Well, it is that time of the year again. Students are graduating from High School and going off to college. Before you would commit to a college, you would want to have some sort of campus tour, right? Since we are currently living in a global pandemic, High School graduates are not able to get the same experience I, or maybe you had when choosing their dream college. Aside from the pandemic, there are also High School graduates who’s dream college is across the country but not able to pay a visit for a campus tour due to transportation. So what is the solution to these issues? Virtual Tours of Colleges, of course!
I have said this many other times and I will say it again; Virtual Tours are super reliable! Think about it, you can be in the comfort of your own home checking out some of your dream schools in your pajamas. You do not have to worry about touring a campus with a masks on the whole time standing six feet apart (which is what we all should be doing when in social gatherings). Don’t forget about the most important benefit of a Virtual Tour; it is FREE, FREE, FREE! No need to be paying out of pocket for gas or a flight.
How about we get started on our Virtual Tours of Colleges? I am going to take you to four of the best colleges in the nation; and to my High School graduates, hopefully I can ease up your decision on where you like to call your home for the next four years. Here we go!
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Walking up Janss Steps, we are located in the amazing Westwood Los Angeles, California is UCLA! Lots of people claim that UCLA is the most beautiful college in the United States; but hey, we will be the judge of that. From the look of it right now with his bright green grass and well structured giant buildings is proving its case!
Our first stop at UCLA is Royce Hall. This is the most iconic building on campus. It is usually the main building that students take pictures of to post on their social media platforms, like Instagram. Inside Royce Hall are the majority for the language and literature classes that are in session usually. In the middle of the building is the main auditorium where a lot of important speeches and performances are held.
Now we are standing at Powell Library. Walking inside you will notice that it looks different from your typical College library since it has a Romans kind of architecture. The windows are huge and stair rails are hand carved. As we walk inside to the second floor, you can see a beautiful vintage lamp hanging from the tall ceilings along with the brown-beige walls.
Next is this interesting section of the campus called Bruins Plaza. It is a great area to hang or do some extracurricular activities. In Bruins Plaza, there is the student union center, the school store, food spots, and even a gymnasium. One thing that stands out the most is that in front of the Jackie Robinson Athletics & Recreation Complex is a big and bronze 42 statue in honor of former LA Dodgers player, Jackie Robinson. You can also see the famous Bruin bear statue, the moscato of UCLA.
Last, but not least, we now look at the UCLA Hall of Fame. This location is filled with nothing but trophies. You are probably thinking, why are there so many trophies here? UCLA used to have the most wins of championships out of every College in the United States; until Stanford University stole the throne a couple years ago.
Walking past the dorms, the Inverted Fountain and down the Janss steps we leave UCLA. 10 out of 10 a beautiful campus. So what is next on our Virtual Tours of Colleges?
Oh yes, we are going to the Ivy Leagues today! Welcome to the one and only Harvard University located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. If you have never heard of Harvard University, then you probably have been living under a rock. The campus is pretty spread out. Classroom buildings are about a ten mile radius from each other. Famous individuals like Mark Zuckerburg, The Obama’s, Natalie Portman, and many more have attended Harvard University. Let’s take a walk though campus and see what these Alumni’s loved about it!
As we walk through the Harvard Yards, you would notice it does not look like you average campus with stone or concrete. There is brick architecture everywhere, from the grounds to the buildings. Along with it is a huge quad space with lots of grass. This campus is very elegant to look at since it has been around for so long.
When standing in the center of the Harvard Yards , you will see the iconic Memorial Library. Just like UCLA’s Royce Hall, the Memorial Library is also a popular building that students would take pictures of to post on social media. Another iconic building across from the Memorial Library is the Memorial Church. Walking inside, it looks ancient. It has red flooring and white pews with a high baloney in the back of the Church.
Walking down, let’s stop and take a look at this famous statue on campus. This is a statue of John Harvard, the founder of Harvard University. It sits high and mighty looking over all of the Harvard Yards. Typically, there is a line of people wanting to take pictures with the statue. You will notice John Harvard is an all black statue, except the top of his shoes are like a bronze color. Reason being is because there is a Harvard tradition where if you rub his feet, then you will receive good luck and knowledge. The paint has come off over the years by students doing that. Also, not to mention, another tradition along with it is you have to urinate on it before you graduate, so you might want to wash your hands!
