College campuses are not places I regularly seek out as stops on my road trips, but occasionally they can be historically significant or offer something unique, kitschy or cool that’s relevant to the place you are visiting. A quick visit can usually be accomplished in about 30 minutes. I’ll be the first to admit, one of the biggest motivating factors is leaving with a real deal souvenir t-shirt bought at the student store. But beyond that, it’s also pretty incredible to walk the grounds and to know that you were in the presence of academic greatness. Here are my top 3 picks.
|MIT is the epicenter of math and science geekdom and you can just feel the genius of the student body radiating in the air. My kids and I walked around in our search for the student store in awe knowing that each and every student we passed was ridiculously brilliant. A hilarious high point was someone asking my 17 yr. old daughter for directions on campus. She was flabbergasted that someone actually thought she was a student there.|
|Harvard, while only a short car ride away from MIT was infinitely different. Harvard is the oldest university in the US founded in 1636. It was so awe inspiring to be on this storied campus, where most students can only dream of attending. We found the statue of John Harvard in Harvard Yard and did as tradition dictates- rubbed his shoe for good luck (his shoe is pretty shiny as you can imagine). Overall we were surprised at how small and intimate the campus was in comparison to its reputation. As we asked one student for directions to the student store, mid conversation, he caught himself picking his nose. Pretty hilarious, I guess academic brilliance does not always translate into good manners.|
|Lastly, we visited Yale in New Haven, Connecticut. Or as my daughter Lilia likes to refer to it as “the 3rd university on the college tour of schools guaranteed to reject me”. As we arrived on campus I wasn’t sure if I was at Yale or the set of the latest Harry Potter movie, the architecture is just magical. As we passed one of the dorm buildings or a “college” as it’s called, we could imagine passageways, known only to those in secret societies like the Skull and Bones. This campus was my personal favorite.|
I can only hope that some of the brilliance in the air at all three of these institutions soaked into our brains but more importantly I truly hope that Lilia, Isaac and Joel were all inspired to reach for the stars for as I always tell my children-If you can see it-you can be it!