Today was my first weekend day while staying on the UPenn campus. We went to the nearby WaWa store, and I purchased two bagels for breakfast. A few minutes later, I boarded a bus along with Alex and another friend, Onur. To entertain myself on the bus, I turned to the novel that I had brought along with me. I read for about an hour and a half, and then decided to talk with people and enjoy the views from the bus. I had never been to New York City before, and although I’ve seen lots of large cities before, I was still amazed by the New York skyline that I’ve seen in so many movies.
Once we arrived in New York City, our first stop was Columbia University. Because we had two hours allotted to look around, we first strolled around the campus to get a feel of it’s size and layout. The first thing that struck me was that Columbia has a much more compact campus than other campuses I have seen. I liked this because in the words of my friend Onur, “It felt like a campus and not a bunch of scattered buildings”. I absolutely agree with what he said, and I also thought that the campus was gorgeous. After a bit of time in front of the library, we headed to lunch in the Student Center. Because there are ILC students staying at Columbia that we know, we invited them to lunch with us. We were joined by Irene Tait, who goes to El Cerrito High School with me and Julia, and Milani Lyman who goes to Pinole Valley High School with Alex. We had a relaxed lunch at the sandwich place inside of the student center, and after lunch we walked around for a little while.
We hopped on the bus again and headed for downtown New York. This time, we disembarked a few blocks away from Times Square, and we were given four hours to explore the city. I went with a group of about 7 others to Times Square. We headed straight for the M&M store, and spent a while looking around there. Soon enough, it was time to meet for our scheduled trip to the top of the Rockefeller Center. After a short walk, we arrived at the Center, and after a brief wait we were inside. The inside was adorned with a massive glass chandelier. We took the fast elevator ride up to the top, and I was soon enjoying one of the most amazing views I have ever seen. We took in the view on one side for a while, and then looked over the other side towards Central Park. After this side trip, we had a couple of hours remaining, so we went back towards Times Square. While the rest of our time in New York went by like a blur, it was a very enjoyable blur, and I definitely plan to visit again someday soon.
After the bus ride home, I enjoyed some rare downtime. I played Frisbee with some friends, and then walked around for a while by myself to relax. I enjoyed our visit to New York a lot, but I think that I’m currently leaning towards a medium-sized college city rather than a huge one like New York City. Wherever I end up going to college, I am very appreciative of the exposure I am getting to all of these different colleges so that I can figure out what kind of environment and make the best choice of where I want to go to college.
As a small after note, I would like to briefly wish the best of luck to Japan, as it has been hit by yet another smaller but still large aftershock of the devastating March earthquake.