Monday, July 13, 2015

I Can't Help Fallin' In Love With You

Some say love at first sight is a myth, but I think it's very real. To psychologists, love is a fluster of neurotransmitters flowing throughout the brain and the body, translating into what we call "butterflies". To me, love is seeing a closely-knit community of colleges together uniting as one giant university, 6-1 student ratios, and a well-renowned study abroad program. Maybe love at first tour in this case would be more accurate.

My day started at an early 6 AM, on an RA trip to Connecticut. We had to take a three-hour train ride, but I feel that this is extremely reasonable considering that we were crossing states. I think one of the main things that I love about the east coast is that other states are just a short train ride away. Once arriving in CT, we had to walk for probably 20 minutes until reaching Yale.

Yale's campus was amazing. Probably one of the factors that stood out to me the most was the community. There are 5,000 students on campus, however, there are over 12 residential colleges for the students. I love this sense of a small community, that actually isn't that small. Another thing I really like about the school was the small 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio, making it one of the smallest ratios of an institution. I seriously value getting to know a teacher and more importantly, them getting to you know! Apparently, students working with professors on research assignments is a normal thing around there. Another great thing I liked about the campus was the fact that typically 2-3 faculty members live in every college, so just like NYU and New York, the faculty is "in and of the campus". Our tour guide also emphasized little events of student life, such as freshman dances, trips, and intramural sports. After listening to all of her little tidbits and facts, I realized Yale fit my criteria for college. At the halfway point of the tour, I began imagining myself receiving the Yale decision letter, feeling completely nervous and tense, hoping it was what I expected. I imagined one of two scenarios: I don't get in and console myself with that "oh it's destiny you will succeed wherever you go" talk, and the scenario where I receive my acceptance letter and I jump around like a deranged monkey. Wishful thinking, but I'm hoping the latter becomes true.
The rotunda building!
After our tour and my life-altering moment, Izabel, Mark, and a few others and I ventured around CT in search of the best burger (it is rumored that it doesn't require condiments to taste amazing). We found the place, but it ended up being closed, so we went to the next best place: Shick Shack. This was my first time, but I have to say it was a whole lot better than any Bay Area burger place I've ever been to (sorry In N Out, just stayin' real). Due to plans with his uncle, Mark had to leave early, but I've gotta say he seriously missed out on some great fries.

With full stomachs and hearts, Izabel and I ventured into the calm city of New Haven. We came across two bookstores containing some Yale gear, and picked up a few souvenirs for our families back home. After a few hours of walking through the city, we headed back to the Grand Central Station to catch our 3:25 PM train. For a majority of the train ride, Izabel and I took advantage of the serene train ride and slept. At the end of the ride however, we began talking to this sweet, elderly Mexican lady that mainly spoke Spanish. As Spanish not being one of my fortes, it was mainly Izabel who did the talking. I thought it was really interesting to hear some native Mexican speakers go back and forth in conversation with such smooth rhythm. This made me realize that I should really learn some Spanish.

After returning to Columbia, Izabel and I ate at a Korean BBQ restaurant a few blocks away from the University. It offered different, but delicious, east Asian cuisine. At 8, we picked up a wild Mark and made a quick ice cream run, and as the lazy sloths that we are took the bus the whole 9 blocks yards back. I felt that this was a tremendous and literally sweet way to end the day.

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