Blogger: Donovan Dennis
It’s no secret to many around me that I come from Montana. Though I don’t live up to the entire bolo-tie-wearing, 10-gallon-hat-and-spurs stereotype, many times my friends remark on my behavior with something along the line of “Your Montana is showing.” Most of the time, I’m proud of my heritage. I’m a seventh-generation Montanan, and the first student in my family to grow up in Montana and attend college outside the state. My “Montana shows” often, like when I choose to say hello to people as they walk down the street—or nod to passersby driving on the road. There aren’t very many of us at Oxy, but I hope more students from rural states recognize the value in not only attending a school in a large urban area, but also returning to their hometown with the quality education they received.
Students from the fly-over states offer an invaluable perspective on life in rural America. Most people I know here come from large, urban population centers, and couldn’t tell a combine from a post-digger. In my mind, it’s vital that these students who often forsake a college education for a job in their town find a new perspective on life by moving away from home to a culture drastically different from their own.
Occidental is noteworthy to these students for several reasons:
1. We are a small school. And with a small school comes a tight-knit community, not unlike the communities many of these students come from.
2. Our campus is slightly isolated, but still close to all the excitement of L.A. It’s easy to warm up to Eagle Rock before expanding and exploring the greater L.A. area.
3. The college prides itself on accepting and encouraging diverse viewpoints, and welcoming these voices to the greater discussion.
I hope students considering Oxy who may be unsure about adapting to a drastically different lifestyle explore their options before ruling out a liberal arts education. Admissions officers are incredibly helpful, and can guide prospective students through the admissions process and provide valuable insights about the school and campus culture. Occidental is a great place—you won’t be disappointed.