Looking ahead: Class of 2021 embarks on college trip

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The last week of January, Townsend Harris High School juniors left for the annual college trip. The six colleges visited include Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and Johns Hopkins University. Students were able to attend information sessions, have a meal on campus, and speak with THHS alumni. 

Guidance counselor Jeremy Wang was the main organizer of this trip. “I usually start planning [college trips] around late May early June, and as soon as I have a few schools that have agreed to entertain us, I would send an email to the class president,” he said. “In terms of organization, those who helped include chaperones and alumna. I reached out to alumni who graduated in 2018 and 2019, and we have had students from Georgetown, Boston, Harvard, Northeastern, and Brown help out in previous trips. On this trip, we depended on our alumni at Princeton and UPenn.” 

Mr. Wang hopes that through this trip, students are able to get a realistic view of these schools. “Now the trend is that the students will get into a ‘fit’ college, meaning that the schools will be a good fit to the student academically and socially. The college tour enables you to imagine yourself on a campus for the next four years of your life.” 

Juniors were also able to gain valuable insight into the college application process and the attributes of individual colleges by speaking with alumni and touring campuses. Junior Itamar Hindi commented, “The college trip was a great opportunity as it helped to open my eyes to other colleges I haven’t ever considered in the past.”

Junior Nancy Jiang added, “I was able to understand more about each school and their focuses. I understood that not everything was about my SAT score; my transcript, essays, supplements, recommendations, and extracurricular activities all played a major role in my acceptance.”

According to Mr. Wang, the cost of this trip includes the expense of  the charter bus, hotel stay, and meals.

Nancy stated, “I think the cost of the trip was fair. It wasn’t very expensive or very cheap. We got a very nice coach bus and we got to eat at all the different colleges, allowing us to have a very comfortable trip.”

Junior Syed Ali added, “The cost of the trip is fair especially if you dorm with four people which most people do… The experience with your friends you have little time with is priceless.”

Because of popular demand, Mr. Wang has also planned an additional college trip this year. Traditionally, juniors have the option to attend two college trips, one in the fall and one in the spring. This college trip will take place in early March and will include tours of Amherst, Willams, Cornell, and Binghamton.

Photo by Cynthia Hardy.