Up next, we head over to the Harvard Library. Walking inside the library, you will see a huge amount of space with high ceilings and white marble walls. There are giant pillars and two stairwells, a balcony that is also covered in white marble, and a beautiful chandelier hanging right in the middle. Going into the reading room of the library, it also has giant pillars throughout the space, bookshelves against the walls, and massive windows that bring in a good amount of sunlight.
Last area we will check out on campus is Harvard Commons. This is one of the best study spots on campus. It was recently renovated, too! Walking inside, the main lobby has red-orange couches, glass doors & walls, high ceilings, and huge balconies. It has a great aesthetic to it!
When exiting Harvard, we enter our way into Harvard Square. There are shops, bars & restaurants, and many other stores. It still has the same architecture as the campus with the brick. They did that purposely so it can intertwine with each other and so you can still have that “Harvard feeling”. So take a look around and Harvard Square; but don’t take too long. We need to still head over to our next Virtual Tour of Colleges!
University of Alabama
Roll tide! We are going down south to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to take a look at the University of Alabama. Although they are very known for having an amazing football team, University of Alabama is also known for having a beautiful campus!
We will start our Virtual Tour here in the Quad. It differs from many other quads on College campuses. The Quad here at University of Alabama splits into two areas, the west side is for academic studies, where you are surrounded by trees, benches and quiet places to do your school work. The east side for recreational activities where it provides open spaces where you can throw a frisbee or kick a soccer ball around. In the heart of the Quad is a monument honoring a University of Alabama icon, Denny Chimes. Across from that is the President’s Mansion. It is a big white mansion with pillars in front of it. It is not hard to miss.
Next, we are at the Ferguson Center. The 300,000 square foot student union building. Inside is the school store, an art gallery, and the Ferguson Theatre, and food court. There are also offices for the fraternity & sorority life, student government association, and university housing.
Now we are at the Robert. E. Witt Activity Center. Here, you notice the 32 foot rock climbing wall. Huge, right? With many floors of the activity center, thi includes weight rooms, basketball courts, and rooms for floor hockey and soccer.
We now head over to the most iconic place in the University of Alabama. This is where the magic happens, the Bryant Denny Stadium. It is not a far walk at all from campus. In this iconic stadium, it underwent a 93 million renovation– that is crazy, but true. With its dome shape, it can fit thousands of students.
When exiting outside the campus, you will notice these huge mansion houses. Those are owned by the University of Alabama’s fraternity & sorority Greek life. With 45 fraternities and 28 sororities, about 30% of students are involved in Greek life here on campus. That is a good chunk! So, with that big chunk of students, they are living in the big mansions. It is shocking how big each house is.
That was a great tour! The ambiance of the whole campus was nothing but great vibes. You know what they say– everything is better in the south. Maybe our final stop will prove us wrong, because we are going back up north, let’s wrap up our Virtual Tours of Colleges!
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)
At last, not only we made it back to our hometown, but we made it to homestretch! Another one of the Ivy League’s we are touching base on; Located in University City in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the University of Pennsylvania. Famous individuals like John Legend, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and many more attended UPenn. From previous experience, it is a great campus and you will not be disappointed– so let’s get into it!
Similar to Harvard, UPenn also has that same brick architecture all around most of campus. There are benches, bright green trees, and the brown brick buildings. It looks even more beautiful in the fall. On the west side of campus, there is Locust Walk; a pathway that has a snake pattern that goes all the way down to the end of campus. Walking down you will spot the high rises of student dorms and construction that is going on. Also, you will see giant art pieces that are phenomenal.
What a long walk on Locust Walk! We are now located on Main Campus. Here is the most iconic building at UPenn, College Hall. In front of it is a big statue high up of the founder of UPenn, Benjamin Franklin right in the middle. Yup, that one dude on the $100 bill. Also, along the sides are a giant library, a theater, and all they way down is a duplicate of the famous LOVE statue.
Up next, we head to Fisher Library. The architecture of the exterior is breathtaking. It is nothing but brick on the outside, even the ground. The interior is also beautiful and elegant. A lot of students like to take photos of this iconic building.
Walking by Penn Commons where it has its famous UPenn crest logo right in front of the building, let’s check out Franklin Field, where it is also connected to Weightman Hall. This is where the Philadelphia Eagles used to play. Sports, Graduation, and many more events typically occur here. It has a huge track field all around and can fit many students.
Well, that is it! University of Pennsylvania and all of the other colleges we took a Virtual Tour at! Thank you for coming along with me, and just remember– when in doubt, take a Virtual Tour.
About The Author: Sean Boyle
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