It was 7 am on a Sunday morning. While everybody slept cozily in their dorms or their home, I sprang up from bed, ready to take on a trip I have been excitedly waiting for quite some time. The sun wasn't even fully up yet, but the front of Douglas gradually became filled with energy as more students showed up. Soon, we piled up onto the bus, and under the command of the bus driver and our college center chaperones, we were Southern California bound.
The Fallen Star, one of 20 artworks scattered throughout the campus of UC San Diego.
Through this college tour, I was exposed to a variety of different campuses mainly throughout Los Angeles and San Diego, ranging from the smallest private liberal arts colleges (Claremont) to the largest public universities (UCLA). It was truly an eye-opener to a person like me who has only heard of the most famous colleges in the United States beforehand. The tour itself also provided an in-depth perspective of school life and what's it like to be a student there. It was truly marveling to hear the stories of students enjoying their school and proudly showing off their school's facilities and how their school changed them for the better. We even got to meet some Stevenson alumni at the school, some of which were still seniors from last year!
A reunion with Mat Long '19 (2nd from right) from Stevenson School at Claremont McKenna College!
But the fun doesn't stop there. The trip also provided opportunities for us to explore downtown right outside campus. It was a great time to experience what the area around has to offer for college students. There was a lot to do in town, and every place is slightly different from the other, full-loaded with local shops, restaurants, etc.. I still remember one of the food deals they had in Santa Barbara: A gourmet flatbread for only 7 dollars! I also took this time to catch up with some of my friends and discussed what we feel about these colleges, or perhaps what we liked/disliked about them. Interesting conversations were happening all the time, and it really presented what personalities different people have since each college gives a different vibe.
Well, for me and Jacob Trokel '21 here, it seems like Chapman University has caught our attention!
Overall, the college tour was a blast. Sure, it might be a 6-hour bus drive home, which sounds dreadful, but I was glad that I got a first-hand perspective on these colleges, with unique styles of their own. From small to large, historical to modern, it allowed me to put into thoughtful consideration what type of college I would prefer in the future. Thanks to the college tour, I was also able to explore places I have never been to, and even reunite with people I never thought I would see again in a long time. It was truly an unforgettable experience that I will strongly recommend to the next classes. It's a trip that gives insight into our future and allows us to take a break after the release of our midterm grades. What better can you ask for?
Our crew for the SoCal College Tour at our first stop, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.