It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since my college decision process. It feels like just yesterday everyone I knew was asking me where I was going to school. It was a stressful time filled with lots of tours, which I won’t lie, began to blend together. However, at the end of the day I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s a very exciting time in which you get to personally choose the place and city where you are going to spend the next four years or more. The excitement of the process also makes it nerve-wracking. How do you find a place that feels like home?
When I came to Odyssey Day, I knew that I had found my new home for the next four years. My excruciating and stressful process of choosing a school was now over!
I began my trek to Odyssey Day that morning on the Amtrak train. I live right outside of Philadelphia, so it was very easy for me to grab a quick morning train with my mom and be there in time for the day’s events. Immediately, I remember being impressed by the green campus and stunning architecture. Odyssey Day marked my first trip to Catholic and it was very different than the place I had pictured in my head; it was way more beautiful! No matter how much research you do or how many virtual tours you take, nothing beats the vibe and reality of a school.
First, we made our way to the Admissions Office before our official tour began. I remember being very impressed by how kind and courteous the students and administrators were; it felt like I was in the spotlight. Even on our tour, I felt like I still received personal attention and was able to learn a lot about my tour guide and her experience at CUA.
After our tour, we got a glimpse inside the Basilica – its beauty and vastness is mesmerizing. Then we headed off to lunch, which was very delicious and gave us a chance to enjoy the ability to be outside on a nice day in the city. I’m not kidding when I say that my mom still talks about how delicious the lunch was and how impressed she was with the large array of options, especially for a Friday during Lent.
The rest of Odyssey Day was filled with breakout sessions and activities. It was nice to be able to learn so much about the programs I was interested in. I attended sessions about study abroad for example, while my mom investigated the financial aid sessions. On a normal campus tour you would not be able to do this, but I think that it really helped in making my decision. I saw the broad range of activities that Catholic offers, and felt immediately welcomed to explore all of them. They really opened their arms to me and wanted to give me all of the information they had.
On the train ride back, I described to my mom how I felt accepted and welcomed to the school. I learned more than I ever could imagine about college life and felt the vibe of the community, one in which I could see myself in. Now that I am on the other side, I see how much time and effort goes in to preparing for Odyssey Day. It really is a day focused solely on you, an accepted student. Everyone wants you to feel the same sense of community that they feel and they really go the extra mile to ensure this. I cannot recommend Odyssey Day enough to experience all the campus has to offer.
Also, as an extra bonus, coming to Odyssey Day is a surefire way to experience DC’s beautiful springtime weather and famous cherry blossoms. Here’s the obligatory Mom-made-me-take-it college edition picture of me in front of the cherry blossoms last year!
– Anna Hallahan