After just three hours of sleep, the sleep-deprived Cornell cohort was ready for Chicago. With plenty of time to kill, we decided to eat breakfast at Chili's once we passed the rather quick security check at the St. Louis airport. Unfortunately, it was pancakes once again for me since it was the only vegetarian option in the breakfast menu which had only 5 choices all together. How sad.
We boarded our plane an hour afterwards and easily found our seats. For some reason, it feels as though the airport experience has become second nature to me. Check in. Security. Waiting period. Board. Find Seats. Take off. Perhaps this unique experience would prepare for the near future as I would love to travel while in college or even as a part of my job. So this was a great experience for me to travel with a cohort than just with my family. Due to our exhaustive travel for the past couple days, every single member of the cohort fell asleep for the plane ride. I actually fell asleep before take off as the last thing I remember was looking out of the window staring at the St. Louis runway and soon enough, I was staring at the skyscrapers of Illinois from my window seat. What a transition, right?
Chicago. What can I say. Love at first sight. Especially the downtown area. I personally love the urban setting with people bustling in and out of the city. Located right in the center of all this movement, The Drake was our hotel. Honestly, this was the most fanciest place I have ever stepped foot in. The place oozed with elegance and lavishness and I certainly was overwhelmed by the effort hoteliers take into making hotels as perfect as possible.
|Such a beautiful city|
|Lunch at Starbucks before U Chicago Info Session|
We soon entered the U Chicago campus and I was immediately captivated by the skyscraping buildings containing gothic touches, and the unique paths leading up to something new and interesting in every direction. I was drawn into the admission session and campus tour as I avidly took notes and even started brainstorming what my personal statement would embody. Odd numbers. Foreign Words. pH Scale. Whatever the prompt is, bring it on. My personality matched the traditional yet modern outlook of the school and the diversity was an added bonus. I just felt like I had a connection with this city and the college only to find out at the very end that University of Chicago does not offer any engineering programs (as I was interested in biomedical engineering) besides an emerging molecular biology degree. This just crushed me as I had built a keen interest in the university. However, I had made up my mind that I would not miss out on such a great school that caters to my needs just because of this. I will try to use the programs they offer (perhaps, biology, pre-med, or molecular biology) to shape my future to my need based off the given resources. One of the things that I most admire about U Chicago is that it has a program called CORE which allows students to experiment with different fields to discover their true passion. I have decided that I’m the artist of this my masterpiece called the future. Yes, I may add colors, effects, techniques to make it visually appealing, but if it lacks passion then this masterpiece wouldn’t be considered a winner. With the help of the CORE program, seeking my passion should become easier and if I’m still considering the biology field, then by all means, I’m ready to proceed with that as well.
|Traditional U Chicago|
|Contemporary U Chicago. Definitely a hard call.|
|My chunk of lettuce in a salad|
As per the dinner, it turned out to be fantastic. Since the restaurant, David Burke’s Primehouse, was a steak house, I had difficulty ordering since the options were so limited. Troubles of a vegetarian. However, I received a salad and for dessert, I received a Cheesecake Lollipop Tree. It was the cutest dessert presentation I had ever seen. Not only was the dessert fantastic, but the conversations were as well. Accompanying us were two admissions officers, Troy Carlson and Matt Rosenbaum, along with two U Chicago students, Elizabeth and Teddy. It was definitely one of the most informative dinners I have taken part in. A sincere thanks to all four of them for coming out to support us and for answering any questions we had patiently and completely. Because of the students and admissions officers, I have a better view of what to expect either at U Chicago or on the application. Now, I have the courage to apply to U Chicago and perhaps even early action. Before, the admission rate of this school kept me away for so long. Yet today I learned that as long as I apply to this school directly from the heart and let my creativity flow, anything is possible. If I never try, I would never know.
|Exceeded the expectations in terms of presentation|
|Dinner not complete with a group picture!|