Monday, April 9, 2012

Orange Orange Orange

College visit of the day: SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY.

We drove to the South Side of campus and took a free shuttle to the main campus. After a video montage and welcoming by the dean of admissions, we split up by college and program for an informational session. It was great that it wasn’t just an enormous overview. In this manner, we learned about our specific school, programs, classes, and future atmosphere in smaller groups. I introduced myself and where I came from, followed by gasps in the audience and murmurs of "Ooo she's from California". In my group, there ended up being two other people from California, including a girl from El Cerrito! Bay Area buds.

The university itself has a ton of perks as well. There are tons of dorms on campus, and housing is guaranteed for all four years, and the first two years are mandatory. There are many different dorm room styles, and even dorm floor themes. There is free bus transportation all around campus and buses that can cheaply take you to downtown Syracuse, Pennsylvania, New York, and Boston. The ID cards double as a debit card that can be used at bookstores, cafes, and other eateries around campus. Another cool thing is the laundry system, which can send you texts when your laundry is done!! My mom complained that she did not have that luxury when she went to college. Aha.I was accepted to the School of Education in the Inclusive Elementary and Special Education program. This is a dual degree program, where I would be certified in both elementary education and special education! Awesome. Syracuse was one of the first universities to include special education into their program. I learned a lot about my program, including the perks and cool aspects of both the college and the university as a whole. First of all, I learned (and this is probably the most important thing I could’ve learned) that I could not only major in this education program, and that I would have to, in theory, triple major, by getting a B.A. in a major at the College of Arts and Sciences. I think I’ll choose Sociology. That was my second choice for my other colleges I applied too. I learned that I would almost be guaranteed graduation in four years. This program has a lot of hands-on learning, meaning that I would be in an elementary school by my second semester. Free transportation would even be included for people in the school of education! This education program sounds like so much fun.

The buildings have basically two styles: brick and ancient 1800s. There is actually a legit castle on campus that has a bell tower, known to play not just the usual ding-dong, but also songs ranging from Beethoven to Lady Gaga.

The tour set up a huge lunch station inside the famous Syracuse dome where all the major games are held. This place is massive. I got to meet the mascot, Otto the Orange, and eat lunch on the turf. Booths of various school clubs and organizations lined the arena. Erin and I checked out the Marching Band table before heading on a tour. The band sounds like fun, but requires a ton of dedication and time. I’m still not sure I want to continue marching band. However, I will definitely consider Symphonic, Concert, or Pep Band.

All accepted students on the tour today received 33 percent off of all products in the school’s bookstore. We bought a Syracuse crewneck sweatshirt, socks, pennant, and postcard for a very reasonable price.

Overall, I really like Syracuse. The campus is gorgeous and the buildings and environment is beautiful. I love my educational program, and am excited to start working. The amount of assistance that Syracuse gives its students is immense, and I will definitely take part in the tutoring services. Students also receive a peer counselor, that help you fit in socially and comfortably on campus. The academic counselors plan out your 4 years early on, to make sure that you don't get behind on credits. The school spirit is out of this world, and I know I’ll love the basketball and football games. The only two ticks for me would be that there really isn’t a major downtown nearby and the dorms are a little old. However, anything I need is within a bus ride away and the dorms are understandable for being 30 something years old. Plus, I won’t be spending that much time in them anyways. This school is definitely a good fit for me.

After the tour, we were exhausted and rather hungry. When my mom and I used to travel to the East Coast, we would always go to Friendly’s Restaurant. We convinced the Millers to with us, and had a large dinner at this American diner. Friendly’s is famous for its ice cream, so even though we were super full, we managed to scarf down their delicious cold dessert.

I later ventured over to the Carousel Center which is supposedly the sixth largest mall in the United States, although a lot of it was under reconstruction.

To be honest, we get lost a lot even with our GPS and occasional written out directions. Our hotel is off of a roundabout, and we never seem to get off on the right exit. Oh well. Tomorrow we leave for Niagara Falls!!