- Colleges that are Great Beyond the Famous Eight: How Success and Achievement Exist outside the Ivy League, Too
An Insider’s View of Seven Top College Campuses
Here at CollegeVine, one of our jobs is to provide insight into some of the top colleges in the country. We pride ourselves on having a diverse base of alums and employees who are currently attending some wonderful schools all over the country. This network provides unique insider access to details about daily life, campus services, and more.
This year, we decided to begin a new series over on our CollegeVine Instagram account. We’re asking members of the CollegeVine family to let us tag along for the day and get a sneak peak of what they do and see along the way. Our guest photographers provide us with a glimpse of what students can expect at top colleges across the country. This insight is especially valuable because it comes from students themselves, not from the college website or professional Instagram account.
For a look at how members of the CollegeVine family shared their experiences at seven top colleges in the country, keep reading!
We were lucky enough to get two different students to share their experiences at Cornell with us. Amy is a senior at Cornell and works as an Admissions Consultant and Essay Specialist for CollegeVine. Samara, also an Admissions Consultant and Essay Specialist for CollegeVine, is a freshman at Cornell.
Amy shared this shot with us of her favorite breakfast stop around campus, CT Bagel. Now that looks like a coffee menu to power you through any day!
I'm lucky enough to have no morning classes on Wednesdays, but I trekked up to campus a little early to spend some time working on a paper in my favorite spot: Olin Library. Cornell has dozens of study spots on campus, but this is definitely one of the best views, especially if you love architecture . . . #CornellUniversity #Cornell #OlinStacks #Ithaca #CollegeVine #CollegeVineOnCampus
Amy also shared this gorgeous shot of the view from Olin Library. She notes that Cornell definitely has a beautiful campus, and if this picture is any indication, we’d have to agree. The old brick buildings and slate roofs sure are picturesque.
The buildings aren’t the only scenic feature of Cornell’s campus. Samara took this great shot of Beebe Lake on her walk to class at Cornell. She noted that the recent snow storm forced Cornell’s first snow day since 1994!
Jack Nicastro, one of our CollegeVine SAT tutors, was kind enough to show us around the campus of Vanderbilt University where he is currently a freshman. Jake took over our Instagram to show us some of his favorite spots around campus.
In his first picture, Jack gives us a look inside The Ingram Commons. Often referred to as simply “The Commons,” it is the epicenter of freshman life. Ten freshman houses surround The Commons, and all compete in The Commons Cup as a fun, team-spirit competition.
Jack also provided this super cool shot of the Nashville Parthenon, located at Centennial Park, across from Vanderbilt. This is the only full-scale replica of the Athens Parthenon in the world, and it was featured in the Percy Jackson movies. We had no idea this existed! What a cool sight to behold every day. Thanks, Jack!
Our glimpse into life at Georgetown University was provided by Julia. She is a freshman there and is also a CollegeVine Applications Consultant.
Julia’s picture of the Healy Family Student Center is just about the coziest study arrangement we can imagine. Check out that giant fireplace! Do you think they roast marshmallows on that thing?
Julia also gives us a glimpse of campus during a rare snow day. Although they were forecast to get more, only two inches fell. It sure is picturesque to see all that brick cloaked in winter snow.
Kirill was our gracious photo host at Columbia University this winter. He is a political science major there and is also a member of the Columbia Heavyweight Rowing team and the Columbia Daily Spectator (the main newspaper on campus).
Kirill began our tour with this glimpse of Alfred Lerner Hall. Inside Lerner is one of the dining options on campus, and Kirill reports that its unique architecture might be divisive, but its food offerings are not.
Beautiful days like these transform Low Memorial Library into a beach! New York weather is pretty unpredictable. Last weekend it was 18 degrees but now we're back up to a nice 60. Have to catch the athletic shuttle to go to work soon! #columbia #columbialife #collegevine #collegeprep #collegevineoncampus
Next, Kirill provided this glimpse of the steps in front of the Low Memorial Library. On a sunny day such as this one, students flock here to soak up some rays and get some studying done outside.
Time for bed. Love falling asleep to this beautiful view of campus from my room in John Jay Hall. Hope you enjoyed the brief view into a day in the life of a Columbia student and that you'll continue keeping up with other CV staff as they share their college experiences. Goodnight! #collegevine #collegevineoncampus #columbia #johnjay #nightynight #collegeprep
Our last picture from Kirill is this amazing view from his dorm room. What a nice sight to fall asleep to every night!
