Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Departure day was finally upon us, the UPenn cohort. I got up and double checked that I had all the things that I need and headed to El Cerrito High School. My father dropped my mother and I off then headed to work. Don weighed the luggage and once again went over what was expected of us as students. In no time we were all ready to go to the airport and start our journey. But before we left, we took a group picture in front of the school. As it turns out, we didn’t make it in time to have a sit down breakfast so we just got on the plane and ate our snacks. This time we actually got to sit next to each other so we couldn’t talk to a stranger on the plane ride. The ride was pretty uneventful until the part where it became very shaky and unstable. It made me very sick and I ended up having to use the bag labeled “flight discomfort bag” which was the worst.

At some point we finally landed. I’ve never been so happy to be on flat ground before.We proceeded to go and get a cab to our nice hotel room. Chris was lucky and got a room by himself while us girls have to double up on a bed but it’s no big deal. We give each other company.

Co-founder Benjamin Franklin
Once we left our luggage in the room we went across the street to Axis, a very good and affordable pizza place for some quick early dinner. I got a buffalo chicken and Hawaiian slice that were both delicious. Once we finished, we headed out to town where we got to see where the local CVS was and some of the other shops like the Wawa and Mexican restaurant. We didn’t stay for too long since we were going to meet Dyana.

When Dyana came to meet us, we left as a group to get gelato. I had never had gelato and was surprised by how delicious it was. When we were on the way there, Dyana talked about how excited she was about getting a job as an admissions officer at UPenn. She was very kind and brought us a brochure with an overview of the university. We specifically talked about the colleges within UPenn. Something that I thought was very interesting is that 50% of undergraduates end up in the college of arts and sciences compared to 10% in the nursing college I believe. We also talked about things like rolling admissions which is pretty much a university that has no deadlines for applications. This gives students that for a variety of reasons couldn't make the deadline an opportunity to still be admitted. Penn doesn’t  do this but it was still very cool to know.

Dyana also gave us a small tour of the campus. She told us about the 15 libraries that are on campus as well as the LGBTQ center that makes up 1 of the 6 major student resources on campus. Dyana also shared that there area variety of coffee shops around the city. Some that are centered in Philly and other that are big chains like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. On it was around 7 PM, we started to head back to the hotel room to rest for tomorrow's tour of UPenn.

Today was a day filled with excitement and some uncomfortable situations like the landing of the plane but it was all worth it. The weather is nice, UPenn has a beautiful campus filled with amazing architecture and culture. Dyana was the first person to officially open the campus to us in a way that made us feel like UPenn students. I will surely take advantage of her expertise and willingness to help us, the ILCers, out.

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