• My First Week at Oxford

    Without a doubt, there is nothing more exciting and nerve-wrecking than leaving home.

    For me, the part of going to college that made me the most nervous was the concept of being in a new place, with completely new faces all around me. Living in a town where I had gone to school with the same people for 12 years, the prospect of making new friends at Oxford College seemed daunting.

    Selfie at Oxford OlympicsLuckily for me, Oxford College had organized the freshman class into “PAL” groups from the very first day of being on campus. These are groups with around 14 freshmen, and a sophomore leader. From the get go, this made a lot of my fears of starting college diminish. I now was meeting people from all over the world and country, had a group of people to sit with at Lil’s for meals, and was able to get authentic advice about campus life from an Oxford sophomore. What I really loved about PAL groups in general was the fact that we really did have so many chances to bond with each other throughout orientation week. We weren’t just thrown into classes and expected to adjust to college life right away—Oxford first cultivated an environment of support from each other and staff for us to lean on.

    One of the biggest bonding events we did not just as a PAL group, but as a class, was the Oxford Olympics. Coming into orientation week, I was anticipating everyone who was attending to be competitive people by nature, considering the standards students must meet in order to get accepted to an Emory institution. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how encouraging everyone was to each other. During the Oxford Olympics, groups competed against one another in events such as jousting, corn hole, and tricycle relay races. When competing, not only did my own team cheer for me, but the member of other teams congratulated, complimented, and encouraged me as well. It was during the Oxford Olympics, when I not only felt support—but saw others supporting each other, I realized I was part of a truly unique campus community. Oxford OlympicsAt Oxford, the competitiveness of students is equally matched by their support of each other. Students truly want to see others succeed just as much as they want to succeed themselves—it made the campus start to feel like home faster than I ever anticipated it would.

    For me, being so far from home overall was surreal for the first week or so. There’s so many new clubs to discover, food to eat, and friends to make that you barely think of home. It wasn’t till someone told me they were leaving to call their mom around two weeks into college, that I realized I had only sent my parents a few texts here and there. Calling your parents, I discovered, is probably one of the most neglected things that college students don’t do that they really should. Of no fault of their own, the whole experience of being somewhere new really drowns out the thoughts you have of the past. Even if you feel like you have no time while on campus, try to make it a point to call the people who helped you get to college at least once a week. Keep in mind that while you’re gaining tons of new things in your life, they just lost a huge part of theirs.

    A lot of students—including myself—mark on their Oxford agenda, place a sticky note reminder, or set an alarm on their phone reminding them to call their parents. As you’re getting to enter college, remember: it’s important to be invested in your own personal growth as an individual, but also just as important to thank those that made the opportunity of going to college possible.

    Best wishes on your college applications!

    Raquel Solla


    Raquel Solla
    17OX, 19C*
    Major: Undecided
    Windsor, CT

    *Emory University uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Raquel will spend her first two years at Oxford College (17OX) and then graduate with her bachelor’s degree from Emory College in 2019 (19C). So she’s currently a freshman.

  • 10 Tips for Seniors this Fall

    We know you’re in the thick of those college applications, campus visits, and making that all-important college decision. Well, we’ve been there before! We asked our fellow students for their best tips and advice for you along the way, and here’s what they had to say.

    On completing your application:

    1. Treat the application essays seriously – it’s the only chance the admission counselors get to hear your voice and not just your resume. Your essays should give the counselors a way to imagine what kind of presence you’ll have walking around on campus. – Matty, 16C*
    2. Be yourself in your application; don’t just tell Emory what you think we want to hear. Admission counselors have read mountains of applications, and they can tell when you’re not being genuine. – Natalie, 18B
    3. Ask for recommendations from teachers who know you well, rather than teachers whose classes you simply got an A in. The best teachers are often the ones who saw you struggle and overcome challenges in class, and who witnessed your personal growth over the course of high school. – Natalie, 18B
    4. Look up deadlines for scholarships as early as possible. One of the things I most regret is not applying for the Scholars program at Emory (deadline: November 15th), because I didn’t think I would qualify for it. Even if you think your chances are slim, it never hurts to try! – Amy, 15OX 17C

    On visiting campus:

    1. Don’t be afraid to actively ask questions on tours – the little details matter more than you might think. Ask about student perks, like free laundry and free bus passes. Don’t just ask if the food is good; ask if there are gluten-free and vegan options; ask if students can find a variety of healthy options on campus. – Nicole, 16C
    2. Take notes after every campus visit. You might think you’ll remember all the details about each school, but it’s very helpful to jot some notes that you can look back on later, because things can definitely blend together in your memory. Write down your pros and cons about each school while they’re still fresh in your mind. – Emily, 17B
    3. Rankings aren’t everything. Your college decision is about fit, making sure that the school fits your academic interests and personal needs. While you’re visiting a campus, forget about the numbers and get a feel for the vibe of the campus to see if you can imagine yourself living there for four years. – Matty, 16C

    On enjoying your senior year:

