Mariko and I awoke around six thirty to freshen up and get ready for the day ahead of us. As we arrived in the lobby, we saw a wonderful sight: Brown Session 1! They had just left the Brown dorms and seemed sad, but were excited for the day ahead of us. We piled into two cars and headed to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
When we arrived, we ate at a nice restaurant, Au Bon Pain. I ordered a cinnamon roll and cranberry juice as a quick breakfast. The breakfast was quite delicious, and I definitely plan on going to Au Bon Pain for breakfast when we're at Brown since there are two restaurants very close to campus. I made good conversation with Frank and Andrew at breakfast and on our way to the admissions office.
What immediately struck me about Harvard was the absolutely beautiful landscape. It was breathtaking and definitely stuck in my mind. We went inside and were automatically lead into the information session, which had just started.
Interesting Facts about Harvard:
- Harvard is looking for students who can handle the intense academics and do the work. To find those students, they evaluate high school academics by looking at their transcript. They don't expect students to have straight-A's. They require the SAT and two subject tests (except they do not want Math 1 and 2 as the two subject tests, and they do not want students to take the subject test in language (such as Spanish) if that language is their first language) and/or the ACT with writing. It is a very competitive school to get into.
- It is a liberal arts institution. There are 41 majors; students declare majors in the middle of their sophomore year. There are eight distribution requirements and a General Education program. Students shop classes during the first week of school instead of at orientation. Harvard has minors, but they are known as "secondaries." There are more secondaries than majors. If students want to double major, you have to write a thesis at the end of their senior year. Most people major and minor.
- 60 percent of students who study abroad do it during the summer, but students can do it during the school year.
- Freshmen are required to live on campus. 98 percent of students live on campus all four years. Proctors have their own apartments. Graduate students live in the dorms with undergraduates and mentor them. There are 12 residential houses. Underclassmen get an academic adviser that guides them and helps them figure out their major.
- Harvard has the largest Division 1 program in the country, with junior varsity, varsity, and club sports.
After the information session, we went on a tour. Our tour guide was Lillian, who is a rising junior at Harvard and majoring in Anthropology. During the tour, I was happy to look at the architecture and beautiful buildings.
Overall, I enjoyed Harvard's campus, but I struggled with connecting with the school. I don't think that I will apply to Harvard when the time comes for me to apply to colleges, but I am keeping an open mind. I did not like the fact that the classes were very large; for example, their "Justice" class usually has 1,000 people. I prefer classes that are up to about 35 people. I also found it a little strange that they did not accept AP exam scores of 4 and 5 and IB scores. I also feel like I connected much more with Wellesley.
After getting a quick and nice lunch at Upstairs at the Square, we were allowed to go shopping! Rebecca and I had a nice time in the Harvard bookstore, where I picked up a lot of souvenirs for my family.
When we got back to Hotel Providence, I was planning on taking a small nap. I had just closed my eyes when Mariko burst into our room and informed me that we needed to pack. I was initially alarmed, but then she informed me that there was a mix up with our departure date and that we were moving into Cynthia, Josie, and Rebecca's room! I was a little iffy about the matter at first, but I can feel a strong sisterhood growing between our group, so I then became excited. So right now there are the seven W&L girls living in a room, Frank and Andrew sharing a room with my dad, and Erin, Erinn, and Kathleen sharing a room with Ms. Larson.
After the big move, we had a casual dinner at Mills Tavern. It was bittersweet. I absolutely love being with Brown Session 1. They are witty, sweet, funny, and complete the Brownie group. I'm thrilled that we got to spend time with them.
As we were heading back to the hotel, we were excited to get caught up in the Sound Session parade! It was fun and we took a lot of pictures. It was a great way to spend our last night at Hotel Providence.