ECCT 6: Muhlenberg… Bueler Bueler?

This trip has been so so so much fun, yet it has completely drained me of any energy I have left. We move from college to college from motel to motel from bus ride to bus ride and the cycle just repeats. It was bound to be a matter of time until we all eventually fell asleep on the bus and not a peep could be heard. I now know how long teenagers can go hooked on Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks iced coffees before the fatigue catches up to us.

                Today we really had a downpour here in Pennsylvania and I realized what it will be like when I walk around the campus of my college, that is if I go to school on the east coast which I am hoping I will. It really doesn’t seem all that bad; I am not really a complainer. If I decide to wear a skirt or uncomfortable boots on a stormy day, I am not the one who is going to be whining about how cold I am or how sore my feet are, because I could have dressed for comfort and warmth, but I ALWAYS choose fashion over comfort. Well, for the most part, unless I can mix them both! To start off first, we visited Muhlenberg, which I really loved. I felt really comforted and invited immediately, as they gave us each our own Muhlenberg umbrellas so that the rain wouldn’t completely drench us when touring the campus. To make us feel even more special, the dean of admissions, like the big deal guy who you really should get to know so the school knows your name, was with us for the info session and even ate lunch with us there! The campus was beautiful just like all the others we had been to, but nothing remarkably breathtaking. 95% of students live in campus, and like Wesleyan it is one of those schools where most of the action takes place on the campus. While it is Lutheran, it was nothing like Boston College seemed in the aspect that I completely even forgot it was religiously affiliated because it was barely mentioned! My tour guide told us that you take advantage of the religious aspect in whatever measure you want, that is you can go to church all the time, not even think about the idea of God, or even attend their Shabbat dinners every Friday which are supposedly super fun and popular for students of all religious backgrounds. I thought it was really cool how Jewish the school was even though it was Lutheran! The English department is supposedly incredible there and they have wonderful creative writing classes so that is a major plus for me. IN addition, it’s a TOTAL artsy school and we even got to take a look at their theatre! I was a bit disappointed though, it wasn’t much to compare to Emerson’s, and it was even smaller than ours at Chaminade. Anyways, I liked how at Muhlenberg you can be involved with all of these shows and such without being a major in the theatre department, just like Wesleyan. The school itself was super adorable with its beautiful buildings that had quirky colored doors in red and blue that reminded me of the little French and Spanish apartments I saw this summer.  I also enjoyed the way they described their teaching style, as a very up close and personal experience where you build special relationships with your professors. Many classes are so small that they are in the style of a Socratic seminar and are mostly discussion based, which excites me so much because that is what I love so much about English at Chaminade! And if I go here, I will definitely be taking advantage of the zumba and yoga classes held in the beautiful and serene Church as well as hitting up the sushi station at 3 am for those late night cravings, because they happen to offer an AMAZING selection of food that ranges from kosher to froyo to a macaroni bar to freshly made desserts that the school is known for. When we walked into a freshman dorm hallway, I felt right at home when I heard a group of boys fooling around in their dorm with the door wide open and their fun party music blasting through the hallway. At that moment I realized how much I am totally going to LOVE living in a dorm where right outside of my door are tons of other students ready to socialize and have fun all the time and just go crazy. The Greek life is apparently unique in the way that it doesn’t completely define you as a student when you go there, but it is very fun and 20% of the students are involved in it. From the looks of their unique take on learning in the classroom to the cozy, ski-lodge like feel I got while eating in their dining area to always having something fun to do on the weekends, I can definitely tell I will be applying to the ‘Berg as they call it.

                Lehigh was next, and let me just say they had an absolutely GORGEOUS campus! While it was hilly and will definitely give their students a workout on their way to class, I would just die getting to live in the many beautiful dorm buildings with the spectacular view they sported from those windows! It was more of a rah-rah school than Muhlenberg and more sciency, sporty, and the Greek-life is pretty big. I think that if I wasn’t so artsy, it would be a nice fit for me, yet I feel as if it didn’t speak to me as much as the others. Our tour guide was super sweet and fun though and I could tell she really enjoyed Lehigh. They didn’t discuss theatre and writing too much, and I know that even though it’s a super nice school and it is well known on the east coast, I am not going to go to it if it doesn’t offer a really strong program in something I want to do. They have great school spirit apparently, which sounds nice but lately I have realized that this doesn’t affect anything too much for me. Of course I still want to have that unified, close-knit community in my college, but I don’t care if there aren’t die-hard football fans raging at every game because I certainly wouldn’t be the type. What I realize I don’t like too much, is that Lehigh and some other schools require you to take core curriculum classes, like for example at least one science and math, and that just seems a bit of a hassle to me, because I sure as heck am not struggling in chemistry or geometry again. That’s something I really loved about Wesleyan, is that the schedule is extremely flexible and you can even sign up for super fun classes that roam a little off course of your focuses and I like this because it’s always nice to learn about intriguing topics that make you more open-minded and always keep you interested in the discussion. I don’t want to wake up once a week and feel stressed about having to go to a class that I am just breezing through carelessly and often skipping, anticipating its ending. I want to feel as if I am sad a class is going to end because I gain so much from the professor and the food for thought I share with my classmates! So even though Lehigh isn’t the perfect school for me, if you are interested in D1 sports like football or even in business and science majors with a nice Greek life and social scene on the side, definitely check it out!

                Gazing through the dew dropped windows as the vast fields that stretch the surface of the Earth whilst listening to Bon Iver and Ed Sheeran, I feel the sudden need to take a nap and soak in all the beauty of the East Coast.

                                                                        ~xoxo Ali~



^^ Taylor and I at Muhlenberg





^^ Theatre at the ‘Berg


^Taylor and I again

^^^Picture from we went out to dinner in the vibrant city of Philly and devoured our first philly cheese steaks which were delicious!



I LOST MY OLIVE GARDEN VIRGINITY!!!! I had always wondered at how good the breadsticks were because the commercials made it seem really promising. In a ghetto, middle of nowhere town in Connecticut, the Olive Garden was the best choice. I had a mere 2 cups of minestrone soup and by the way you don’t pronounce the -e at the end of “minestrone” which I did not know! I was not impressed with the breadsticks and I did not enjoy the smell of the restaurant. Overall, I was disappointed. I thought the Olive Garden really might’ve had something going for it, I fear it didn’t and never will.


^^ Muhlenberg



^^^Lehigh is gorgeous


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