Last week over my Thanksgiving break, I visited Seattle, Washington with my mom. I will be writing a few more posts about the trip (I’ve really been behind on that and I apologize!) that you’ll be seeing soon, but first I wanted to talk about the tour we took of the University of Washington. Touring UW was one of our main reasons for visiting Seattle, plus the fact that my mom and I have always wanted to visit the city. We registered for the full 75 minute walking tour and admissions session – the real deal. I’ve been around college campuses in the past, but never for the purpose of touring.
I don’t know why, but I’d always been drawn towards UW in the past. I’d always wanted to visit Seattle, I’d seen pictures of the beautiful campus, and we had a couple family friends who had gone there- I just felt like I would fall in love. I have no other connection to it; I don’t live in Washington, I don’t have any family members who went there, etc. I knew it was a good school in a cool-seeming city with a gorgeous looking campus, and that was enough to get me interested.
We toured the college on our third day in Seattle, and I had already fallen in absolute, complete love with the city; this made me think going to UW would evoke the same feelings. My mom and I took the light rail which has a stop where you walk out straight onto the campus (I believe the school is 20-30 minutes away from downtown Seattle if you drive or use other transportation such as buses), so it took us less than ten minutes to get there. We actually left super early since we hadn’t used the light rail before and we knew we would need time to find our way around campus, so we had about an hour to grab breakfast and walk around.
Sadly, the day we went was actually the worst day of our trip weather-wise and the only day it rained, so we didn’t get to see campus in its full beauty or effect. That being said, it’s probably a more realistic perspective on what it would look like, since Seattle is known for being quite rainy. The campus was also a bit abandoned since a decent amount of students had already gone home for Thanksgiving, so it wasn’t the most accurate perception of everything. My mom and I headed to the HUB (Husky Union Building) to sign in, and as soon as our tour guide introduced themselves, we got started on the walking tour.
I must say the campus was absolutely gorgeous (it’s even more gorgeous when the cherry blossom trees bloom in spring) and the architecture was amazing, but I could tell the school was too big for me as soon as we started walking. I don’t know how to explain it, but it just wasn’t the vibe I was looking for/that I thought it would have. All of the buildings were beautiful and we got to peek in on some classes; we also walked through the Suzzalo library which is famous for looking like something out of Harry Potter.
Our tour guide was super sweet and she gave us tons of information about the school I wouldn’t have known otherwise- I was honestly really disappointed that I didn’t automatically like the school and feel at home, because I thought I would. After the tour was over, there was an admissions session with an admissions counselor who was also very kind and helpful. He gave us some insight into what a typical admitted student is like and although I knew most of the basic stats from my own research, it was still informative because of the insider’s perspective.
After the admissions session, it was lunchtime and my mom and I were hungry. The tour guide had talked about the main street that students go to, dubbed “The Ave” (I forget what the actual street name is) that had all the restaurants, so my mom and I walked through some parts of campus we hadn’t seen on the tour as we made our way over there. It started to rain heavily and as we walked the street, we were disappointed to find a lack of cute little restaurants and cafés. We stopped at the university bookstore and I got a hoodie, and then we ate at Chipotle.
I know that being in a city, UW isn’t going to have the cutest “college town” vibe, but I still figured there would be a cuter university district type area around the school. My mom and I walked back across campus the way we came and took the light rail back to downtown/where we were staying after we ate. It was an eye-opening experience and I’m definitely glad I visited, but I’m sad to say that UW is definitely not the school for me. It’s a wonderful school though, so I encourage you to visit if you’re interested! It just proves that visiting a school and seeing it in person is super important if you’re able to do so.