Our host at UC Berkeley, Sarah, is a freshman and an admissions specialist and Zen blog writer for CollegeVine.
Here for office hours! As a financial aid caseworker for the Student Advocate's Office in the ASUC (student government), I help represent clients who have issues with their aid. The office is open everyday, and students can walk in and get the help they need. #collegevineoncampus #collegevine #ucberkeleystudent #eshlemanhall #asuc #studentadvocate #campusinvolvement
Sarah starts our tour of UC Berkeley with an inside peak at the Student Advocates Office in the ASUC. Here, she works as a financial aid caseworker, helping to represent students who have issues with their aid. She reports that the office is open every day and that students can walk in to get the help they need.
After four hours at the Student Advocate's Office, I come to the Berkeley Food Pantry for my weekly volunteer shift. Free, nutritious food is offered for food insecure students to help them with basic needs! The food community is one of the most engaging and compassionate groups of people you will ever meet at UC Berkeley #collegevineoncampus #collegevine #ucberkeleyfood #berkeleyfoodpantry #foodsecurity #communityfirst #volunteerwork
Sarah is clearly a busy student, since her next picture shows the inside of the Berkeley Food Pantry, where she volunteers weekly. Here, free, nutritious food is offered for food-insecure students to help them with basic needs. It sounds like Berkeley definitely has some great student services in place.
Sarah’s day ends with a shuttle that delivers her to the gate of her dorm. Campus shuttles are a safe and convenient way to get around, especially after dark.
Sam, a freshman at Stanford, took the time to photo-document his daily life at Stanford for us. He is also an admissions specialist and a high school mentor for CollegeVine.
If you’re not sure that attending college in California is for you, this picture alone might change your mind. This is Sam’s view on his morning run down Campus Drive. What a gorgeous place!
Time for a field trip! My class "The Art and Science of Engineering Design" regularly brings in tech leaders from throughout Silicon Valley, and today we're getting a tour of the @teslamotors factory in Fremont. No pics inside! #collegevine #collegevineoncampus #tesla #stanford #siliconvalley #fremont
Next, Sam gives us a peak of his field trip with his class, “The Art and Science of Engineering Design.” He couldn’t take any pictures inside the Tesla motors factory, so we can only guess what sorts of amazing technology it holds.
Sam gives us one final shot as the sun sinks low on Stanford’s main quad. Can you imagine yourself here, walking back from a full day of classes?
Adrienne is a freshman at Yale and was our generous photo host there this winter. She is a CollegeVine alum and an Essay & Applications Specialist for us now.
Catching up on some studying over lunch for my Arabic test tomorrow! Most students at Yale take a language (some even take two!), and many also study abroad. In fact, I'll be embarking on Yale's #Morocco program this summer in order to take 3 credits worth of Arabic classes. Oh, and my friend Angel in the back says hi 😊 #CollegeVineOnCampus #CollegeVine #yale #yale2020 #collegelife
Adrienne is currently studying Arabic at Yale. She took this picture of a little study session over lunch and reports that she’ll be headed to Morocco this summer as part of Yale’s Arabic program. We hope she’ll share some pictures of that too!
First up on the evening agenda is a reading at the @nhfpl, a local library, featuring an English professor and her students from a class this past semester. My friend Spencer, a senior, read a beautiful piece he wrote as the result of an interview with a local blacksmith. To paraphrase Professor Anne Fadiman, it's great to have an event where Yalies can come together with the greater New Haven community to get to know one another and share ideas. #CollegeVineOnCampus #CollegeVine #yale #yale2020 #newhaven #connecticut #campus #campuslife
Adrienne finished her day at the New Haven Free Public Library, where she attended a reading from an English professor and her students. Adrienne reiterated the professor’s point that “it’s great to have an event where Yalies can come together with the greater New Haven community to get to know one another and share ideas.”
So there you have it. Thanks to our awesome CollegeVine team members who volunteered to share their days with us. We love these inside glimpses of daily life on top college campuses across the country.
If you’re a high school student interested in attending a top college but unsure how to present yourself on your college applications to maximize your chances, consider the CollegeVine Elite Universities Applications Assistance service, where you will get paired with an Apps Consultant who is an expert in selective admissions and who can provide extended attention to your essays and extra time to making sure that your admissions narrative is unique and effective.
For more about top colleges, see these CollegeVine posts: