Days Four and Five: Amherst, Cookies for Dinner, and Williams!

As we made our way towards the end of this busy week, our group took a leisurely start on Thursday. Packing ourselves up, we stopped at the Deluxe Town Diner (full disclosure, this is Ms. Resler’s favorite breakfast spot in the Northeast) before heading to Amherst, MA. 

Finally, it was (relatively) warm and sunny and we arrived in town with enough time to wander around (more bookstores) and get a little familiar with the shops and restaurants surrounding the college. A brief walk from the downtown to the college revealed exactly the kind of New England college campus the area is famous for: brick buildings, rolling lawns, the details of old buildings we’ve gotten so familiar with on our own campus!

With a workout up and down the hills of the college, we found ourselves in a chapel for an extensive info-session. This thorough presentation got us ready to head back out into the fresh air, exploring campus on our own and enjoying all the incredible architecture with vistas of the mountainous Pioneer Valley. 

After Amherst, out tired but happy feet made our way back to the Inn on Boltwood–a lovely hotel featuring fireplaces, cozy nooks, and comfy rooms that made our last overnight of the week a special one (also because with a late lunch we all had cookies for dinner at Insomina Cookies–an essential business for a college town)!

Bright and early in the morning we said farewell to our fancy digs, some with a brief game of chess, and drove to our last visit of the week: William’s College!

Arriving in another incredible picturesque setting, our visit began with a tour: once again we loved the architecture, and our tour guide’s informative talk about favorite buildings, life on campus, the library, a little walk through Williamstown and more!

Back at the admissions building, the group set up in a circle in the admissions living room for an info-session with plenty of time for our questions. With a tip from the William’s staff, chaperones Sydney and Ms. Resler headed downtown to pick up an assortment of salads and sandwiches for lunch while the students caught up with recent Emma Willard graduate Rachel Schmidt ’21!

Piling back into our van, spirits high from our excellent Williams experience, we enjoyed the drive through the winter countryside before arriving back on campus: home (just in time for a fire drill test)!

Day Three: Boston University, Northeastern University, Newbury Street, Tufts!

Bright and early the group made our way to Boston University for an information session and tour. The sessions were packed, with large tour groups making their way around campus in some pretty intense winds! After marveling at the lovely buildings in the BU area, and enjoying our tour, it was time for lunch!

We headed to Newbury Street for a relaxing lunch before spending some time walking around to stretch our legs before a little bit before visiting Northeastern University! This was our first (outdoor) self-guided tour of the trip, and the campus was packed! Current students were making their way all across the sprawling campus, but we were able to get a feeling for life at Northeastern by visiting the major campus sites and even checking out a few buildings where classes and research happens. 

The wind got the better of us in some moments, and we happily piled back into our trusty Emma van to drive to Tufts University: there, we ran into the elephant, and explored a bit of campus using their self-guided tour points. The view from the hill at Tufts had everyone thinking of our own Mount Ida, but everyone was a fan of the general vibe and architecture of the campus. 

Tired and a little wind-blown, we stopped at Fenway to decompress with some bowling before heading back to our AirBnB and settling in for the night. Ordering dinner in and hunkering down, students hung out on their own (time to relax) or filled the living room with laughter before everyone tucked in for a solid night’s rest thinking about tomorrow: a late start to get us packed up and on the road to Amherst College!

Day Two: Wellesley, The New England Aquarium, and Boston

We may have escaped the heavy, wet snow blanketing Mount Ida, but we haven’t escaped entirely unscathed: a little soggy, we made our way through the rain to Wellesley College! 

Under the branches of dripping pines our group made the decision to keep our self-guided tour to the van, and drive around the campus to get our full of the picturesque buildings and gorgeous natural scenery with an impromptu informational tour from one of the chaperones who is familiar with the campus. 

With the rain turning to snow, we made the decision to move our look at Northeastern (also a self-guided outdoor tour) to Wednesday and take refuge inside the New England Aquarium: 

(Thank you to Flavia A. ’24 for these aquarium photos!)

After that we did brave some weather with a quick walk over to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market for lunch and some wandering before piling back into the van and making our home-away-from-home in an AirBnB. After settling in, the group met up to decide our course of action for dinner and plans for the free time through the rest of our visit. 

This evening, we spent some time in Harvard Bookstore–keep an eye out for a haul of what we ended up picking out–and eating burgers and fries (with a stop for snacks and forgotten toiletries) before heading back to the house under some snowy skies. 

Tomorrow: BU, Northeastern, and Tufts!

Day One: Mount Holyoke, Clark University, and the mall!

Day one of the New England college tour is off! Heading out from Mount Ida early this morning, we made it to Mount Holyoke college for a tour with two best-friend-tour-guides! Though the day was grey, the historic campus reminded us of Emma Willard School with its circa 1830s architecture, impressive towering library, expansive greens (or, they would be, come spring) and endless traditions. 

After an information session chock-full of the student and alum experience, where students had time to ask questions ranging from the wellness resources available to continuing crew. Our guides then picked us up for a quick lunch in the dining hall before piling back into the van to make our way to Clark University. 

Once there, we were greeted with information packets and snacks, before another information session featuring a current student to detail the experience. Our two tour guides led us throughout the campus, including athletic facilities and Clark University’s first building. 

The first two visits crossed off the list, we headed over to the Natick Mall for some window shopping, actual shopping, dinner, and ice cream before resting for the day tomorrow: Wellesley College and Northeastern University!