    1. Senioritis is a real struggle; we’ve all been through it, but don’t let it get the best of you. Try to find a balance between completely slacking off (colleges can revoke acceptances!) and spending all your time stressing. Enjoy your senior year while it lasts! – Eric, 18B
    2. If you’re stressed about the transition to college or just want to immerse yourself in campus life as soon as possible, find out about summer pre-college orientation programs. Emory, for instance, has programs like Getting a Leg Up at Emory (GLUE) and Own Oxford that help students get acquainted with the campus and with current students before their first semester begins. – Nicole, 16C
    3. Before you open each decision letter, take a moment to breathe, and remember: this isn’t the end of the world. One of the most important parts of this whole process is what you make out of your college experience. You hear this all the time, but as seasoned college students, we can tell you it’s true: whatever school you end up at will become your dream school – the perfect place for you to challenge yourself, make new discoveries, and find your home – as long as you decide it is. It’s up to you to take advantage of all the opportunities that your college or university provides. The application process lasts at most a few months, but the next four years of your life are not determined by one decision letter. They’re determined by what you choose to do, every day of every year. – Amy, 15OX 17C

    We sincerely wish you the best of luck throughout your senior year, and we want to hear from you! Have questions? Comment on this post, tweet us, or email us at admission@emory.edu.

  • The Southern Sense: October

    View of the downtown Atlanta skyline from Oakland Cemetery.

    View of the downtown Atlanta skyline from Oakland Cemetery.

    I am writing from Connecticut and let me just say, I think I now understand a bit about how that Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court must have felt. (In case this famous work of Mark Twain’s hasn’t crossed a syllabus or bookshelf in your life yet, here’s the gist: A man living in 19th century Hartford, Connecticut, inexplicably gets transported back in time to Medieval England where he happens upon King Arthur’s court. The expected chaos of clashing centuries and cultures ensues.) While my travel experiences in Connecticut have been positive, there is always more to learn about the cultural nuances that don’t necessarily translate between our two geographic regions.

    Take, for example, the titles “ma’am” and “sir.” Many Southerners are raised with the mantra that those titles are always to be used in conversation with authority figures, adult strangers who may be older than you, and generally anyone else to whom you want to show respect.

    Imagine my surprise when I arrived in Connecticut and found that many women detest being addressed as “ma’am” because they perceive it singularly as an implication about their age. And if it is a woman using this title toward them, multiply the steam times two. Or ten. (I’m left to wonder if there are female pranksters running around New England yelling, “You’re old – Ma’am!”)

    This point was brought home to me this week at a restaurant in Hartford. The hostess, about to lead me to a table, asked if I was indeed Farish, just to be sure she had the right person, and I automatically responded, “Yes, ma’am.” She stopped on a dime and turned, almost causing me to fall over her, and said, “Did you just ma’am me?! How old do you think I am?!”

    Startled, I rushed to reassure her, saying, “Look, I’m from the South, and that’s how we show respect to anyone and everyone. I swear I’m not commenting on your age.” She lit up, saying, “I grew up in the South, and I can’t tell you how long it’s been since someone called me ma’am because of being Southern. Up here, it is not a good thing to be called, but it is a hard habit to break.” Tell me about it!

    I discussed these types of cultural confusions at a different dinner last week with a colleague from another Southern school, whose admission travel territory overlaps with mine. He brought up the common use of endearments in the South and how they can also sometimes catch people up here off guard. Southerners can be very generous with their “sweeties” and their “honeys” (especially when we can’t remember someone’s name!). I have definitely resorted to this when sitting down to a high school visit with upwards of 20 kids I’ve never seen before and whose names I have not a prayer of keeping straight. Call me crazy, but “Sweetie, what was your question about the Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology program?” just feels warmer than pointing at someone while saying, “Hey, what was your question again?”

    At this point though, I have to admit that I can see why people in New England might be confused. One minute we Southerners are randomly calling them “ma’am” because they’re strangers to us, and the next we’re calling them “sweetie” like we’ve known them our whole lives. We’re a hard bunch to keep up with, but for what it’s worth, the bottom line is that we always want to be respectful while being friendly. So don’t be offended if we call you “ma’am” or “sweetie”. It’s just what we do in the South. Or we’ve forgotten your name.

    So if you’re heading our way this season, perhaps for an Open House or campus visit, check out these fun things to do around town:

    “Fall Fest” in Candler Park. Saturday, October 3—Sunday, October 4.

    There are Fall Fests aplenty in Atlanta neighborhoods and Candler Park’s is certainly one you won’t want to miss. Between the live entertainment, food, music, and art, you’ll have plenty to do while enjoying a beautiful fall weekend in Atlanta!

    “L5P Halloween Festival” in Little Five Points. Saturday, October 17.
    The Atlanta metro area is made up of a collection of neighborhoods, each with their own distinct personality and customs. Virginia-Highland, where I am from, is one example and so is Little Five Points. Known to be the most eccentric of Atlanta’s communities (you’ve been warned!), L5P offers a great diversity of retail, restaurants, and events. One of their most notable events is their annual Halloween Festival, which is hosted by the L5P Business Association. There will be live music throughout the event, an artist market, a costume parade (it is no joke), and extended patio seating at local restaurants (for better parade viewing, of course). Parking will be limited in the festival area, but you can experience MARTA (Atlanta’s form of public transportation) in order to make your way over or park on one of the neighboring streets, and enjoy a scenic walk over to the festival.

