That Fateful First Visit

July 2010 was a hot one. I tend to sweat a lot and I just hate those days when you feel like the humidity will suffocate you. It’s one of those things for which I’ve developed a sixth sense. I know when I wake up in the morning, no matter how well air-conditioned I am, that it will be one of those days where the cruel mistress of sweat will be in charge. The first time I visited DePaul was one of these days.

I was in Chicago with my dad and sister staying at a hotel close to downtown. The afternoon and evening before our visit the next day, we performed the requisite “visiting Chicago” rituals: got some Chicago-style pizza, walked around semi-aimlessly, and visited Navy Pier. That day wasn’t unbearably hot; in fact it was fairly pleasant. The consistent breeze eased my nerves about visiting DePaul’s campus the next day. I’m not entirely sure why I was nervous. I mean, it was just a campus visit, right? I guess it was mostly attributable to the fact that I hadn’t really loved any of the schools I had visited up to that point. They had been all right but I hadn’t felt like there was some deeper connection to any of them for me. Going into fall of my senior year, I just wanted to have a better idea of what my first choice was. As I settled into sleep under the starched sheets of the hotel bed that night, visions of financial aid pamphlets and complimentary t-shirts danced through my head. Was DePaul going to be the winner?

Arriving at the Lincoln Park campus, I was already especially sweaty because of the cruel combination of temperature and humidity. The anticipation did not help. When you visit DePaul with the intention of applying to the Theatre School, you go through an information session at TTS rather than doing the main admissions session due to the fact that there is such a different admissions process in comparison to most of the rest of the university. With that in mind, we made the trek over to the Theatre School building. Stepping over the threshold, something felt right. I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was but I just immediately liked the building. The age and character of the building itself was palpable and something about that really endeared the school to me. The information session and tour were also great and I’m not just saying that because I now work in admissions! The information about the program and the philosophy only built upon the feeling I had being in the space itself. I felt truly welcome and that feeling stuck with me. The tour of the full campus was good too but that gut feeling that hit me like a hot, sweaty fist when I saw the Theatre School was what really did it for me. I knew I really wanted to come to DePaul.

So for those of you visiting DePaul for the first time, I hope you can feel welcome on the campus like I did when I first visited. Hopefully you won’t have to worry quite as much as I had to about the whole sweating thing since it’ll still be pretty cool in the near future. Sorry if that was a bit too much sharing in the perspiration department. It seemed relevant! Ok, sorry. I’ll stop.

Tyler’s Hot (Sweaty) Track of the Week:

The sweaty track of the week comes from a far-underappreciated 90s band: Built to Spill. I just recently started listening to them and am loving every minute of it.
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