So last week this time, I was packing up to fly all the way (this sounds very dramatic) to St. Louis for the second time, for a graduate school conference sponsored by Target Hope at Washington University in St. Louis. The conference was only about 3 days, but it was an amazing experience! So I am going to talk about some of the highlights of the conference, and just some of the overall experiences.
You know how that saying goes, “First impressions are everything,” Washington University in St. Louis definitely got that message and embodied it in their entire school presentation. The school is absolutely stunning. All the buildings on campus have the same matching; kind of “old brick” feel. All the buildings seem like they were built back in the day, however, the inside is entirely modern. Every building I went in on that campus was breathtakingly modern: State of the art equipment, fun bright and vibrant color schemes, technology systems used in every building. It was just amazing. This may be standard at other schools, but at Hampton University our stuff does not look like that – at all – not that I don’t love my beautiful school. The school is nestled on the edge of the Forest Park area of St. Louis, which is sort of like Central Park in New York. Apparently the person, who designed the park, wanted it to “feel like you are literally in the park/forest with feeling like you are still in the city.” He did not only accomplish this goal, he went above and beyond it! The campus is literally its own entity within the city/park. The entire time I was on campus, I did not feel like I was within this “big city.” I could see the buildings and stuff, but I didn’t feel IN the city. I loved the campus vibe and just the overall beauty of the campus. I felt like I was in this brand new, beautiful, environment that I did not want to leave! The campus was just soooooooooo beautiful and just so well kept. I never saw any trash anywhere, and the grass was so neat and luscious – I just wanted to lay in the field it was so just awesome! There were all these weddings going on. I saw probably 3-4 weddings going on that we passed just while on our campus tour.
I could talk about the beauty of the campus for HOURS! Anyways, so now I am going to talk about the dorm room set up for underclassmen. So I stayed in the dorm called “South 40,” and oh my goodness! Compared to these dorms, I’ve been living in a shack on a dirt road! This dorm was so lovely! The dorm room was set up in a suite style. So my assigned room was a single dorm room (just for me), within a larger dorm room of three other “single” rooms. Each of the rooms shared a bathroom, shower, and common “living room” area. This room was so great! I loved having my own private room just for me, within a “community” of rooms. I thought it was very incredible. The room was super clean, and the University even provided us with linen and towels to use while we were there, like a hotel. I felt like I was living large and in charge.
The Conference involved a tour of the beautiful city of St. Louis! So the tour of the city was great. If we are being honest it was not a tour of the entire city, but more of just a tour of the Forest Park area. Which was great still. I have been to St. Louis previously because I lived relatively close to the area as a child, and so my family always went to St. Louis for fun. I learned things I had never known before about the city. It wasn’t like all the facts you can read on the Internet either; it was facts that only a person who has lived there a significant amount of time would know. Even tho the area under the St. Louis Arch was under construction, I still had to get a picture!
So the first excursion was a trip to the St. Louis Zoo. Even though we only had about 45 minutes to cover this large and beautiful zoo, my group of friends and I “power walked” a little more than half of the zoo! The Zoo was so awesome, and the animals seemed to be well kept. If you ever go to St. Louis I highly suggest you go to the zoo – it’s free!
The next super fun excursion was a trip to the City Museum. While the City Museum is not free, it was worth the money to get in. The Museum is not a museum in the traditional sense, it reminds me of an adult size playground. The museum even has a rooftop Ferris wheel. When I was a child I was terrified about climbing around on the attractions that were in the ceilings, as well as going down the 10-foot slide – But I faced my fears and had a BLAST at the City Museum! If you are visiting STL, DEFINITELY GO TO THE CITY MUSEUM.
The food was amazing as well! We ate mostly on campus, but we did go out to a very nice sit down dinner. The restaurant had my favorite food of all time – toasted ravioli! Another thing I want to highlight about Washington University in St. Louis is that the entire campus is green. There are recycle bins everywhere! You wont find any bottled water on campus, but they do have super clean bottle refill stations. Overall I had a BLAST at the Target Hope Graduate School Conference at Washington University in St. Louis, I learned so much about applying to graduate school, graduate school life, and just a lot about a city I’ve known about for years. Who knows, maybe next year I will be attending Washington University in St. Louis for graduate school!
Keep it Classy,