Monday, January 23, 2012

St. Olaf vs. Augustana (Part One)

Being a junior in high school, I have also become a prospective student for many colleges. I have taken three on-campus college visits in the past six months. Many would say that I am starting early, but the earlier you start, the more you get to see and the easier it will be to make your decision. As I have mentioned in past blogs, I have been raised to believe I should go to a four-year, private, Liberal Arts College, in the Midwest. It is all I have really ever known and it is all I want. Recently I took a visit at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL and at St. Olaf in Northfield, MN. Here were my thoughts regarding these two visits:


-          St. Olaf: I went during August and it was in full bloom with all of the trees. The campus was located on top of a hill and was set apart from the town. There were many trees and it was very green. I loved that the campus had sort of an “older” feel to it. The buildings had been renovated and it had a very elegant, but homely vibe.

-          Augustana: I went to Augustana during the winter. It was chilly, but nothing unbearable. The campus was also surrounded by trees and the buildings were older as well. However, they were renovated, but weren’t as nice on the inside at St. Olaf. I was told that they would be doing more renovations within the next year. The campus was located on a hill, but also had classrooms and dorms not located on the hill. That meant that there were a lot of stairs. However, this made it feel like the campus was bigger and more spread out which was nice; everyone wouldn’t always be right on top of each other.


-          St. Olaf: St. Olaf is known throughout the nation for having one of the best college cafeterias. This was definitely true from what I could see. Their dining area was huge; they do this to make everyone feel as if they are a community and it makes it feel like you are all together, which you are. This cafeteria looked amazing and smelled amazing. The student I asked had nothing bad to say about it! The cafeteria also looked like it had a great selection of food on a daily basis.

-          Augustana: The cafeteria was not impressive at all. I would say it was about the size of my high school cafeteria. The food did not look as appetizing and didn’t smell as good. It also appeared to be about the same quality of food as we get in high school, which is really not saying a lot. The dining area was also very small. Because it was so small, they have two cafeterias on campus. This was kind of off-putting because I didn’t get the feeling that the students all wanted to be together, like I did at St. Olaf.

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