Today, the Columbia cohort finally arrived at Columbia University! However, before we could rush towards the beautiful campus, we enjoyed brunch with Yale admissions officer Alexander Richardson. Mr. Richardson was unique in that he is the Northern California admissions officer and will read our applications should we apply. One of the most important pieces of advice he gave us was that the essay is the only part of the application where prospective students can come off as a human. With this in mind, Mr. Richardson said that we can write about anything in our essay from a strategy game to sailing as long as we portray ourselves as something more than statistics on a computer screen. He said that the only way to make an application pop to him is to not write about I did this and I did that but write about something we’re really passionate about make sure that if anyone read it, it would seem as if we were having a conversation with him.
After brunch we had an interesting cab driver to transport us and our luggage from the Empire Hotel to Columbia. While we had made plans regarding who was going to go in each cab and have the two cabs follow each other, as soon as we hailed a cab our plan went straight out of the window. First off, Mrs. L. wanted to ride in the first cab so that she could direct the driver to the right gat at Columbia, and secondly she wanted the first cab to wait until we could hail a second one. Well, as the events played out, Mrs. L. wasn’t able to ride in the first cab and as soon as Will, Masao, and I situated ourselves in the taxi our driver sped away. The ride there was interesting because our driver swerved in and out of lanes, honking cars, and yelling at other drivers as we made our way to Columbia. About 10 nerve-wracking minutes later I was relieved to set my feet on firm ground and walk to my dorm, John Jay.
Prior to dinner we had an orientation with our R.A.s. My R.A. seems to be very relaxed and determined that we have fun. After going through rule of the program, he told us about several trips he had planned out for us. He also said that we don’t have to go on his trips if we don’t want to because there is 90 other R.A.s who has planned trips for the 1300 students for this program. As the day winds down, I am more excited than ever for the first day of school!