My Oxy Adventures
Blogger: Ashley Wilson
Hi, my name is Ashley Wilson. I'm from San Francisco, CA and a sophomore at Oxy.
When I was applying to Oxy as a senior in high school, I went from wanting to go to college on the east coast to staying on the west coast...and back again. So Oxy was really the last place I was originally considering for attending for college. Turns out that it was one of the best choices of my life. I'm only a short plane flight or a fun (relatively short) road trip away from home. This became especially important for me as I get easily homesick if I'm away from home for extended periods of time. Because I live so close, my mom can visit me and I can go home fast if there's an emergency.
I've realized, looking back at my experience so far at Oxy, it's been a relatively positive one. I've made some awesome friends with whom I'm living in Norris, and I'm building relationships with people that I hope will last me a lifetime. I got work on campus at the Office of Admission, which was like a miracle for me since almost all the jobs on campus are (understandingly) reserved for international students and students with work study. And my boyfriend just got back to school at Caltech. Things are working out well for me so far.
But it took me a long time to find this happiness and content that I currently feel. I thought I knew what I wanted coming into college: I was going to major in something science-y and become an orthodontist (the profession I wanted to pursue since I was about eight). However, I was in for a real shock: math and science classes ended up being extremely different from high school math and science classes – more lecture, less discussion – and that was something I just couldn't see myself doing for the next four years of my college career. In my first semester, I ended up getting the lowest grade I've ever gotten. Period. And I realized that a course of study where I'd have to take even more classes that I dislike just wasn't worth it. Everyone says college flies by, and I didn't want to waste it being unhappy by doing things to make me a more "well-rounded" person. I spent most of my middle and high school doing that.
Instead, I decided to pursue what I was good at and what I loved: language and literature. I love science too, but it has always been tougher for me to succeed at. I've been studying Spanish since I was in fifth grade, and I've loved every second of studying it. English, for me, was always fascinating for me, as well, because it's like a psychological study for me about fictional (or sometimes non-fictional) characters. So at the end of my Freshman year, I decided to declare my first major: Spanish Literature Studies. I plan on declaring English by the end of this year, as well, but all the professors I've wanted to ask to be my advisors are either retiring or switching departments. So I'm still in the process of finding an advisor, but at least I'm about 95% sure what my majors will be.
In terms of my social life, I have a tendency to latch onto a group of friends prematurely, thinking that they will be my friends for life. Of course, this happened in college. However, later on in my freshman year, I found people that were very similar to my high school friends – people I could relate to easily and comfortably. I feel like we all have each other's backs and can trust one another. So far, we've been together in Norris with little (if any) problems, and considering the type of people we all are, I don't believe there will be any huge scuffles. I couldn't have asked for a better roommate – we got close last year, especially during my second semester. We can talk about everything and I feel like we are genuinely good friends androommates, instead of just good roommates. Overall, I'd say this year has been a good one, but it wasn't exactly a picnic, academically or socially, getting there. I won't stop challenging myself physically and mentally to grow more as a well-rounded person, but I'm going to do it my way.