By Jacqueline Risch
From the Big Apple to the famous Ivy Leagues, Tempe Prep covered it all! Over fall break, juniors and seniors had the opportunity to travel along the East Coast for a week-long college and history tour. Students traveled to Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania exploring different universities while learning the history of our nation. These upperclassmen saw Yale, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the location of the Boston Massacre, Alexander Hamilton’s grave, and even a Broadway show!
When asked about her favorite part of her trip, junior Chloe Darling revealed it was the “bonding with all the students” and “learning what I wanted to look for in a college” that made her visit to New England so special. Not only was the trip informational, but it also provided the experience of getting to know students in other classes better. Lots of memories were created including laughs from funny souveniers, aching feet, and an unplanned dinner in the Brown University dining hall!
From a college perspective, senior Abbi Harb was absolutely blown away by the uniqueness of each university. Abbi describes being “so in awe of some of the colleges I went to.” When asked if she thought the Ivy schools lived up to their reputations, Abbi thought “they lived up to their expectations, but they were a lot more humble than I was expecting… I was expecting out-of-reach requirements and admission processes, but the whole experience was very humbling. [The Ivy’s] are looking for not just an intelligent person, but a well-rounded person: someone who knows themselves, the world, and knows just how to live.”
Junior Nolan Nicholson also gave further insight as to what he admired about the universities he visited. When asked what made certain universities stand out, he responded that Yale was unique since “all the students seemed [like] they knew each other and were friendly.”
With respect to applications, Abbi also expressed that seeing the colleges first hand “helped me out very much. The tips the admission counselors gave us for what to put, or not to put, on our applications” helped, as well as “what they’re looking for: to be specific, to be unique, and really find a college that works for you and is going to put you out of your comfort zone a little.” Knowing that her fellow upperclassmen got this special experience to see what competitive schools are looking for, she especially recommends to “work hard, start early, and do the Common App over the summer!”
After closing out the trip with a delicious stop at Philadelphia’s historical Reading Terminal Market for cheesesteaks, students are now prepared to set goals and design a strategy for getting into elite schools. “I’m already planning it out in my head,” Chloe states. “I’ve changed my goals: I’ve set ideas in my head for what I want to do to help me get to where I want to be.” While Chloe definitely recommends the trip, she also recommends listening “to the weather forecast … and [keeping] an open mind about all the colleges!”
Article by Jacqueline Risch, a student staff writer 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 .