On the morning of the first day, I spent it walking in ice cold conditions through Boston College. Despite the frozen atmosphere, I was greeted with warm smiles and even got a sneak peek of one of their dining halls by a current student.
From there, we picked up my brothers and headed to Providence, Rhode Island, the hometown of Brown University. I liked the personality of the school a lot. Unfortunately, it was so cold by the afternoon that our tour guide had to re-route us and do some of her talking inside.
That night, we met up with my family in Boston (my godmother and her siblings) at a restaurant called Met Back Bay. They were very particularly about my brother's allergy (not eating nuts) and aware of my no-gluten specialty which I thought was a positive. After much debate, I decided to order steamed lobster. Well, I didn't realize that they were bringing out an entire, 2.5 pound one!! I have to be honest, I could only get through half a lobster tail before I was full and my brothers devoured the rest. It was so flavorful you didn't even need salt or butter.
The next day was much warmer, but I still made sure to be bundled up with my new mittens I had bought the day before and my scarf (sadly, I didn't bring any boots so I had cold feet). My mother and I headed over to Tufts. There we got to see what an actual classroom looks like (much like the ones I am in now, not the scary lecture halls I dream about) and as you can see in the picture below, there was an acorn that a student made a few years ago that had "fallen" from the tree. I thought it was very creative...
From there we headed out to Cambridge where we visited the prestigious Harvard College. The campus was a lot more dispersed than I imagined and it was interesting to see how the surrounding city had sort of developed intertwined with the campus. It was right next to the river and when we were approaching, the row team was out there paddling away (when we left 4 hours later in the dark, there were still groups out there!).
What I was most surprised to learn at all of these schools was how much they want students to be involved besides academics. They really place a heavy stress on only taking the required number of classes (and not more) so you have time to interact with peers in an intramural sport or through the hundreds of clubs all these schools have (and as they all say, "If there isn't one you like, you can easily make one!") Hmm, ideas come to mind: Paleo club, anyone? But, what I also liked was that since I am visiting these smaller schools the relationship with the professors is much closer and it is a lot easier to seek them out for help or engage in research. That's definitely something I'd be interested in doing in either the health, mental, or philosophical realm. Hopefully it works out.
But, back to Harvard. Did you know they have over 50 libraries? And also that their biggest library is the second largest in the US after the government's? Pretty impressive. Too bad we can't go in it :(. We did walk into a freshman dining hall that had stained glass windows that are insured for $50 million. I wouldn't want a baseball field near those. I also took a picture of the latin inscribed on the wall just because it makes my latin teacher happy to see latin in the outside world and I actually attempted to translate some of it...
For dinner, I had a grass-fed beef tenderloin that they stuffed with garlic and onions (delicious, but even toothpaste doesn't help afterwards!) and a side of brussel sprouts with bell peppers. It was so delicious. I would definitely recommend this if you are in the Boston area. Once again they were very allergy aware and were able to make adjustments according to anyone's needs (yea, I asked for extra veggies...)
But, the drive and exploration of Dartmouth was worth it. As we drove up there, the scenery completely changed from city life to the back woods. The school is right up against the Appalachian trail and even has there own ski hill for the winter. It was very outdoorsy and many of the clubs placed an emphasis on student-trips to go camping, snow-shoeing, hiking, and canoeing. All of those activities are right up my alley and make bearing the winters much more endurable. It is a lot more fun to trudge through four feet of snow when you are with a group of people surrounded by pine trees then when you are in the city maneuvering through slush (yuck!)...
On the final day, I spent it alone with my godmother (no colleges, just fun!) and we drove out through Salem to Marblehead for a nice lunch in Marblehead on the ocean right in the middle of fishing ports. The scent of salt and fresh fish wafted up to me from the dock below as I ate my fresh lobster salad. It was a beautiful and sunny day, the best way to end a trip!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this overly long post and you didn't skip over the juicy stuff. This weekend I am off to Florida for a completely relaxing (yes, no college visits!) break. Don't worry I will definitely be posting restaurant suggestions and eateries I encounter while there. Until then, have a wonderful rest of your week and a restorative weekend :)!