My First College Tour

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In honor of National Credit Union Youth Month, we asked Cora, a member since 2002, if she'd share a bit about her†recent "Tour de College" adventure.† Here's what she had to say:†

Hi! Iím Cora, and a freshman in high school. Through my school, I was able to use an odd type of matchmaker app--instead of matching you with potential dates, it matches you with potential colleges! It does this by asking questions about what youíre looking for in a college--location, majors, tuition, graduation rates, size, and diversity to name a few--and how important is it to you that your future college meets these criteria, then giving you colleges that best match those criteria and a percentage of how well they fit. My best match was University of California Irvine, home of the anteaters. I looked into the school, and after a little bit of research decided I loved it. There was just one problem: how could I truly commit to going to a college I hadnít even visited yet? And there was, thankfully, a simple solution.

My family had planned a vacation to visit relatives in California over Spring Break, and they live only 20 minutes away from UCIís campus. So we got to tour the campus while we were there! I had a lot of fun, but then again, Iím really into being hyper-prepared. Iíve already planned out my courses for the next three years of high school and decided my minor (and am wavering between two different majors), but only because Iím one of the lucky kids that knows what they want to do from an early age. Anyway, like I was saying, I really enjoyed the campus tour. I learned a lot about the school and like it even more now. Some of the facts about the school are pretty interesting! Let me share a bit of what I found out while walking the 1.3 mile course.

One of the dorm sections for freshman at UCI is called Middle Earth, and everything in there is named after something from the†Lord of the Rings. UCI also has a Quidditch team. Thatís pretty impressive geekiness. Part of a horror movie was filmed on the UCI campus and the campus houses concerts for big stars like Kelly Clarkson and Common. Theyíve got a lot of Greek life, a movie theatre†on campus, and truly something for everyone. They have three different levels for their school sports, differing by how formal and competitive they are; the intercollegiate level, the select level and a rec level.

And now for the academic stuff.

UCI has the highest number of female faculty in their computer science out of all US colleges. The computer science department also boasts a teacher to student ratio of 1:11! Both of those are very impressive. Thereís research opportunities for all of the different learning schools of UCI, whether you want to go into Social Science, Social Psychology (thatís right, thereís a separate department just for social psychology), Computer Technology, Humanities, or one of their other fields. In addition, they offer job and academic counseling, nearly 24 hour study help, and paid and unpaid internships. UCI has no football team (leading to a joke about their football team being undefeated) because it spent that money on its third library. And no, thatís not a typo; UCI has not one, not two, but†three†huge libraries on campus, holding (if memory serves) over a million books. Thatís a lot of books! And for book lovers like me, increases UCIís appeal.

Overall, getting to go on my first college tour was a great experience. I learned a lot about the school and grew to love it even more than I did based on what I knew about it from the internet. :) My mom made sure to take a few pics while we were there and my dad and I bought souvenirs to remember the trip.

To conclude, go Anteaters!

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