April 23, 2016

College Touring Recap: New England

It's mid-April of my junior year and it's safe to say the topic weighing most heavily on my mind is college. I know some people start their college touring before their junior year has even begun, but I, admittedly, was no where near that eager to begin going on tours. It wasn't until I went on my first tours a few weeks ago at Northeastern and Dartmouth that I realized how fun they can be. I thought they would be the necessary evil that would plague my next 6 months, but I was pleasantly surprised. As much as you may like a school in pictures, I personally think there is no way of knowing if it's the right "fit" until you walk around campus and see students in a natural college setting. For that exact reason, I left last week to look at schools in Virginia and North Carolina (post to come). I still have no idea what part of the country I want to spend my next four years in, and am just starting to get a feel for what size/atmosphere feels right. I'm sure that through writing these recaps I'll get to reflect in depth about what I liked and didn't like about a school. A win-win for both you and me, as I'm hoping this type of post makes an interesting read for our followers! Enough with the intro, here are my thoughts on Northeastern, Dartmouth, and Boston College!

{Northeastern University}
Boston, Massachusetts, 17,990 undergrad
Northeastern was the first school I toured, so I really had no expectations going into it as to things I already knew I liked and didn't like about colleges. The school is located in the heart of Boston, yet it did have more of a campus then I was expecting for a city school. It is extremely urban, the buildings have a modern, sleek, feel rather than the gothic charm you find at a lot of older schools. Things that stuck with me the most was their incredible study abroad opportunities and their co-op program. This program allows students to work full time paid internships for at least one semester during their time at Northeastern. It is proven to help students find jobs after graduating and helps them to find fields they are truly interested in working in.  I loved the strong emphasis on research at Northeastern, and even liked the large school size. Not to mention the gym was absolutely incredible. However, I'm realizing more and more that while I want to be in close proximity to a city, I don't think I want to be directly in a city. Northeastern was a great place to start looking as it set my expectations very high. Side note: I didn't take a single picture at Northeastern because the weather was so bad and I didn't want to remember it in a gloomy light (that explains why the picture is found on Pinterest!)

{Dartmouth University}
Hanover, New Hampshire, 4300 undergrad
I'd always dreamed of visiting Dartmouth, eager to see the picturesque northern scenery and authentic campus. Even in New England's grossest time of year (aka mid-March), Dartmouth was still so beautiful. The buildings were exactly how I imagined, and the school is in a really cute, rural, setting. As one of the top schools in the nation, Dartmouth has so much to offer from incredible study abroad opportunities, to intimate, small classes to personally engage students in learning. However, from visiting Dartmouth, I was able to realize that, much to my dismay, the school was not for me. I'm looking for something in a more suburban setting and this school just felt too out of the way. Furthermore, it did feel a little small compared to other schools I liked.

{Boston College}
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, 9200 undergrad
Boston College has been on my radar as a place I might want to attend college since I was a little girl. Several of my family members are BC alumni, so I've grown up attending the football and hockey games, and am familiar with the campus. This "closeness" in both familial ties and geographic proximity caused me to resent even the thought of BC for a while, even though in the back of my mind I knew I loved this school from the beginning. Touring the school just solidified this feeling, as I recognized BC is everything I could ever want in a college. Particular things I like include the suburban location, medium size, and sporty feel. The one downside is definitely how close it is to home, as I always thought I wanted to go a little farther away for my college experience. Nevertheless, BC was by far my favorite of the northern schools I've seen, as it truly does hold a special place in my heart.
Have any of you toured colleges in the northeast?


1 comment :

  1. Just toured BC two days ago, and saw Dartmouth last February! I also loved BC, and Dartmouth to me was okay- but not sure if it is the vibe I wanted. One day I wouldn't be surprised if I ran into you two on a college tour. :)

    XOXO Paulina