    “Atlanta Arts Festival” in Piedmont Park. Saturday, October 24—Sunday, October 25.

    We love celebrating the arts in Atlanta and are fortunate enough to have beautiful Piedmont Park as a hospitable venue throughout the year. This is Atlanta’s largest arts event of the fall, offering live music, food from local vendors, and of course, a variety of art for viewing. If you have yet to visit this lovely 189-acre park in the middle of the city, this event would be a great introduction!

    “Halloween Tours” at the famous Oakland Cemetery. Friday, October 23—Saturday, October 31.
    For those that have never visited Oakland Cemetery, it is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta (founded in 1850) and one of the few areas of the city to survive Atlanta’s burning during the Civil War. It also stands as one of the most honest depictions of Atlanta’s fraught history throughout segregation, war, and progressive rebuilding, all of which can be traced in aspects like the blatant separation of the burial grounds in the older areas of the cemetery, the variety and evolution of tombstones and grave markings, and the multi-generational Atlanta families and prominent city leaders whose grave sites are flanked by exquisite statues and fine words in honor of their legacies in the city’s history. It is a hauntingly beautiful place (no pun intended) near the heart of downtown Atlanta. There are a variety of specialized tours offered on the weekends at Oakland Cemetery, and what better time to take one than the month of Halloween!

    ‘Til next month!

    Farish Jerman 11C*
    Assistant Dean of Admission
    Emory University
    Office of Undergraduate Admission

     * Emory uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Farish graduated from Emory College of Emory University in 2011.

  • To ED or not to ED, that is the question!

    IMG_0126As the season turns to Fall, our admission staff treks across the world connecting with thousands of prospective students and field questions about the application process. One of the most common questions this time of year is “Should I apply Early Decision?” As our November 1st Early Decision (ED) deadline approaches, many high school seniors are considering whether to make the binding commitment that goes along with applying ED. In this blog entry, we hope to provide some direction on how to tackle this important question and some advice on whether to ED or not to ED.

    The first place to start is our Early Decision webpage to learn more about the process and for answers to some logistical questions. Make sure to become familiar with how the ED agreement works, that we have two different ED plans, and that you have the option to apply ED to either Emory College, Oxford College, or both schools. Now let’s focus on some of the key questions you should consider about ED.

    Who should apply Early Decision?
    Simply put, if Emory University is your definitive first choice and you are ready to make the commitment, then ED is probably for you. ED is for students who just know; the students who have “fallen in love.” They have done their research, and for all the right reasons, they are confident in their decision. If Emory is the school that you measure all other schools by, and those schools always fail in comparison, then I would encourage you to strongly consider ED.

    Allow our Admission leadership to corroborate this answer:

    Early Decision is an application that allows a student to raise his hand, figuratively speaking, and tell us, “I’ve done my research and I’ve thought about my college decision, and Emory is my clear first choice.” It’s a chance to get your hat in the ring early, but you should never force a decision. Not everyone has a clear first choice early in his senior year, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
    John Latting, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Enrollment and Dean of Admission

    Despite slightly more favorable admit rates, the process [of Early Decision] remains practical only for students who have a clear first-choice school, those who have done the research to appropriately make the choice, and students who are completely sure they wish to enroll at their Early Decision institution. If Emory/Oxford seems familiar to you and is something you believe you have prepared for (academically, in particular), meets your expectations for what a college should be, and is just where you really want to be next fall, then Early Decision makes perfect sense. In fact, you are exactly the type of student for whom we offer an Early Decision option in the first place!
    Kelley Lips, Dean of Enrollment Services, Oxford College

    Who should NOT apply Early Decision?
    Perhaps this is obvious, but students who do not have a clear first choice school and want to weigh options should not apply ED to any school. We also recommend against applying ED for students who are only considering the binding commitment for tactical reasons. Students who are focused on the numbers and just “getting in,” and students who view applying ED solely as a strategic move. Applying to colleges should not be seen as winning a game of highly selective college admission, and students who over-analyze statistical data about ED are approaching the process from the wrong direction. Selecting an ED admission plan should be about fit. 100% of the time.

    If there is a disadvantage to applying ED, it has to do with financial aid. No, you don’t receive a worse financial aid package if you apply ED, as we use precisely the same methods for calculating eligibility for aid no matter what admission plan you choose. The financial disadvantage is that if you are admitted ED, you do not have the opportunity to compare financial aid offers from more than one university. Each institution has its own way of determining how much a family can reasonably pay for college, and the outcome of that process is only revealed after you are offered admission. When admitted early decision, you just get that one offer of financial aid. Something to consider.

    Are there advantages to applying Early Decision?
    There is no simple answer to this question. Yes, there are benefits to applying to ED. The earlier timeline is a clear advantage. ED applicants learn of their decision earlier. If admitted, their college search is complete, and they can focus on successfully finishing high school. If not admitted, though disappointing, students can move on and focus on other schools that fit.

