"Best" of Oxy
Blogger: Michelle Lo
At the end of the year it's time to give out all of the awards.
As my time at Oxy comes to a close (last blog post ever, wut? It's been such a short but sweet ride, my friends), I wanted to make a "Best of" and “Most likely to” award list that exemplifies everything about my Oxy experience. I should mention while I advertise this as a “Best of” and “Most likely to” list, I had to pick from stiff competition—I also eliminated the stories that needed too much backstory, inside jokes, or not- appropriate- for- Admission’s- blog (but still SFW) material for your, the general public’s, enjoyment. So without further ado, here it is!
Best rooming situation
Berkus House (AKA Lady Berkus, Mr. Berkus' Cat's Name, 1601, the original Berkus, the not Berkus Hall, but Berkus House, Berkus) may be one of the most underrated places to live on campus. The community is awesome, location is prime (I leave 2 minutes before practice starts and still get there on time), The Management is great, and Isabella is the best. Sorry boys, this is a women's house only.
Most likely to make me sprint to the marketplace for fear I'll miss my favorite Marketplace meal
Don't let anybody tell you differently, ‘cause SOPES is where it's at. Sopes are thick tortilla like vesicles for beans, salsa, lettuce, and sometimes meat—I had them for the first time at Oxy and fell in love.
**Food Hack: K-Treat told me of her creation, the Cheddar on Sourdough with Pesto from the Cooler. Don't wait until senior year to try this.
**Food Hack: Tuesday/ Thursday make your own stir-fry from D-Van Vleck. Get those yakisoba noodles from the grill with some broccoli and chicken. Cut it all up, add some teriyaki, microwave, and you can get your stir fry fix even on Pasta Day(s).
Best club on campus
Since we’re naming names, Peer Health Exchange has my vote for the club that will make the biggest impact on your life. One of my current roomies (who lived down the hall from me during our first- year at Oxy) has done it since the beginning of her college experience and I wish I joined when she did. Since this is turning into a free plug for PHE, I’ll just go for it — PHE is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to give teens the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions and they do this by training college students to teach a comprehensive health curriculum in high schools that lack health education. As the future Co-Coordinator said, PHE is unique in that students are not just raising money or awareness about an issue, but we are going into community and actually engaging with students. I’ve taught the Abusive Relationships workshop for one year and PHE has given me so much, including teaching and classroom management skills, a confidence boost in the public speaking department, and some pretty-okay friends. I honestly wish I joined earlier because I can only imagine the impact PHE could have made on my life if I am receiving so much from the organization as a first-time teaching senior.
Most likely reason to get a worried text from your roommate at 2:00AM who has watched too many Criminal Minds in the dark/ Best spontaneous off campus decision
GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY. LUNAR ECLIPSE. RED MOON. WIND. FAKE JUSTIN BIEBER. THOSE TELESCOPES.
Best spot on campus
I decided the concrete next to the stairs was going to be (and still is) my favorite spot on campus because after hiking up that stupid hill, past Sycamore Glen, to Stewie, I often needed a spot to “talk to my family” while watching the always incredible sunset. But don’t let my “phone call” on the trek up deceive you — most of the time I was really just catching my breath. Yikes.
Best nickname of a campus icon
Get at the Clapp Buffett (AKA the vending machines by the Academic Commons). That bag of potato chips or that fruity fizzy drink may be exactly what you need to power your way through that problem set and/or essay. Or through general procrastination.
Most likely to make me feel super inadequate about my lack of athleticism, singing and dancing ability
I am just super proud of the fact that I managed to ride a bike at my buddy’s running pace, Kyle Fukui, while in the rainforest during research abroad. Also going on that hike in Arenal, WOWza that made me sore for days, but that view and experience was worth it! Also watching the Dance Pro/Hyper Expressions/Glee Club do their thing. It's like dang, in my wildest dreams I can't even do that.
Best moment with Oxy friends
I'm not even going to try for this one.
