During Loyola’s inter-semester break, 52 juniors embarked on a week long journey to the East Coast for the 27th installment of Loyola’s East Coast College Tour.
Started in 1989 by Mr. Thomas Vavra and recently taken over by Mr. Terry Caldwell, the College Tour this year had students traversing 7 different states and 17 different colleges over the course of a week. Ranging from public universities such as Towson University in Maryland to Catholic institutions such as Georgetown University in Washington D.C. to Ivy League schools like Yale University in Connecticut, the juniors on the trip got a taste of every type of college the east coast had to offer.
While at the various colleges, Cubs received campus tours as well as admissions presentations. Many cubs particularly enjoyed the campus tours as they allowed the Cubs to experience the campus first on and receive a student perspective about the university.
“Being able to get the feel of certain campuses and walking through certain college towns helped influence my decision about that school,” said student Spencer Reed.
While the campus tours proved to be big hits, the facts and numbers presented within the enlightening admissions presentations were equally critical to students.
“I was able to see what criteria top institutions would be demanding and what I would need to be a top contender,” Reed said.
Although the trip was jampacked with informative sessions at universities, Cubs also explored the cities surrounding most of the colleges as well.
A large part of the process in picking where one wants to go to college includes finding the right surrounding environment for oneself. A college such as Columbia University, resides in the heart of New York City while Princeton is nestled in a very suburban area of New Jersey.
“My favorite part of the college tour was definitely being able to go out and explore the different cities…l became fascinated with the beauty of the remnants of colonial America throughout the East Coast,” said student Christopher Soto.
Traveling up and down the East Coast during the middle of winter was no accident. Accustomed to the near perfect climate of California, the Cubs encountered genuine cold while on the East Coast. Reaching two degrees with the wind chill at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, the blistering cold forced many Cubs to cocoon themselves with multiple layers of clothing. Despite the freezing temperatures, the cold did not deter many students.
“The trip made me realize that I have no problem with cold weather and that snow and below zero temperatures are something I can deal with if I go to an east coast school,” said Ryan Sailor indicated.
The college tour also sparked a bit of nostalgia within some of the Cubs. Mr. Brian Kwan, a former Honors and AP Chemistry teacher at Loyola, reunited with many of his former students at Brown University, where he currently attends medical school. Mr. Kwan gave the students a tour of the Brown medical school and even dissected a cadaver in front of them.
Rafael Ferguson, a former student of Mr. Kwan’s, jokingly stated, “Getting to hear [Mr. Kwan] confess that he was having a hard time in school was amusing to those who endured his tough Honors Chemistry course the previous year.”
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