Campus Conversations

Student Voices

Considering Oxy? Check out what our students have to say...

March 17, 2015

Blogger: Aviva Alvarez-Zakson

Hello friends! Welcome back to the inner workings of my mind. As you have already witnessed, because I know you are all dedicated readers of mine, I am a senior and I have a lot of feelings. A few months back, I talked about my “last-firsts” and the impending doom I was feeling knowing that things were ending. Well, at this point in the year, almost everything has ended (or will end in about two months). As my college career whooshes past me at an alarming rate I have had this sinking feeling that it’s happened: I’ve peaked. People always say that college is the best time of your life, and if college is over, then the best must also be over. At least, this is how I felt.

Although I am going to...

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March 14, 2015

Blogger: Keane Tarrosa

Hi everybody! I’m writing to you all from Oceanside, CA where a bunch of friends and I have rented a beach house for our last Spring Break. One of the nice things about Oxy is that you’re so close to an array of amazing places. This Spring Break alone, I know people that are camping in Joshua Tree, staying in Las Vegas, and doing beach trips throughout Southern California (and this isn’t accounting for the majority of groups that fly somewhere). All of this (loosely) ties back to what I want to talk about in this blog post: the importance of picking a school where you are going to be happy outside of the classroom.

First off, I’m not saying academics aren’t important (don’t worry mom). Academics should be the driving...

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March 12, 2015

Blogger: Soraya Sebghati

“Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes.” For all of you non-lit nerds out there, yes, I’m spending my spring break doing my homework and reading James Joyce’s Ulysses.  Being an English major is no joke. And if you think my spring break sounds busy, you should’ve witnessed my semester! Which is really the point of this blog post: to let you (the readers) in on my life at Oxy.

Sure, it’s been busy, but it’s also been amazing! Yes, my classes are complicated (if you didn’t catch that one of my classes focuses solely on Ulysses, James Joyce’s postmodern masterpiece).  However, complicated proves to be rewarding! If I didn’t love my major,...

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March 11, 2015

Blogger: Amber Thai

Hey everyone!

Hope that spring break has started off well and that you’re enjoying the free week! It’s been a few weeks into school already and I can’t believe that there is only about two months left before graduation; it doesn’t feel real. For a quick recap of last semester, I passed my Biology comps so this semester I’m breathing a little easier and am just finishing off my requirements for my major and minor. Now, the task for this semester is to look for jobs. I admit, I’ve been pretty stressed about trying to find a job for the year that I’ll take off before applying to grad school. However, that means that I’ve also been trying to find new places to do work at besides the library at school. Sometimes, the change in scenery can make you feel...

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March 6, 2015

Blogger: Claudia Dumpson

Hi everyone!

I’m so excited to be back and blogging directly from Oxy’s campus!!! Last semester, I was studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. You can check out some of my other posts or email me ( if you’d like to hear more about my experience, but I will say that choosing to study abroad was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I made such close connections to my host family, the friends I made on the program, and the city itself that it was so devastating to say goodbye after such an amazing semester. However, I was excited to be back in the States and see my family and friends and enjoy the comforts of home.

Upon returning, I had five long weeks of winter...

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March 3, 2015

Blogger: Griffin Taylor


For those of you who follow these admissions blog posts, I have to admit these are starting to feel pretty weird to write. I still have trouble coming to terms with the fact that I’m a senior in college, let alone that I’m halfway through February... Which means I’m basically halfway though my last semester... Which means I’m basically a real live person with commitments and 401Ks and retirement to worry about. Either way, though I’m still sipping from the font of youth (or at least I think I am), I’ve been around just long enough to understand that there were various paths that I could have chosen in college, and each of them included different experiences and lessons there within. And while any senior is susceptible to hearing the footsteps of...

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March 1, 2015

Blogger: Madeleine Farkas

Hey everyone. I’m taking this blog post to address something that I have been neglecting to mention for the past couple of years – there are actually a lot of things I DON’T like about this school! Can you even imagine that? After all of those glorified posts, I figured I owe it to you all to discuss my least favorite things about Oxy:

1. Distance to Los Angeles – Being so close to the city is absolutely TERRIBLE. I am constantly being reminded of how many events and opportunities are out there for me to take advantage of and it’s SUCH a distraction! I go off campus all the time to concerts and restaurants and comedy shows. Just last week I saw Best Coast with a group of my friends! Being in Los Angeles almost forces me to have a thriving...

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February 26, 2015

Blogger: Donovan Dennis

I think it’s safe to say I’m having an “off” semester so far.

I reluctantly returned from the five week recess, and was greeted with a textbook-slam to the face by the reality that sometimes, college is hard. Even the best students find something they struggle with, especially when they start to take advanced classes and work on more comprehensive projects. If I’ve learned anything so far this semester, it’s been trying to rationalize and accept that the effort I put into my schoolwork sometimes isn’t reflected by the results that come out. That’s life, I guess. We can’t all be brilliant. I’ve never been bad at school (when I’ve actually tried), so failing homework...

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February 24, 2015

Blogger: Lisa Chang

After a whole semester studying abroad in Italy, I have finally returned to Oxy! Despite the small changes here and there, it's like I never really left. The stir-fry is still on point, the library entrance still gushes wind as if Beyonce's about to strut through, the readings are still never-ending, and people are still overly-friendly. As someone who's moved a lot in the past few years, it's hard to pin point where my "home" is. But returning to Oxy after a semester abroad definitely solidified this feeling of belonging that I feel on campus.

On my campus tours, I tend to tell visitors the big impressive things that make Oxy one of a kind. But in actuality, I really feel like the small things are what makes Oxy home to me. Whether it's...

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February 22, 2015

Blogger: Samuel Wylie

Occidental is small.  You’ll hear this fact in many different contexts.  In the college’s promotional materials, it’s followed by an academic benefit:  Occidental is small, so professors know and help you.  When you take a campus tour, it’s followed by a logistical comment:  Occidental is small, so you can walk to all of your classes in ten minutes or less.  When you’re considering Occidental as your future, it’s followed by hesitation:  Occidental is small, I’m scared it might feel too much like high school.  When you’re a student, it’s followed by a social fact:  Occidental is small.  I know everybody and everybody knows me.

If you...

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