Brebeuf Sophomores Get a Taste of Higher Education

College Trip Review

Paul Tinkle and Hugh Pebworth

On February 19th, around 220 Brebeuf sophomores went on two separate college visit trips to experience four colleges and universities in Indiana. The trip had been planned weeks before by the Brebeuf College Counseling department, and for many sophomores, it was their first time visiting a college. The trip showcased the difference between a large research university and a small liberal arts school.

Purdue-Depauw Trip

Half of the Sophomore Class crowded into two buses and headed for Purdue University and Depauw. First, students visited the Corec, Purdue’s recreational facility, which had multiple basketball courts, an indoor track, and even a rock climbing wall. Then they were put into groups and went on a tour of campus. Students got to see fraternities, dorms, and even some lecture halls on their journey through campus. The campus was full of activity, with students going from class to class, working out at the Corec, and enjoying breakfast in Purdue’s many dining halls. The experience showed many sophomores what life would be like at a large university like Purdue.

After the campus tour, all of the students gathered into a lecture hall where a Purdue student gave a presentation about Campus life, which included living in the college town of West Lafayette, themed parties, and even opportunities for students to test new foods for major companies. Students were told about the school’s numerous majors- Purdue offers more than 200- and heard about chances to study abroad, as well as parts of Purdue’s history, including being the alma mater of famous figures like Neil Armstrong.

After departing from Purdue, the students took another bus ride over to Depauw, a much smaller liberal arts school. There, students were given lunch and a tour of campus. The campus had many opportunities for students to participate in campus life, like a student-run radio. It felt like a ghost town compared to the bustling metropolis of Purdue, although sophomores were assured that an alumnus was granting the school money to add more restaurants and activities for students. They could not boast of the famous graduates that Purdue did, but the Depauw trip showed students that your specific major at a liberal arts school does not matter because a liberal arts education prepares you for many different fields.

Hanover-IU Bus Trip

The other half of the sophomore class clamored aboard three buses heading to Hanover College and then Indiana University.  They began the approximately two hour trip to Hanover, a small liberal arts school outside of Madison, IN on the Ohio River, early in the morning. Students arrived at Hanover and were split into individual groups to take a tour around the campus. They were shown the Brown Campus Center, Hanover’s student center, which houses the cafeteria, student lounges, and the bookstore.  The groups moved onto the Science center to see a typical class and one of only a few collegiate cadaver labs in the country. The students also saw a typical campus dorm room and walked across the campus quad.

Students were also shown the area known as “The point.” It is the only known place in the world where someone standing in a single spot can see a river bend three different times.  Overall, the campus was quiet, as Hanover has 1100 students, but pleasant with temperatures cresting at an unseasonable 70 degrees. After the campus tour, students headed to the Horner Center, which holds recreational facilities, a basketball arena, and classrooms for lunch and a presentation about life at Hanover and the academics there.  Students learned about internships, scholarships, and academic opportunities after Hanover.

After leaving Hanover, students took another bus ride through the hills of Southern Indiana to Bloomington to tour IU. The students were herded once again into tour groups to go around the main area of IU’s sprawling campus.  Students were told about the traditions at IU, including shaking the statue of past president Herman B. Wells’ hand to earn one letter grade higher than you would if you had not.  IU’s campus was buzzing with activity, and many of IU’s 50,000 students were out and about walking in the pleasant weather. Students were shown academic buildings such as the large Ballantine and Woodburn lecture halls. They were then presented with a Question and Answer session with IU students and an Admissions director, who talked about why they chose IU and what made them want to go there.

Although it will still be a year and a half before most sophomores decide where they are going to college, this trip certainly made many think about their options.

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