By Maya Kostov and Clara Moffitt
21 students, 16 colleges, 5 states, 5 days. These stats seem hard to believe. So many universities in so little time, right? However, Tempe Prep’s second annual East Coast Trip allowed sophomores and juniors to cruise along the other side of the United States, making goals and exploring their futures along the way.
Although waking up at 6:30 each day to tour the most selective universities in the country might not sound like an incredibly pleasant thing to do over break, these students on the trip are bringing back goals, memories, and of course, memes.
The trip started off with energy abound as we sang our favorite music class bops—Hotaru Koi, O Cessate, Lo Yi Sa Goi, and the crowd favorite: Non Nobis—down the gate when boarding the plane.
Starting in Harvard square, the plan to make a Tik Tok was born. Imagine 21 TPA high school students standing dead center of the most prestigious university in the country learning some root tootin’ cowboy choreography and singing “yeah we got the two step and cowboy boogie grab a sweetheart …” That’s right, bringing our Liberal Arts upbringing across the country.
But in all reality, touring Harvard and other institutions such as Columbia, Yale, UPenn, and more opened our eyes to a future completely in our hands. Most of the students on the trip had never even been on the East Coast before, so it was a very interesting opportunity for a lot of them.
When asked about the universities, Junior Jake Medlen says, “My favorite school is Harvard because I really like the campus a lot! It wasn’t too city-like, and it wasn’t spread throughout the city too much. It was also more consolidated in a smaller campus and they really have a really good law school which is what I want to do.”
So, in addition to all of the funny jokes, the lessons learned from the trip are unmatched. Junior Brooke Kirk says, “I really enjoyed being able to not only see so many incredible colleges, but also realize what things in regards to college are important to me, like location, size etc. Also, I’m really glad I got to go alongside our College Counselor, Mrs. Moffitt, because after different colleges I was able to talk to her about my likes and dislikes, wants and desires, and she was able to talk to me about other colleges I might be interested in, as well as things I should be aware of.”
The East Coast trip really served as an opportunity to unify the students in attendance, admire history, and realize that the future is one with exciting opportunities and a world open to us. From doing a massive wave in front of the rocky steps to trudging through pouring rain on the Yale campus, sporting Yale sweatshirts simply because we were cold, the trip was one that we won’t forget. And of course, the Tik Tok pursuits did not just end in Harvard. Though none of us became Tik Tok famous for doing trends across the country and for inventing our own genius content, we have a lot (maybe too much) of video content proving that we had a great time.
Junior Noah Frazier leaves us with a poignant reflection of the trip: “I’m so thankful to Mrs Moffitt for making this trip possible. This trip was my first visit to the East Coast and my first time officially touring colleges. Seeing these awesome places in person completely changed how I see them, and I’m so glad I got to do it with classmates and close friends.”
Article by Clara Moffitt and Maya Kostov, student staff writers for De Equitibus, Tempe Preparatory Academy’s student newspaper.
About Tempe Prep: Tempe Preparatory Academy is a tuition-free public charter school in Tempe for students in grades 6-12 that provides a nationally acclaimed liberal arts education based on the Great Books of Western Civilization with an exceptional math, science, foreign language, humanities, and fine arts curriculum. Tempe Prep has been recognized by the Arizona Board of Regents as having the highest percentage of college graduates in the state and has been named the #1 high school in Arizona by Newsweek (America’s Top High Schools 2016). For more information about enrolling at Tempe Prep, visit the school’s website at tempeprep.org.