Though it seems as if the season came and went, Dad and the oldest took what should be the final two college visits earlier this spring. This trip actually came on the heels of the Titus 2:1 Conference in Washington, D.C., and after I headed home, those two kept traveling north to look at a couple of intriguing places for our daughter’s new home. She’d never experienced the northeast before, with all of its hussle and bussle, its pace, and its “real-ness,” so to speak, so Philadelphia was a great place to see very different sides of a different part of the world.
You’ll forgive me that, between recuperating from illness as well as taking too long to post this entry after the actual trip, my summaries are alot shorter than some of the earlier visits we took to different campuses.
Philadelphia University was in many ways a perfect school for our daughter. It is suburban , but still allows access to all of Philadelphia. It is a smaller school, which we wanted for her, given that she’s leaving from a school population of 3. The college had wonderful opportunities within her intended major, both academic and otherwise. She could stay an extra year and receive a Masters’, which was a strong plus. Also, the University had done a great job of incorporating current trends and issues into the program design, making it more relevant for a person just entering school. There was a significant emphasis placed on using your knowledge, skills and talents to give back to the community through service; I think this is where our volunteer queen began to fall in love.
Yet, its rustic charm and secluded campus left her with a looming question: will I really fit in here? Everything about the school is northeast suburban; there were no cheap chains at which to eat, no student-friendly places to shop, and in general, no obvious love for the have-to-ask-cuz-you-can’t-afford-it crowd.
We move on.
Drexel had nearly everything that our budding academician wanted, especially the focus on co-ops as an integral part of the graduation process. The campus was large enough to offer numerous extracurricular opportunities. And she still recalls that, unlike Philadephia U, she did see a Chick-Fil-A 🙂
There was just one BIG problem, at least from where the oldest stood:
Drexel is in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. Though our girl is a city girl, a city of this size was a bit overwhelming for her. Her dad also took her on a short city bus ride and through the subway system so that she could get an even more realistic sense of what her life would be. She left convinced, at least for the moment, that this school might not be as high on the list as some others. Bear in mind that my comments about public transportation are not meant as a slam on anyone who has to or chooses to use these ways to get around. But as a southwestern girl who has lived in a town built for wide open speed all her life, the oldest’s experience was…an adjustment, shall we say?
I give her this credit, though. After getting home and thinking about it more, she didn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, and is still taking a hard look at both schools.
Perhaps the best part of this trip for me is that she got to see Washington, D.C., as well as Philadephia. These are, for whatever other issues they may have, two of the most historically significant cities in our nation, and ground that I’ve wanted to cover with all the children.
Though most of these places you can’t just walk up and touch or take a tour as you did when I was there, it is still a history moment like no other when you see the place that you spent weeks reading about in a book and realize the spirit of what came before you.
Rocky Balboa climbed these same steps in his now infamous celebration dance. May she soar equally as high, whereever she goes.