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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Atlanta Meets the ILC

My alarm went off at exactly 5 AM, and surprisingly, I woke up the first time it went off. The bed at the Hilton was so comfortable that I didn’t even want to leave. When I finally convinced myself to get up, I got ready and packed my things. Elexis and I were downstairs by 5:40 AM, and we all got into another shuttle. Now we were off to the airport yet again.

When we checked in at the airport, Joanne, Rudy, Elexis, and I got TSA Pre-Approval, so we didn't have to take off our shoes at security, and made the entire process go a lot smoother. At this time, everyone was starving, so we went to go eat breakfast at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant before we boarded the plane. The day was off to a good start with good food and good music. (The restaurant played all of the songs that I loved)

On the plane, I was sitting next to Rudy and Joanne yet again, and everyone fell asleep right when the plane took off. What was interesting about this flight was that we wished a girl named Alexa happy birthday, but not in an ordinary way. Instead of having candles to blow out, all of the passengers on board pressed the assistance button, which lit up the entire plane, and we sang happy birthday to her. Afterwards, she blew on the mic and we all turned off the lights. It was really nice, and I’ve never seen that before.
The Plane Train

We safely landed in Atlanta at 11 AM. The airport really surprised me because we had to ride a train just to go from the gate to the luggage claim, and I was just amazed at how humongous it was. When we were getting our luggage, Jun was “randomly” inspected by a police officer to make sure it was her luggage. Maybe she thought the innocent Jun was suspicious?

After we all grabbed our luggage, we rode on another shuttle and headed to Holiday Inn, where we just dropped our things and went straight to Emory University. What I noticed about the drive was that there were A LOT of trees on the way. It practically looked like a jungle to me, not that there was anything wrong about that. I also learned that Pepsi was not that welcomed in Atlanta, since Coca-Cola was founded here. Anyways, when we went to Emory University, we first went to the information session, with Scott Allen, an Admissions Officer, as our speaker. I actually learned a lot about the application process, and what they specifically look for when we apply. According to Mr. Allen, Admissions Officers look for the four P's: Preparation, Potential, Personality, and Perspective. I also learned a little bit of the history of Emory and Oxford University, which was pretty interesting.

When all questions were answered, we went on a tour around the university led by Maddie Clifton. I honestly believe that our cohort has the perfect timing for everything, because yesterday when we arrived at Houston, it was pouring the entire day, and today Atlanta was raining at random times. It even rained right when the tour began, then it went back to the sunshine, and back to rain yet again. After the tour ended at around 3:30 PM, we were wet and sweaty at the same time. The weather in the East Coast is definitely not forgiving. After this tour, I realized that Emory University wasn't really the right university for me, mostly because it was a Liberal Arts school and I want to major in Engineering. Don't get me wrong, I loved the campus, but it just didn't feel like the right university for me.

The inside of the DOC
For lunch, we took yet another shuttle to a restaurant called Community Barbecue. Right when we opened the door,  the smell of freshly cooked barbecue filled our noses. They had an extensive menu, and we couldn't decide on what to eat, so we all agreed on ordering a combo platter. We basically got one of everything, and we just shared it with each other. Their food was truly amazing, and I'm glad we ate lunch there. 

The aftermath
To burn off all of the food we ate, we just walked back to our hotel, which was incredibly close by. Then, we checked into our hotel rooms and decided on who gets what room again. This time, the decision was made by a coin toss, and as a result, Joanne, Elexis, and I shared a room, while Jun and Chiamaka share another. Sadly, Holiday Inn didn't have an extra bed for us, so Elexis and I had to share one bed. After we relaxed a bit in our rooms, we all went to the pool for a quick swim, and it was back to our hotel rooms. Initially, we were supposed to go downtown, but Mr. Hillyer said that it would be too expensive so we just stayed in the hotel for the rest of the night.

Today actually wasn't as tiring as I thought, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow, when we finally arrive in Philadelphia!
At the entrance to Emory University

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