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I walked noiselessly through the towering stacks of books; my eyes wide in bewilderment. Lights flickered on around me as I ventured further into the Regenstein library. I was surrounded by uncountable stores of knowledge, from manuscripts in every Slavic language to shelves of sheet music. I had never seen so many books in my life. My town's modest public library was no comparison for the 4.5 million volumes held in the Regenstein. Behind me, my mother implored me to hurry up; it was starting to rain and we needed to get back to the car. But I stood entranced by the books and the University of Chicago.
Ever since my visit to the University of Chicago my mind has returned to my experience in the Regenstein. It seemed to me the epitome of the university's motto "crescat scientia, vita excolatur" (let knowledge increase, let life be perfected). For those moments, when I was surrounded by the amassed knowledge of previous generations, I felt that life could not get much better. However, the more I learned about the University of Chicago the better my life got because I could easily picture myself as a student there. I saw myself spending four frantic days participating in the annual Scav Hunt. I was walking to my Self, Culture, and Society Class with my classmates and reenacting the hilarious improve skit from Off-Off Campus. I pictured myself living in the historic Hitchcock House. I was preparing to study aboard in Barcelona where I would take a required civilization course, Civilization in the Western Hemisphere. I was preparing for the impending zombie invasion with the Zombie Readiness Task Force, studying at Regenstein Library, being shocked by the track team's steak while I was trying to study for finals, and creating my own student club through the Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities.
I found that the University of Chicago appeals to me because it not only presents students with knowledge, but teaches them how to connect what they learn. In the Core students connect ideas across disciplines and can find unexpected solutions for problems. Students can apply their knowledge to organize the world's largest scavenger hunt or propose a theory on how the universe came into existence (like graduate Edwin Hubble). The University of Chicago is all about improving the mind so as to improve the world, and I can think of no better way to spend the next four years.