|Philadelphia's 30th St. Station.|
I am very glad that the phrase “it gets better” is not overused. If so, it wouldn’t be true, or at least, not nearly as true. When it comes to this trip, I am glad it is true.
After spending a rather hectic night growing accustomed to the dinner schedule, I took a quick shower and rushed to pack up. We had to get to Union Station quickly if we were to catch the right train from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia. Of course, this resulted in a much welcomed rest on the train as well.
In Philadelphia, we arrived promptly at the Sheraton University City Hotel and dropped off our bags. We then walked to the University of Pennsylvania’s main administration hall, College Hall. There, we signed up for the information session and we were taken to Houston Hall, the university’s main auditorium, for the information session.
|Inside the undergraduate admissions office.|
After the session, we went on a tour of the campus. Our tour guides covered many of the integral locations in the university, including the university libraries, the Engineering Quad, the Huntsman Center for the Wharton School of Business, and other campus landmarks.
Once the tour finished, we headed back to the hotel to rest and freshen up for dinner. Dinner itself was at Butcher and Singer, a renowned steakhouse across the river from the university. There we met up with several alumni and current admissions staff.
|Butcher and Singer, the restaurant where we ate.|
|The intersection outside the restaurant. (The focus just seemed rather interesting)|
I sat near the Director of Campus Tours, Rachel Cohen, as well as admissions counselor Amy Smith, medical school student Andrew Zhang, admissions officer Teran Tedal, and alumna Rebecca Loh. We covered a lot about the university, including double-majoring, the Common App, the personal statement, school traditions (such as throwing toast on the field), and favorite television shows. It was great to have their company and be able to learn so much about the school.
|Julia smiles warmly as we dig into dinner.|
I was considering applying to the U-Penn before, but now I think I will do so for sure. The mixed urban and school environment is very comfortable, and the loose curriculum allows for so much flexibility. The flexibility appealed to me most of all.
|My huge porterhouse steak.|
|My apple crumble dessert.|
One other important point -- Amy informed me that there was a new supplement for the admissions application. The prompt is to choose whether, as Benjamin Franklin (the university’s illustrious founder) said, we are “the immovable, the easily moved, or those who move others.” Having thought about it, I think the choice is that we are all three. We must be immovable, or strong and solid, at times, easily moved and flexible at others, and move others, or direct them. By finding the correct balance of all three, one has a recipe for success.
Well, we have to wake up early for another train ride to New York and Columbia tomorrow. I hope things just keep getting better.