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The Bus May Stall, but Our Road to College Is Unstoppable

Millikin University tour takes an unexpected – and brief – stop on the side of the road.

The farthest college choice for College Exploration Day was Millikin University, in Decatur, Illinois.  Students had to stumble out of bed and arrive at CTK at 6:00 am to make sure the bus left promptly at 7am.  Although it was a painfully early morning, the students were relieved to see a coach bus pull up to taken them on the three hour drive downstate.  Little did they know what was in store for them on the road to Decatur.

The ride was typical enough, and most students had fallen back to sleep as the view out the window became an endless scene of cornfields.  Then, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, the bus came to a grinding halt on the side of the road around 9:15am.  The hobbled bus shook violently as semi-trucks whipped past on the highway, and students freaked out at the prospect of being stuck in the middle of nowhere.  Chaperones did their very best to keep everyone quiet and calm, but it didn’t stop some from making jokes to keep it light.

After what seemed like forever (10 minutes), the bus and all its anxious passengers were back on the road and headed towards their destination:  Millikin University.  You’d think the drama would be behind them, but the sight of a cemetary RIGHT NEXT TO THE UNIVERSITY cast a dark shadow over an already tense tour.

As we exited the bus and entered the university, we climbed a bunch of stairs to get to the top floor where we waited in a room for our tour to start and the college president explained the benefits to us of Millikin University. The president and college counselor then explained how some students are attending Millikin for free and how there are many sports to join at Millikin.  As we took the tour, there were many buildings with different purposes like dorms, sports facility and more. During the tour, most of us noticed that a handful of buildings were hot inside (blowing hot air through the vents) so that may be an issue to consider during the hotter months. After the tour, we finally ate lunch which was a delicious selection of food. After we ate our lunch the tour officially  concluded and we waited for our coach bus. 

A special bonus happened while we were waiting: a Millikin football player showed us to their field and it was huge! He then showed us the athletic building where they had a ginormous basketball court! Not long after that our bus arrived and we boarded and drove a little bit before stopping by a little restaurant to get some milkshakes and I got a Oreo Milkshake. Afterwards, began the forever drive of 3 hours back to CTK. In the end it was one of the best college explorations.  When asked about the college, Junior Lavar Hall shared, “This school is big and good and all, but next to a cemetery is crazy!” 

In the end, the campus tour, lunch, and ride home all were pretty fun.  The campus is beautiful, and it was great to hear stories from Mr. Joyner about his hometown of Decatur.  The university staff and students were really welcoming, and we all left with a good sense of whether we could make this our college decision.

Dining at Millikin University after the tour!
Bonus tour of the Millikin football field with a football player who saw us waiting for our bus!

 

 

 

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