The bus packed with 23 girls made its way down the interstate. The girls sat with their friends and talked about how excited they were to finally go to a college campus. During the ride, they dreamed of university life and what it would be like. They would soon find out when they heard the words they had been waiting to hear: “Okay guys we’re almost there.”
In June, students from St. Mary’s Dominican High School traveled on the week-long Summer College Tour. The students, accompanied by guidance counselor Mrs. Dawn Frick and Dean of Student Services Mrs. Katey Alexander (’91) took a bus trip across the country to visit the University of Memphis, Rhodes College, St. Louis University, Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, Washington University, University of Tulsa, Southern Methodist University and Rice University.
Dominican hosts the Summer College Tour to give sophomores, juniors and seniors a chance to visit colleges outside of Louisiana. College counselor Mrs. Wendy Grubb looks at the schools that Dominican girls are applying to and then chooses the destinations, according to Mrs. Frick.
The students were glad they signed up. According to junior Joy Richardson, the tour gave her a better idea of the type of school and environment she is looking for. Richardson said the tour opened her up to new experiences and a chance to meet new friends. Additionally, she said that she grew closer to the friends she already had. “I never had a perspective on college before. I never wanted to talk about it,” said Richardson. “Now all I want to talk about is college.”
The same thing goes for junior Pelarr Edwards. “It gave me a more realistic view of college and taught me what I like and what I dislike in a college,” said Edwards. “I would recommend going on this trip because it’s a chance to see colleges outside of Louisiana and see what college fits you.”
Sophomores Kaylee Gele’ and Madison Gauthier agree that the tour taught them the importance of community and environment when looking into colleges. Gauthier said it taught her what to look for and how to investigate internships that the college can offer related to different majors. Gele’ recommends the tour to other students because “if you’re worried, it’ll help you envision what college actually is and help decide what college is right for you.”
Even the moderators learned something new about college from this tour. Mrs. Alexander went into this trip thinking every college would be the same but soon changed her mind once the trip was over. “I realized that even though every college essentially offers the same thing, each one has something that makes it unique,” said Mrs. Alexander.
Universities that the group loved included Rhodes College in Memphis and Loyola University in Chicago. Rhodes was a group favorite with everyone saying that they loved the community feel and that it reminded them of Dominican. Loyola University in Chicago was another favorite because of the campus on the lake, the curriculum offered and the community. “That’s a school I can see Dominicans girls going to. That’s a college our girls would be comfortable attending,” said Mrs. Frick.
In between college visits, the group also toured different areas along the route. Favorite activities ranged from the visit to Six Flags in St. Louis to touring the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial in Memphis.
Before they knew it, the college tour was over, and it was time to go home. The bus packed with 23 girls made its way down the interstate, this time on the way back to Louisiana. The girls sat with their friends and talked about how excited they were for college. On the journey home, they dreamed of going to college and reminisced about their memories on the universities’ campuses. The end of their college trip meant the beginning of their college journey.
- Grace DiFranco