    Another advantage is that the pressure is not on the Admission staff during the ED evaluation process. When the Admission Committee is reading applications during the early process, they do not feel the time crunch they experience during Regular Decision (RD), and they have fewer applications overall to consider. During this early process, there is more freedom to respond to students who make a great case for themselves and have a sincere interest.

    While there are benefits, that does not mean there is a competitive advantage. The phrase “competitive advantage” leads to a conclusion that it is easier to get in when applying early. There are benefits to applying ED, but it is not easier to be admitted. The Admission Committee review process is the same during the early evaluation process as it is during the review of RD applicants – both in terms of academic metrics and holistic measures.

    If I do not apply ED, do I still have a chance to be admitted?
    We strive to hold at least half (if not more) of our admitted student spots for RD applicants. Students who apply RD are held to the same academic standards, and our admission evaluators are just as excited to read RD applications. Don’t feel forced to apply ED fearing that you will not be able to get in RD or because you think your application will be passed over. Great students are admitted during RD every year, and we would not have a complete class without our RD applicants.

    Regardless of whether you decide to apply Early Decision or Regular Decision, know that the Admission Committee desires to get to know you for who you really are through the application process. Share about what excites you, challenges you, drives you to go for broke and reach for more. We hope your college aspirations lead you to Emory University, and please know we are here to assist you in the process.

    Don’t hesitate to connect with us by posting a comment to this blog, tweeting us, or emailing us at admission@emory.edu.


  • Get to Know Us Better

    Emory FallFall has arrived and that means many of you are knee deep in the college search and application process. Autumn is a great time to visit college campuses. If you haven’t had the chance to visit Emory College and Oxford College, we recommend registering for a visit soon. If you’re unable to make it to Atlanta, see if one of our admission representatives is coming to your area.

    But what if you are unable to connect with us through a campus visit or off-campus event in your area? Don’t fret, there are still numerous ways you can get to know us better. In fact, we came up with 8 different ways to explore us virtually (because a top 10 list is just cliché):

    1. First stop has to be the Undergraduate Admission website. You can learn more about Emory and Oxford under the Discover tab, and when you are ready to submit an application, visit the Apply tab for all the important details.
    1. Instagram! If you are not following @emoryadmission on Instagram you are missing out. Admission representatives along with a team of current students are providing a unique snapshot on life at Emory. Add these Instagram feeds as well: @emoryuniversity, @oxfordcollege, and @emorystudents.
    1. Though not as picturesque, we are also on Twitter. Get to know @EmoryAdmission in 140 characters daily. If you like to follow hashtags check out #Emory2020, #IAMEMORY, and #WhyEmory.
    1. If moving pictures are more your thing, then you check out Emory Undergraduate Admission’s Vimeo page. The videos on this page are all created, filmed, produced, and edited by an amazing team of current students. Check out the newest Emory Shorts. (If YouTube is more your thing, then visit the Emory Admission playlist for 100+ videos.)
    1. While promoting video content, we can’t resist recommending the best video under 3 minutes to get an overview of Emory University.
    2. We know that searching and connecting with colleges on Facebook is so three years ago, but if you are still into that thing make sure to like our Emory University – Undergraduate Admission page.
    1. A great place to keep up with current events at Emory University and learn more about the heart of our institution is through the Emory News Center. A recent visit to this news hub had featured stories about President Carter’s Town Hall, an Emory doctoral student composing for the Pope, and the Emory community continuing its commitment to sustainability.
    1. Still don’t have enough information about Emory University? Well then make sure to add yourself to our mailing list, and check out online versions of our publications.

    We hope these resources help you get a better understanding of Emory College and Oxford College. If there is ever a time you have a pressing question, don’t hesitate to post a comment/question to a blog entry or email us directly at admission@emory.edu.

  • Visiting Emory College & Oxford College Together

    If you are considering Emory College and you keep seeing these “Why Oxford” publications you are not alone. Most of the time people ask, “What is Oxford” before they ask “why.” OxfordMaddieC2 is Emory’s original campus (learn more about Oxford) and is only about a forty-five minute drive from our Atlanta campus. Students often travel a long ways to visit Emory so why not make the most out of your trip and see two schools instead of one? As a current senior at the Atlanta campus and an Oxford continuee who has worked in various roles in both the Oxford and Emory Admission offices, I often speak with families about Oxford. My number one recommendation for understanding Oxford is to go visit, but so many families visit with a fixed schedule. Families often wish they had planned to visit both campuses and only realize after they visit Emory when it is too late to change their travel plans.

    There are two ways to see Emory and Oxford- all in one day, or make a weekend of it.

    OPTION 1: I recommend really exploring Atlanta and Covington to get the full experience of what it would be like to attend either college. Book a hotel for Friday night in Atlanta. Your first stop though is Oxford College on Friday. Join us for lunch at 12:45 (on us, at the campus dining hall, Lil’s), then stay for the campus tour and information session. You will be finished around 4:30 and are free to explore the rest of campus and the city of Covington. Personally, I think it’s great to grab a bite to eat in Covington. Two of my personal favorites are RLs Off the Square and Milazzos. For dessert, I recommend ice cream at Scoops. It might seem like a regular ice cream shop but this is surprisingly quite an Oxford hangout. And you never know who you will see there – I once saw Arnold Schwarzenegger getting ice cream!

