Blogger: Sarah Sterling
I have to say that the best part of graduating happens before you acutally graduate. "Senior Week" is a week packed with events for Oxy seniors before graduation weekend. Most students take the first few days of Senior Week to travel to Las Vegas for what has been called "the Oxy invasion." Over one hundred students went this year, and it was a Vegas experience unlike any other. You could not go down any street or into any hotel without seeing a fellow classmate! I'd say my favorite day in Vegas was when we all descended upon the pool at the MGM Grand for an afternoon of lounging and taking underwater photos.
On-campus events during Senior Week included a pub night hosted by Eagle Rock Brewery, a special performance of our school's production of Hairspray, and the infamous "Senior Smack" dance, where students have their last chance to cozy up to someone they've been admiring during their years at Oxy.
It doesn’t quite feel like I’ve graduated yet because none of my friends have left Los Angeles, and I’m still living in the same place I’ve been for the past two semesters. Graduation was only a couple of weeks ago, and my friends and I celebrated in our own special way. The standard Oxy graduation ceremony is a two-and-a-half hour event in our Hillside Theater (it looks like a Greek bowl!) followed by a reception on the quad (this year they had food trucks!). We took the quad food-fest as our opportunity to say goodbye to the many friends who were leaving Los Angeles/California either for home or for job opportunities. Oxy does a great job of making families, whether from in or out of state, feel welcome on campus and also ensures that they know where to go and what events are happening. My family particularly enjoyed buying one-of-a-kind Oxy seat cushions for the long ceremony, hah! After the food trucks, we went home to have our families convene for a potluck dessert party! This was the first time my group of friends met each other’s families, and it was a lot of fun. We even had a slideshow of pictures from our four years of college! After that we all went our separate ways for dinner with our own clans.
Now, two weeks later, we are all still together, spending our days watching new episodes of Arrested Development and figuring out our next steps. Half of us have jobs, and the other half promising job offers, but all of us feel prepared to go out into the world and succeed wherever we end up next. As cheesy as it may seem, our time at Oxy has been the best of our lives, and in addition to the skills we gained here, we also have endless good memories and lasting friendships that we will keep with us forever. Thank you for everything, Oxy. I hope to see you again soon.