Monday, July 2, 2012

Arriving At The Green State

Our first day, was quite a long day. As I rode with my parents to El Cerrito High School at three in the morning, it finally hit me that I will be away from my family for just about a month. I will truly miss them, and these same feelings will run inside me when my brother leaves for college in New York next month. Although it is a sad feeling, whether it is me going away for a month for the ILC program or my brother going away for college, I know it is a beneficial opportunity for us.

Our whole journey started really smoothly and everything went well. From our security checks, to the sudden landings of the planes, I am thankful for our safe arrival here at Raleigh, North Carolina. I am not a big fan of plane rides, because of the queasy feeling you feel as you land, and the elevation changes making it hard for you to hear clearly, but I must get used to it, for we still have quite a few plane rides here back East. I must admit going from place to place, with a tight schedule, in this hot muggy weather is not my favorite thing in the world, but I am sure the information gained and lessons learned will definitely pay off.

This sudden climate change compared to the Bay Area will take awhile to get used to. I feel like it is the most I have sweated in my life! But throughout these next few weeks, I hope to become adapted to the blazing heat. It was interesting to see North Carolina completely surrounded with green trees and green lawns!

In front of beautiful trees and a beautiful building!
We began our trip with a tour of Duke University led by current students attending the college. As I walked upon the campus full of beautiful green trees, I was amazed with the architecture of the brick buildings. Even off campus, I noticed many brick houses, and learned that it is because there are no earthquakes occurrences, but rather many thunder storms. The four Duke students who led our tour seemed very active in their school. As we walked from building to building, it astounded me to see how passionately they talked about their college. Each student had contributed their own perspective to college life at Duke, which proved the endless possibilities at Duke University. Of the many amazing opportunities mentioned during our tour the ones that stood out were:

  • You don’t declare your major until the spring of your sophomore year. This gives you the opportunity to explore a wide variety of classes, and discover which ones you are truly passionate for.
  • All freshmen are only required to take a writing class, with a maximum of 12 people in each class. Furthermore, there are tons of different writing classes, from the art of friendship to politics.
  • During your first year at Duke, students are put into some type of focus group, in order for them to start building a community within the school. This allows freshmen to become more comfortable with their peers as they begin to adapt to a college life.
  • Duke University has an amazing study abroad program. For example one can study pre-med in South Africa, and another can study in Italy. This emphasizes the vast opportunities that many people aren’t aware of.
  • If you walk around campus, as a student you’ll know 97% of the people there. Although the campus is very large and spread out, everyone practically knows each other and is like a close-knit family.
  • Lastly, while their academic program is great, many students have a lot of fun and show their school spirit. It was interesting to hear about their rivalry with North Carolina University during basketball season, and how they even “tent” for days outside the gym, to get good seats. On the contrary, Duke and North Carolina still have partnerships within scholarship programs.
Misters to create a cooler environment!
Awesome rocking table and chairs!
Our intelligent tour guides!
It’s overwhelming taking all this information in, making me eager to dig deeper into the school of Duke University. In addition to need-based scholarships and merit-based scholarships, they even have community-based scholarships! I especially liked how they stressed the fact that it’s each one of us who make our own decisions in college. We each have the freedom, to join as many clubs as we want, play as many sports, be as active as we want in our school while balancing our academic life. Our tour guides each had their own perspectives at Duke, with different experiences, exploring wonderful opportunities.

I am very thankful for this opportunity to hear life at Duke through a student’s perspective. It opened my eyes to the world outside of California. I am hoping to learn more tomorrow as I learn more about Duke through a different perspective! A lot of information has been soaked in this first day, and I am looking forward to more adventures!

1 comment:

  1. Hannah,

    Before I write another word about your GREAT blog, I just want to gush about this great photo at the bottom of you blog. I love it! It’s sharp, the lighting is good, we can see all of your faces and the looks on ALL of your faces speaks volumes. And considering all of the long sleeves I’m seeing I know it can’t be too hot.

    I couldn’t help but notice all of the sports memorabilia in the background.

    Duke is a great school with a storied history. If you were to consider it you could not go wrong.

    The information you included in your bullet points can be very helpful for others who read your blog looking for just that kind of information.