Monday, July 2, 2012

From CA to NC

Flying in airplanes is definitely not for me. After today, I’m really not looking forward to the next couple of flights on our agenda.

Going through the airport was a quick and easy process. We had no major problems and made it to our boarding site with time to spare. However, the easy-going mood of the morning would quickly go downhill.
Before the long flight
Don’t get me wrong, being with my cohort is tons of fun; it’s just that it would’ve been a whole lot better if I didn’t have motion sickness – or whatever it’s called when you feel nauseas in an airplane. Going up was not that bad; it was being in the air for so long, combined with the scary landings that made flying a bad experience for me.

However, once we landed in Raleigh, North Carolina I was relieved that we wouldn’t have to fly for the rest of the day. Nonetheless, I am ready to take on our next flight tomorrow, no matter how terrible it will be for me.
Anyway, once we arrived in Raleigh, I saw how green it was compared to the Bay Area. I mean, the whole place was covered in trees; it was quite beautiful. However, the heat was intense. The air was so moist and warm; it made it uncomfortable to breathe. I mean I got sweaty from just climbing the stairs – that’s how bad it was.

When we finally made it to our hotel room, I lied down on the cold and comfortable bed and hugged the icy sheets to cool down from the weather outside. However, we only stayed there for a few minutes before it was time to meet the students at Duke University. And, by a few minutes, I mean we had about 10-15 minutes to turn from sweaty pigs to presentable high school students, which I actually think we succeeded in doing.
Once we met up with the four students, Michelle, Nandini, Sebastian, and Matt, we all then began a west-side tour of the Duke campus. I must say, the gothic architecture is stunning, and together with all the trees and swinging tables, it paints a beautiful picture.
An arch where someone whispers from one side and you hear it in the other
One of the swinging tables

As we were walking around the campus, Nandini and Michelle explained the various activities going on at Duke University. For one, Duke has an exceptional study abroad program, where students get to travel to various countries and study a specific subject. For example, many students go to South Africa, France, or Italy to study what program that area offers. Studying abroad is something I’ve always wanted to do and I think Duke is a great place to do that – especially since they spoke well of the program, having done it themselves.

Another cool thing Duke does is try to keep the cohesiveness between each class. For example, they do these focus groups where all freshmen are around each other all the time. This creates a bond between the classes and in turn creates an environment that is both welcoming and helpful. I saw this for myself when I saw all of the students eating together like a huge family. It is really pleasant to know that Duke has this kind of atmosphere.

I was also wondering how normal college life was for each of these students. Expecting them to be similar, I was surprised to find out that their college lives completely differed from each other. Sebastian described his as a stereotypical college life, the kind you see in the movies, while Nandini describes hers as the complete opposite. I found this quite interesting. The Duke students then explained that at Duke, college life can go either way. It all depends on what you do there and what you envision yourself to be. I really enjoy this kind of freedom because I believe that everyone has the power to lead their lives in any direction they want to. To add to this, Michelle and Matt also informed us about the freedom all students have in Duke. For example, people don’t have to declare a major until sophomore year, which gives a ton of time before people decide what they really want to do.

In the end, I was really pleased to what Duke had to offer so far. I can’t wait to find out what else Duke has in store for us tomorrow, with our meeting with the admission’s officer. I also am looking forward to Georgetown and UPenn later this week. Can’t wait!

1 comment:

  1. Yessenia,

    Sorry about the motion sickness. With any luck it will pass as you get used to flying. Nonetheless, you might make sure that you or Mr. Mannix picks up some dramamine, patches, wrist wraps and a voodoo doll. These can be use as backups just in case.

    Interesting to read about the different persepectives from Sebastian and Nandini.