    When you’re done with dinner, head to your Atlanta hotel or explore a bit of the city’s nightlife. Whatever you choose, don’t stay out too late. Check-in for the Emory College tour and info session in Atlanta begins at 9:45 am. It will conclude around 11:30, leaving you the rest of the day to explore Atlanta. It is full of activities from museums to sporting events to my personal favorite, an amazing restaurant scene. I highly recommend checking out Downtown Decatur and the square there for a snack or dinner. It is a fun place to explore and Emory students hang out there all the time.

    OPTION 2: The other way to visit both schools is to do it all in one day. Emory College offers campus tours every weekday at 9:00am starting with an information session led by a counselor and then an inclusive tour around campus. You will be finished in Atlanta by 11:30 and will have plenty of time to make your way to Oxford. I recommend driving, as it only takes about forty-five minutes, but if you are traveling without a car, you can always hop on the Cliff Shuttles. Everyday there are shuttles that go back and forth between Emory and Oxford and one leaves at 12:00pm from Woodruff Circle every weekday. The ride will take you directly to Oxford. While it takes about fifteen minutes longer than personally driving, it is free of charge and free of stress!MaddieC1

    Once at Oxford College make your way to the Eady Admission Center/Hopkins Hall. There are signs posted, but feel free to ask anyone you see and they will be happy to point you in the right direction. A visit to Oxford also includes a complimentary lunch in Lil’s (the main dining hall) so no need to worry about packing a lunch. Guests then take a tour of the campus and have a short information session. This session, while it does have some similarities to the Emory College session, is specific to Oxford College. You should be finished by about 4:15.

    Please note if you are taking the shuttle back to Emory, it will leave Oxford at 5:30 Monday –Friday with an extra shuttle running at 4:30 on Fridays.

    We in the admission office welcome you to both of our campuses and I hope that when you visit you find a home on one or both of our campuses just like I did!

    Maddie Clifton
    14 OX, 16C*
    Interdisciplinary Studies and Political Science
    Savannah, GA

  • The Southern Sense: September

    View of the Midtown skyline across Lake Clara Meer in Piedmont Park

    View of the Midtown skyline across Lake Clara Meer in Piedmont Park

    Happy Fall!!!

    Even though it’s not technically fall yet per diehard calendar abiders, it feels like fall to me. Weather here in Atlanta has cooled considerably, our students have returned to campus, pumpkin drinks are literally everywhere, and I baked my first spice cake of the season earlier this week. Enough said. It’s fall.

    In case it wasn’t already clear, this just happens to be my favorite season in Atlanta. I am already imagining perfect fall weekend days, which is somewhat ironic given that my job keeps me in other parts of the country for most of the season. To be fair, I’ve enjoyed my fall weekends elsewhere. Philadelphia does offer some enviable fall décor in small suburban towns, and Connecticut does have its famous foliage. But Atlanta is still my favorite place to spend a fall weekend day. The fact that I’ve lived in Atlanta my whole life doesn’t make me biased; it just makes me an even more credible source on the topic.

    I’d like to invite you to join me (in my mind) for my idea of a perfect fall weekend day in Atlanta. You should note that this list is not for those opposed to spending time outdoors, drinking excessive amounts of coffee, or walking almost everywhere!

