Thursday, June 30, 2016


As Mr. Hillyer said, today was a very easy and chill day. We woke up around 8 AM to get ready for a day of touring the city and the UPenn campus in an official tour lead by students. But before we set off for a day of touring, John took us to a charming restaurant called Sabrina’s Cafe on N 34th street, not too far from our hotel. I got Huevos Rancheros which were amazing! The green salsa brought all the flavors together. While we waited for our meal John debriefed us on how the day was going to play out and what sorts of things we would see in Old Town. At this moment I had no idea what was really in store for us in that part of town. We finished our delicious meals and walked towards the subway for the first time and put our tokens in and waited for the train to arrive. In no time it was there and got us to our destination just as fast.
Huevos Rancheros
We got off on 2nd street right next to Penn’s Landing. From here we went to see some of the historical sights like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall where the Constitution was written. After spending some time there, we left to our next activity: the UPenn tour.

College Hall
The tour kicked off with a short informational overview of the admission process. She talked about the holistic approach and how well rounded individuals were more likely to be admitted since they would make their graduating class more diverse. This is important to admissions because they want to ensure that individuals thrive in the environment and not just on their own. When this was over we got split up into several groups. We got grouped with a rising junior named Wendy Zhou. She is double majoring in Communications with an emphasis in International Relations and in Biology. After describing what College Hall was used for and how it has the 6th biggest organ in the world, she began to talk about the School of Arts and Sciences. The have a mentoring program that begins once you are admitted in the summer. You can get in touch with your mentors and talk about schedules and just college life to ensure a smoother transition in.

After we went into the School of Engineering. They have less undergraduates compared to the Arts and Sciences school but still give amazing educations. That pat was a bit more brief since not many people were interested in it. On the way to Wharton, we talked about how Benjamin Franklin was a founder of the university and how there was a ton of status dedicated to him. I think if i was only able to talk one piece of information away from this whole trip it would be that all the population of Pennsylvania is Ben Franklin groupies.

The Wharton School of Business was another brief stop because no one in our group was very interested in it. The architecture of the building was very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. From this building we went to the dorms! We actually got to see where we are going to be staying the upcoming weeks. The dorms are very secure because you need both a key and a pass code to get in at the front gate. There are also security guards protecting the building. The dorms are coed but are not coed rooms or bathrooms. I would have liked to see the use of gender neutral bathrooms but other than that i thought that the courtyard in between the buildings was great and that the dining commons are in every building.
Dorm Entrance

Once the tour was over we came to the hotel and relaxed for a bit before going to Old  Town for dinner. I took a nap while Kamillah and Allonah went to the bookstore. Once it was 6PM we headed back to Old Town and ate at Sonny’s Famous Cheese Steaks. The food was very filling and savory. When we finished our meal, we headed to the Penn Landing where we got to see a bit of the outdoor concert and the old ships by the water front. The atmosphere felt very friendly and warm. I didn’t want to leave!

Before heading to the hotel we walked through Washington’s Court Park and saw the eternal flame sitting by a statue of George Washington. The park itself had tall trees and a water fountain in the middle that brought out a refreshing feel. After we came back to the hotel and went over our itinerary for tomorrow. We are going to NY to visit Columbia University. I am really looking forward to finally visiting Time Square and exploring the city.

As our last activity of the day, as a cohort we decided to jump in the pool and relax our tired bodies. We bonded over many topics ranging from what we were expecting from the Social Justice Program to Iggy Azalea. We really connected as a group. I am sure we will continue to grow stronger bonds throughout our stay here.
Water Front