While most of the Midtown and Metro students were on spring break, Midtown’s College Orientation Program (COP) was touring universities across the southern United States. The road trip included three universities, four national parks and seven cities.
“The Southern College Tour looked like a great opportunity to see colleges during spring break,” said Armando Sanchez, a Midtown 9th grader. Sanchez was one of thirteen students who went on the week-long road trip. The group visited St. Louis University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Alabama.
LSU was the most popular among the students who attended the trip. All of the students plan to apply. Some because of the “great academics,” some because of the “big school atmosphere,” and some because of the football culture.
On the campus tours, the students not only learned about the individual universities, but college life as a whole. “I learned in college you have to be responsible for your things and know how to spend your time and money,” said Dominic Celio, a Midtown 10th grader.
The road trip was not just about touring universities, it was also an opportunity for some much needed sunshine.
“While the top priority was to expose the students to universities outside of Illinois, we also wanted them to experience the outdoors. We hiked at Mark Twain National Forest, De Soto National Forest, and Chattahoochee National Forest. We also hiked the Chimney Top trail at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is becoming a bit of a Midtown tradition—this is the 3rd group of students I've taken there,” said Mike Walsh, the COP Program Manager. They also were able to swim in the Gulf of Mexico, which for some students was the first time seeing and swimming in the ocean.
“This was the best experience I ever had,” said Luis Magana, a Midtown 10th grader when summing up his experience.
Midtown has made this spring break college visit week a tradition, and Walsh hopes to continue it in the future.