    • I like to start a perfect fall weekend day at San Francisco Coffee in Virginia-Highland (if you’re not familiar with my home-neighborhood, Virginia-Highland, please allow me to introduce you here) because they have excellent coffee and breakfast foods of all levels of hardiness. There’s also a variety of in-door and out-door seating if you want to eat a leisurely breakfast. Resident tip: There’s a hidden back patio past the bathroom doors that is a nice place for some quiet reading.
    • Once I’ve got coffee, I’m headed to the Eastside Trail of the BeltLine. This wonderful, internationally-watched initiative is blazing a trail through the city (literally and figuratively), quickly becoming a household name, a regular destination for locals and tourists alike, and a beloved part of our community landscape. It’s also what is going to help us visit three different Atlanta neighborhoods during our perfect day without getting in the car once! After parking near Piedmont Park, it’s easy to hop on the BeltLine trail at the intersection of 10th Street and Monroe Drive. Resident tip: The earlier in the morning you arrive in Virginia-Highland, the easier it is to find free street parking. Otherwise, you can pay to park in public lots.
    • Our first stop on the BeltLine is Paris on Ponce, one of the many retailers and restaurants that back up to the BeltLine and have since opened back-side entrances for the convenience of customers entering off the trail. This gorgeous, 46,000 square foot antique, furnishings, décor and oddities store can trap even the most focused shopper for hours! While it’s a great place to get lost, I like to just pop in briefly from the BeltLine because they offer coffee, water (for people and pets!), public restrooms, and benches facing the trail for people-watching. Resident tip: If it’s your first time, be sure to take a peek inside Lé Maison Rouge, the famous party venue that has played host to some of Atlanta’s best dressed over the years!
    • You can get great, panoramic views of the whole Atlanta skyline walking along the BeltLine from Paris on Ponce to our next stop, which is Inman Park. Similar to Virginia-Highland, this is a historic neighborhood chock-full of great food, charm and unique retail. I usually stop by Parish to get more coffee (you were warned about the coffee consumption ahead of time!) and explore the bottom-floor market that offers fresh flowers, locally grown food, and gifts.
    • It’s just a short walk down the BeltLine from there to get to Krog Street Market, where you can pick from over 11 different dining options for lunch. I recommend Superica for lunch and The Little Tart Bakeshop for dessert! Resident tip: If you’re looking for unique Atlanta neighborhood souvenirs, visit Mama Handmade Bath and Body, which has created custom candles, postcards, and soaps for each neighborhood.
    • At this point, I usually walk the BeltLine back to Virginia-Highland (about a 20-min walk), but you could also Uber if you want a break from walking. Once back at Piedmont Park, you can decide between hanging out in the park or visiting the Atlanta Botanical Gardens (on the other side of the park), a 30-acre plant sanctuary including rose gardens, an orchid center, an edible garden and bar, the famous Storza woods with its canopy walkway, and a variety of exhibits.
    • Where you eat dinner is totally dependent on how hungry you are. If you’re starving at this point, then you should head to HOBNOB down the street from the Botanical Gardens on the corner of Piedmont Park. If you’re ok with walking a little to dinner, then you can go back across the park and eat at Flying Biscuit, which offers the best breakfast all day long. Another dinner option to consider if you’re ready to get back in the car is Murphy’s (my absolute favorite Atlanta restaurant!) in the heart of Virginia-Highland. Resident tip: All of these restaurants have great patio seating, so take advantage of that. Beyond that it’s really all about the food, so my recommendations are as follows. HOBNOB: The Mac & Cheese is to die for, so who cares that it’s technically an appetizer?! The Flying Biscuit: The Creamy Dreamy Grits are a must, especially if you’ve never had real grits (real=not instant). Murphy’s: The Bonzo Cake is one of the best desserts ever invented according to any chocolate fanatic. You also can’t go wrong with any fresh, seasonal dessert concocted by Murphy’s chefs.
    • At this point in the evening, I like to listen to some live music outdoors if I can. Just follow your ears to any of the venues in Virginia-Highland that have consistent live music, or head over to one of the city’s best, small music venues, Eddie’s Attic in Decatur (you never know who you might see on this hallowed, star-strewn stage!).

    I hope this gets you on your way to having a great fall day in our city. Feel free to follow this list or check out some of the events below that are taking place this month to help make your visit even more memorable.

    “The Decatur Book Festival” in Downtown Decatur. Friday, September 4-Sunday, September 6.

    Considered the largest independent book festival in the country, there is everything from live music and free food/drink samples to meet & greets with authors and book signings. Not to mention an incredible supply of great books for great prices. Whether you need to stock up your library or just want to get out for a great day in the city, this is a must-attend event! Plus, Emory University is one of the sponsors of this event and will have several tables out advertising books and other works published by our professors.

    “The Old Fourth Ward Fall Fest” at the Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park. Friday, September 11-Saturday, September 12.

    This little Atlanta neighborhood is nestled between the neighborhoods discussed above and is very excited about its inaugural fall festival. You can enjoy a variety of food from the Food Truck Rally and listen to live music throughout the weekend. There will also be lantern making workshops, which make this event a great precursor to the next one below.

    “The Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade” on the Eastside Trail. Saturday, September 12.

    This will be the fifth annual celebration of the Atlanta Beltline project. All members of the Atlanta community and anyone visiting with us that weekend are invited to create lanterns and march in a parade through the finished stretches of the beltline. Those who are feeling very ambition can even join one of Lantern House’s workshops (details on website), buy a pre-printed lantern, or of course, make your own! This event will also mark the return of this fall’s Art on the Atlanta Beltline exhibition, which is the largest temporary public art exhibition in the Southeast.

    “The Yellow Daisy Festival” at Stone Mountain Park. Thursday, September 10-Sunday, September 13.

    This will be the 47th year of this festival and it is considered one of the best festivals in the country by multiple organizations including the Southeast Tourism Society and the Southeast Festival & Events Association. Enjoy perusing the work of more than 400 artisans from all over the US and several other countries, while listening to live entertainment and experiencing the local cuisine. Stone Mountain also offers a variety of retail, dining, and attractions alongside the festival.

    ‘Til next month!

    Farish Jerman 11C*
    Assistant Dean of Admission
    Emory University
    Office of Undergraduate Admission

     * Emory uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Farish graduated from Emory College of Emory University in 2011.

