are able to try a class during "shopping week" before they take it. This narrows down the courses that they want to take and who they want to take it with. I thought that this was a really important aspect because I've experienced being stuck with a teacher that I wasn't compatible with and due to the strict regulations on class scheduling at my school, I wasn't able to change it. Soon, the presentation ended and we began our private tour. We got to see the John Harvard statue (a.k.a. "The Statue of Three Lies"), Baker Library which is Harvard's largest, and even the peaceful suburban dorms. Then, our tour ended and we all went to a campus shop called The COOP and got stocked up on our signature Harvard apparel. 
Harvard's Annenberg Dining Hall
Everyone checked out and we caught a cab to the hotel where we changed into new clothes and got prepared for our dinner. Mrs. Thrift got a rental car and drove us to the Meritage, a restaurant inside the Harbor Hotel. I forgot my camera at home and wasn't able to take pictures of the delicious food, but I'm sure my readers will get enough cravings when they browse through the other posts. I ordered a rigatoni dish served on a bed of braised rabbit. For desert, I ordered the "white fruit" which was a pineapple and graham cracker dish. At the dinner table, I sat next to Joanna Koczuk, a government major, and across from Helen Bae, a junior majoring in Biomedical Engineering. I was able to relate to Helen a lot because she's from California and knows how difficult it is to adjust from the west coast and the east coast. Joanna was also very easy to talk to because she was pursuing a field that I'm interested and has also completed a study abroad program which is something that I'm very enthusiastic about participating in once I'm in college. We all talked about different things like television shows, being girly, and how different and sometimes overwhelming going to college can be. I really feel like I benefited from our meeting and meeting such wonderful students has made Harvard a prime choice in my college selection process.

1 comment:

  1. What was the best item from Au Bon Pain? If you decide to go to Harvard you can take me there:-) I love a good pastry!