My name is Nicole Tut and I’m currently a junior at Gertz Ressler High School. I am involved in many extra curricular activities and afterschool programs and just recently through the Step Up program, I was able to take a college trip to San Francisco. Step up had coordinated conferences with several universities located around the Bay Area, such as; Santa Clara University, Mills College, Dominican University, UC Berkeley, St. Mary’s and University of San Francisco. Upon our arrival we settled into our rooms at the Fairmont Hotel. Two or three girls were assigned a room that was to be theirs for the upcoming days. Every room was spacious with large windows stretching from the ceiling to the floor. Fortunately, my room was located next to the cable car route and so I was able to hear the sound of the ringing bell. Each time the cable car passed it reminded me of early Christmas morning. All the girls were unable to get a good night’s sleep because we were too anxious with the beautiful scenery encircling us. The best part about this trip was the amount of trust we received from our chaperon’s and so we were able to feel like working women off to a business conference. Our first chance to explore our surroundings was when we stopped by the Golden Gate Bridge to shop for souvenirs and take photos next to the bridge which took us about thirty minutes because everyone was determined to snap the best picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. We then hopped on the bus again and left for Fisher’s Man Warf to dine at Boudin Bakery. At Boudin Bakery we ate a delicious freshly made clam chowder. The interesting part about the bowl was that it was made out of bread. Of course it was expected because of the restaurant’s title but it was still intriguing to see how far a person’s creativity could reach. After we ate we were given time to roam around to shop for clothes, jewelry, etc. By the time we arrived the hotel we were all exhausted but as soon as we slipped into our pajama’s it was like our batteries were re-energized and so we decided to once again forget about sleeping and instead huddled in one room to watch a scary movie. The next morning we went to visit UC Berkeley and learned about a regular day in the life of a Berkeley student. We were also able to be aware of the positive aspects of being apart of a sorority during college. What caught my attention in particular was the amount of activity around the campus while students were actively protesting over Cal budget cuts. Many of these students were holding picketing sign across the campus, it was this moment that reminded me how much America has changed through the years; the degree of power behind the complicated but simple act of unity. After our Berkeley visit it was time to have fun and eat. So, we departed at Yerba Buena Skating and Bowling, where we ate delicious pizza and bowled for a couple of hours. The last day was the most saddening day of the whole trip because none of the girls wanted the adventure to end. Yet, the day came and we all said our goodbyes to our pretend life of independent adults. Although our trip consisted of four days we learned a great deal concerning college atmosphere. This trip helped all of us find clarity in our life to know our true goals. We left San Francisco with new aspirations and stronger motivations.
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