  • The Southern Sense: August


    *Westside Provisions District (WSPD)

    One of my favorite things about being an admission counselor is finding special “corners” where I can feel at home in the cities I visit in my region. Case in point: during my first two-week trip to Philadelphia, I had lattes at three different local coffee shops and visited two hole-in-the-wall bookstores before I made it downtown to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Now when I make my regular visits to Philly, instead of answering email in my hotel room, I work at my favorite local coffee house and sandwich shop, The Outbound Station, in Conshohocken. The welcoming family that owns and operates this former train depot knows me by name, brews excellent coffee, and makes the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve had outside the Southeast (and that’s saying something).

    I found Outbound by word of mouth, not a guide book, and those types of experiences make me feel even more connected to the varied communities I’m getting to know in my region. That’s the kind of interaction I hope to promote here in my hometown of Atlanta. Don’t get me wrong. Tourist attractions can be key parts of a city visit, and I recommend great tourist sites in Atlanta on this blog every month. For example, a wonderful day downtown could include The Coca-Cola Museum, a place to learn some fun Atlanta history and taste Coca-Cola products from across the globe (make sure you try The Beverly!), and The Georgia Aquarium, a destination in its own right and one of the largest aquariums in the world.

    The next day, however, you might step off the beaten path and explore two of Atlanta’s new cultural hot spots: Krog Street Market and Westside Provisions District. I’ve spent time in both this summer and am a huge fan!

    Krog Street Market, located on the east side of Midtown Atlanta, is housed inside a renovated 100-year-old factory warehouse right around the corner from the eastside trail of the BeltLine (wonderful itself; don’t get me started – subject for another month!). Accessibility, creative investors, and culinary craftsmen have made this “the place” to spend your weekend. There’s almost no end to the diversity of food, with restaurants and food stalls available throughout the market. My personal favorite is Superica, where awe-inspiring interior design meets fabulous, family-style Mex-Tex cuisine (yep, Mex-Tex; they like it different). Sit on the breezy outdoor patio where you can people-watch and listen to music. The perfect follow-up to Superica is either ice cream from Jeni’s or a pastry from The Little Tart (slogan: “Break hearts, not tarts!”). After you’ve checked out the retail stalls you can hop on the BeltLine for a quick walk to Inman Park or Piedmont Park.

    Westside Provisions District (WSPD), located on the west side of Midtown Atlanta, is a collection of converted industrial buildings offering an abundance of eclectic retail and casual-to-fine dining. Amidst its offerings is Atlanta’s culinary gem, Bacchanalia, widely considered to be the best restaurant in the city and a destination point in the Southeast. With beautiful, panoramic views of the city skyline and a plethora of outdoor seating between shops and restaurants, WSPD is the perfect place for an evening out. It’s also ideal for a Sunday morning during the summer, when it plays host to one of Atlanta’s most popular farmers markets, the Westside Farmers Market.

    If you’re in Atlanta visiting Emory University this August, we hope you plan time in your trip to get to know our city. In addition to our location suggestions above, we also recommend the events below to make your visit even more memorable!

    Lost Trompos (Spinning Tops) Interactive Exhibit at The High Museum* in Midtown Atlanta. Now-November, 2015.

    Amidst current exhibitions of the 100th anniversary of the Coca-Cola bottle, African Art, and the work of internationally acclaimed artist, Alex Katz (just to name a few), you can find a new exhibit from contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena. This is their second installment in a long-term project devoted to making art tangible and helping people engage with it physically. In this installment, visitors can spin around in life-size versions of the spinning top! Free entertainment and performances are offered on the piazza every first and third Friday.

    *Quick tip—Check with your bank about free museum weekends! Almost all banks designate a certain weekend each month during which their clients can gain free admission to Atlanta arts venues by showing their debit or credit card with the bank name.

    “Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival” in Harmony Park, Decatur. Saturday, August 15.

    This is the 15th annual celebration of great food and great music in south Decatur. Whether you consider yourself a BBQ aficionado or just love the stuff, this event is for you since it is catered by Fox Brothers, Williamson Bros., and Sweet Auburn (the Atlanta BBQ trifecta!). Enjoy live music throughout the day while tasting the best BBQ Atlanta has to offer. Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the gate.

    “Festival Peachtree Latino” at Piedmont Park. Sunday, August 23.

    Enjoying its 15th anniversary in Atlanta, this festival is widely regarded as the largest multicultural event in the Southeast. Spend the afternoon at the park walking through artist exhibitions, enjoying international cuisine, and listening to live music from both internationally renowned musicians and local Atlanta musicians.

    “Grant Park Summer Shade Festival” at Grant Park. Saturday, August 29-Sunday, August 30.

    Similar to many of our summer festivals mentioned so far, this is a great way to enjoy one of Atlanta’s unique neighborhoods while listening to live music, eating local fare, and exploring artist markets.

    ‘Til next month!

    Farish Jerman 11C*
    Senior Admission Counselor
    Emory University
    Office of Undergraduate Admission

     * Emory uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Farish graduated from Emory College of Emory University in 2011.

  • Sneak Preview: 2015-16 Emory University Supplemental Essay Topics

    0111403-12KH-F229-_RAW_Sadly summer is coming to a close and that means back to school. It also means for those of you entering your senior year of high school that your college search transitions to the application stage. August 1 has become the start of college application season, when the Common Application launches. As you probably know, Emory University applicants must apply through the Common Application.

    As you begin to think about completing your application, we wanted to provide you a sneak preview of the 2015-16 Emory University Supplemental Essay topics. While your essays aren’t due until November for Early Decision applicants and Emory University Scholars Program applicants, or January for Early Decision II and Regular Decision applicants, we want you to have ample time to mull over the over and consider your responses. This year, applicants can choose one of the following two topics:

    Essay Option 1
    Last August, Susan Grant, chief nurse executive for Emory Healthcare, said this of Emory’s choice to treat patients with Ebola: “We can either let our actions be guided by misunderstandings, fear and self-interest, or we can lead by knowledge, science and compassion. We can fear, or we can care.” Consider her idea of doing what is in the public interest despite potential cost.  Please discuss an example in your life or the life of another that’s come to your attention.

    Essay Option 2
    In the spirit of Emory’s tradition of courageous inquiry, what question do you want to help answer, and why?

    Applicants will need to compose a response in 500 words (or less). Remember along with submitting a supplemental essay for Emory, you are also required to submit a response to one of the Common Application essay questions.

    We see your essay as an opportunity to showcase your character, help us get to know you better, and evaluate your potential fit with Emory. We encourage you to respond thoughtfully, as the Admission Committee truly reads every essay submitted.

    And while there are many resources out there for advice on composing the “perfect” college admission essay, here’s our advice:

    • Don’t think of your college essays as an assignment for English class but rather a personal statement.
    • Application evaluators want to learn about YOU, and hear (read) your personal voice.
    • Be creative. Be original. And most importantly, present your true self.
    • Do not over-think the prompts.
    • Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes. Proofread. Proofread. And proofread again.

    We look forward to getting to know you better through your essays. Enjoy the process. Make sure to visit the Apply section of our website for more info, and check back for future blog posts with helpful updates and advice throughout the coming months.

  • My Time as a Pre-College Participant

    1-Veena Chittamuri group shot for textEvery summer, Emory hosts the Pre-College Program, an academic program for high school students. It gives college-bound rising juniors and rising seniors an exciting glimpse of academic and residential life at a top-ranked national university.

    This week, we asked Veena Chittamura, a participant from Sessaion A, a few questions about her experience so far!

    1. How did you hear about Pre-College?
    While researching colleges that offer biology majors, I stumbled upon Emory. As I continued my search and began to explore Emory University, I discovered that they offered a pre-college program with a course in Neuroscience. By this point, Emory was already one of my top choices and even earned the title of “my dream school.” When I learned that I could spend two weeks at Emory and learn about Neuroscience, I knew it would be the highlight of my summer.

    2. What made you decide to participate?
    Emory has been my dream school for almost a year now. It is the perfect combination of a liberal arts and research university, making it the best of both worlds. I realized that it is important to not only like a college on paper but get a feel of the ambience and experience it in real life. For that reason, I decided that participating in this program would allow me to live at Emory and understand the academic philosophy and the college life to decide for sure if this is the right fit for me.

    3. What’s something you’ve learned about yourself by participating in Pre-College?
    I learned that I am independent and capable. It taught me that having freedom means learning to manage my time between school work and socializing. Sometimes you skip that trip to the S.A.A.C (Student Activity and Academic Center – where there’s a big pool!) to get that paper done, and sometimes you end up having a little bit of extra time so you begin your homework for next week. It all comes down to organizing yourself efficiently and making sure you don’t overstress about things that are in your control.

    4. How was your time on Emory’s campus?
    I really enjoyed the freedom and change that Emory offered. Though the trip began a little slow, revealing more leisure time than anticipated, the next week and a half went by quickly. I became friends with one of the most hilarious, intelligent, and outgoing people I have ever come across, and was able to form close relationships with these people in such a short amount of time. These two weeks are ones that I will never forget.

    5. What was one highlight of your time in Pre-College?
    The highlight of my time in Pre-College was the second night, when my friends and I hung out in my room, just talking and getting to know each other. You could really see everyone opening up and becoming comfortable, and the relationships that formed that night are stronger than ones that take years to form. Being aware of the fact that we only have two weeks together really brought our group closer. Everyone just wants to have a good time and get to know people so everyone was extremely kind and welcoming.

    6. What course(s) did you do in Pre-College?
    Case Studies in Neuroscience

    7. What was one of the highlights from your time in Atlanta?
    The Civil Rights Center was one of the most rewarding trips I have ever taken. Growing up in India, I was distanced from the prejudice and discrimination that took place in this country. I learned about the struggles of African Americans in textbooks, but nothing comes as close to experiencing it in real life. The museum had a simulation of a sit in where you experience the struggles and slurs that they faced at the time. In that moment, I knew that nothing I had ever read about came close to what they faced in reality. It opened my eyes to the extreme caliber of the events occurring today all over the country and the implications the past had on it.

    2-Veena Chittamuri headshot for signature areaVeena Chittamuri
    Redmond, WA

    Rising high school senior