Thursday, June 20, 2013

Winding Down in the Windy City

After waking up at 7:40 AM, Rochelle, Tamilyn, and I eagerly headed downstairs for our long anticipated breakfast at Yolk, a local breakfast and brunch restaurant known for their egg-centric decor and menu. Although I had a a very nice experience at the restaurant, my enthusiasm was dwarfed in comparison to that of Rochelle, who was seemed completely enchanted by everything the restaurant had to offer. 

Next we set off towards Northwestern University for yet another tour and information session. For the journey we took via Chicago's local transit system, the Chicago Transit Authority—more commonly referred to as the CTA. Upon our arrival on Northwestern's campus, we introduced ourselves to Admission Officer Shannon A. Kennedy before leaving for the designated information session area. 

As per usual, the end of the information session marked the beginning of our tour. We visited many interesting sites, including Norris University Center and Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. I personally found Northwestern's school grounds to be very beautiful with its extensive landscaping and contemporary architecture. The tour also included a brief overview of the school's history, as well as descriptions about student life and services. 

Northwestern University is compromised a several smaller colleges, with each college geared towards specific academic disciplines. There are six colleges in total, including the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the renowned Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. While students are required to select to one school upon applying, students are allowed to partake in courses across schools as well as switch schools at will. In order to help students take full advantage of what Northwestern has to offer, students are assigned advisers that help in whichever way possible. Although Northwestern does not uphold any sort of core requirements, they do have distributions requirements, which means that each student it is mandatory for each student to take at least two courses at each school. However, these requirements are very flexible and allow students a lot of freedom. Distribution requirement criteria include natural sciences and formal studies. 

Northwestern's admissions process is fairly standard in that the utilize a holistic approach that asses each applicant on a individual basis. Furthermore, Northwestern makes an effort to regard each student as a person rather than a statistic. The Northwestern University's supplement application includes a mandatory supplement wherein one is expected to choose which school they would like to apply to as well as as adequately answer "Why did you choose Northwestern University?"

I am rather fond of Northwestern's academic system, as it openly thus encourages students to engage in wide array of courses thus facilitating interdisciplinary learning across the student body. It also allows students to optimize their courses to their liking in spite of their major, therefore ensuring are invested in all their classes. 

When the tour concluded, we went onto enjoy a light lunch within the cafeteria section of the Norris University Center. Afterwards, we eagerly returned to our hotel for some well deserved rest. After freshening up a bit, the girls and I decided to spend the remainder of our to free time exploring the Magnificent Mile's shopping district. During our shopping spree, we stopped by various shops, including H&M, Best Buy, and Forever 21. 

Satisfied with our shopping accomplishments, we returned to The Drake hotel at 5:50 PM, whereupon we began reading for ourselves nearing dinner with Northwestern affiliates. We gathered at Les Nomades, a grandiose French restaurant located near the Magnificent Mile. Our guests this time were Admission Officer Shannon A. Kennedy, along with current Northwestern University student Stephanie Ny and her fellow Northwestern friends. Dinner this night took the form of a three course meal, consisting of an appetizer, an entree, and finally a dessert. I chose to dine on oyster, veal and lamb, and chocolate cake, respectively, with each course as exquisite and artistically cooked as the last. The night's banter was as enjoyable as dinner itself. I spoke with Stephanie, a Bay Area native who vividly described her years at Northwestern University.   

Today is our last day in Chicago, and it was certainly a day well spent. Although we weren't able to do everything we planned do to time restraints, we still had a wonderful time in the city and I certainly hope that our stay at Cornell University will be just as enjoyable!

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