CAP and GOWN Tours: A Freshman's Perspective

By De’Undra Smith

I just want to start off by thanking everybody for making my CAP and GOWN experience possible. Before I went on these trips I really didn’t know what type of college I would want to go to, but now I have a pretty sturdy idea about where I want to continue my studies after I graduate—and I’m only a freshman. I have also learned that college isn’t about being grown (partying, drinking, dating, etc.), but it’s about molding your future. Honestly, this has been an eye opener to all of the amazing things college has to offer. For example, I am now excited about choosing my major, preparing for my career, living in a dorm, and maybe joining a sorority.

 Former JOJ teacher and UAB alum, Steve Kim gave our scholars a tour of the campus. And, former TFA AL teacher Todd Smolinsky showed our students UAB's medical school.

Former JOJ teacher and UAB alum, Steve Kim gave our scholars a tour of the campus. And, former TFA AL teacher Todd Smolinsky showed our students UAB's medical school.

UAB has been my favorite college tour so far. UAB stands out to me because not only do they have an amazing nursing program, they also have a gym to occupy my love for basketball. They also have a variety of different majors under the umbrella of health care, so I will get a chance to explore different career options. My second favorite school is Tuskegee University. They have an outstanding amount of history! The most amazing fact that I learned was that Booker T. Washington wanted to be buried somewhere on campus so that he could watch over the university. He is buried at the center of the campus. They also have great nursing and engineering programs. Tuskegee also has a relaxation and game room for when you are done studying. It was amazing to me to learn some of their unique rules and traditions, like there are certain stair cases you can’t go down or they won’t graduate. My third favorite college is Vanderbilt University. I really like Vanderbilt because they have the BEST nursing department of all three that I have toured. I learned that it’s really hard to get accepted and it’s very expensive, but they have financial aid options. They have a very impressive graduation rate.

Although I loved touring all of these schools, I am still not 100% sure where I want to go. There are thousands of colleges in the country! These tours are just the beginning of my research. From private, to public, community or four-year, all colleges are great in their own way. Through CAP and GOWN I am starting to figure out which option will be best for me. All you have to have is determination, motivation, and drive.

Emily Heller