Most likely to get you through finals week
Finals Week of Fall 2011: Broke my laptop screen. Hung out/studied extensively with Alan Zeng and Ayana Foster. Watched inspirational baby videos (“If you keep practicing, you will get the hang of it and then you can get better and better at it, if you do it. Thumbs up everybody for rock and roll!”) and friendship bloom under the dark cloud of my physics final.
Close second: Smorgasbord of food imported from the Eagle Rock area sophomore year. White boards. Mirrors. Haines. That fish in the printer.
Best place to get a semi-spontaneous hair cut
Manic Panic on York did an phenomenal job when they cut off 12+ inches of my hair this year to donate to charity after season ended. I highly recommend it if you are feeling semi-daring because after the initial shock, you will love it.
Most likely to get me to say yes to an off campus meal
I've tried many of the restaurants in the surrounding area, so to claim a favorite restaurant would be blasphemy. I've yet to make my way to Max City BBQ and Abby's (yelp gives them solid reviews) but other than that I've tried most of the bakeries and restaurants in the area. So this is going to be separated into blocks of non-chain (with the exception of 1) restaurants:
Best Thai: Thai Spirit
Best California Mexican: Senor Fish
Best Mexican: El Arco Iris
Best Alternative Mexican: CaCao Mexicatessien
Best Fruit Tart: Portos
Best Burger on a Ballin’ Budget: In- n- Out
Best Burger for a Special Occasion: Fusion Burgers
Best Garlic Aaoli: Oinkster
Best Food Truck: Kogi
Best Late Night Food Truck Option: Leo’s for the tacos and quesadilla, Sonia’s for the burritos
Best Pizza: Brownstone
Best Coconut Cupcake: Auntie Em's
Best Sandwich: Dave's Chillin’ and Grillin’
Best Bread: Eagle Rock Italian Bakery
Best Ice Cream: Scoops
Best Doughnuts: Happy Doughnuts/Doughnut Friend
Best Seasonal Foods: Four Café
Best Coffee/Tea: Cafe de Leche, Swork
You really aren't hearing this from me, but Delia’s may top my list of favorite locally owned restaurants. While I want them to remain a hidden gem, the food is super awesome. And if you get in there enough times (like myself and my Delia’s buddy, Brittni Walker) Delia WILL know your face. And your name. And meet your mother.
Best place to catch a movie
Highland Theater. Notable because THIS IS WHERE I SAW CATCHING FIRE AND MY LIFE WAS NEVER THE SAME AGAIN. Also the movie tickets are $4 if you catch them at the right time!
Most likely to see my graying hair
That's right, you morning group tour from that one high school from that boy with the glasses, I'M CALLING YOU OUT. It does make for my Best Tour Guide Story though (there was this student who asked if school was hard because I had a lot of gray hairs… Haters gonna hate).
Best mistake I made
I accidentally forgot to send an email to Orientation Coordinator that I wanted to work with traditional first-years instead of Transfer/Exchange/Visitors. Little did I know, if that email was sent out, I would have missed out on working with a delightful group of people during my stint as a TEV O-Team leader and OCore member.
Single best thing about Oxy
Since I have a single-story, biased perspective, I won't write Best Campus Community, but I will say it is the thing Most likely to make me miss college.
So far, I've used the word "best" exactly 36 times so far in this post. But I'll use it a few more times—I've met some of my best friends and some of the best people I know here. It is amazing to be at a school where I am inspired, every day, by the people who surround me and make up this wonderful community.
So this list devolved into short, choppy sentences with an endless supply of clichés, overly used fun phrases, and an excessive use of parenthesis, but it is what it is. From a soon to be alumna, get involved and start building your “Best of” and “Most likely to” moments, because the ~4 years will fly by. I’ll always love Oxy and have so much appreciation for the wonderful opportunities and memories this school has given me—If you take the first step, Oxy can be the place full of the people you never knew you were missing. It’s so scary to think that I miss it already.
XOXO Stay frosty my friends,