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Student Voices

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

April 14, 2015

Blogger: Everest Law

As I gave up on preparing for tomorrow's physics quiz, these two questions – which have been asked by Russians since eons ago – surfaced in my stream of consciousness.  Perhaps it is the Russophile in me crying for more attention: after all, I forfeited my chance of getting a Russian minor, and instead chose to take a physics course, “Electronics," which would be useful in graduate studies. It is crazy to think about how a year has passed, since I landed in St. Petersburg shaking from excitement and the cold. It was -20F outside.

In general, spending a semester abroad is definitely worthwhile, and I won't bother to repeat the various reasons here again. But if you are planning to pursue a career in science (like me), and would like to combine science and...

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April 13, 2015

Blogger: Samuel Wylie

Dear Los Angeles,

As of today, we have 56 days left together—exactly eight weeks—before I will wake up in a different city.  To say goodbye, I want to say thank you.

I was sixteen the first time I really noticed you.  I was in English class and our teacher handed out a short story by a writer I didn’t know.  The story was unnerving.  Its language was delicate in some parts and deeply twisted in others, like wildflowers growing through a wrought-iron fence.  It was Joan Didion’s “Los Angeles Notebook,” and it moved me to the point that I went in search of her books.  Thus, the first things I knew about you were all the ways you could estrange and mangle my psyche.

This, of course, was...

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April 10, 2015

Blogger: Donovan Dennis

The last time I wrote, I was struggling with school pretty hard. Thankfully, things have started to go better, and we are nearing the end of the semester. It’s hard to believe I am four weeks away from being a senior in college. I feel as though it were only a couple months ago that I checked in for orientation.

Over the past several months, I received word that I will be participating in the Juneau Icefield Research Program for eight weeks this summer—an opportunity to do research on the some of the glaciers in southeast Alaska. I also celebrated my 21st birthday a couple days ago at an Athletics game in Oakland, which was a ton of fun. In the meantime, I’ve spent seemingly endless hours in Hameetman working late into the night, fighting for my sanity as I take 19 credits of lab science this semester.

Thankfully, I’m over the hump in my major. I only have four classes left,...

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April 8, 2015

Blogger: Nina Greenebaum

This past Saturday was Springfest at Occidental, a campus-wide event that students look forward to all year. The festivities include a “pre-fest” followed by the main attraction: a concert in the Occidental Greek Bowl at night. The whole day is put on through extensive collaboration between Programming Board and several other student-run organizations.

The Springfest Pre-Fest is an afternoon-long, festival-type event that includes live music, food trucks, and other activities including lawn games and inflatables. This year, there were a few new activities: KOXY, the on-campus radio station had t-shirts that could be tie-dyed, FEAST, another club on campus, was making floral wreaths and there was a photo booth as...

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April 6, 2015

Blogger: Matthew Cecconi

Last week, I was asked the question, “What has been your favorite moment at Oxy?” While reflecting on the many different answers I could have given, none stuck out more to me than one from my first year. I auditioned and was given a role in the musical Hairspray. I realized something while I was explaining what a great experience being in the musical was. Almost all of my favorite activities on campus are ones I am trying for the first time at college. I think that Oxy has an encouraging student body, which is why students can try so many new opportunities. Here are three new activities I have tried at Oxy that have been extremely rewarding:

1. Hairspray


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April 3, 2015

Blogger: Emily Johnson

Spring has officially sprung. And for this graduating senior, that means I’ve started saying some sad “goodbyes.” Yet, even as I am slowly being phased out of Oxy life, spring represents my favorite time of year at Occidental. Every spring, the roses on campus bloom right on cue for the admitted students, just as decisions have been mailed out and it makes me remember what it was like to make the fateful decision to come to Oxy four years ago.

Don’t get me wrong, I did not enjoy the college decision process whatsoever. First, there was the grueling application process, reading page after page of the Fiske guide, drafting at least four personal statement topics, and visiting school after school. Honestly, now that I am on the other side of this process, I don’t...

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April 2, 2015

Blogger: Madeleine Farkas

Well, I’m 3 years and 19 blogs in so there’s a good chance I know some stuff about Oxy that I probably didn’t know when I got here, and now I must channel my inner Morgan Freeman to impart some wisdom unto all of you. [I’m making a parenthetical here to say that I stopped writing after that sentence, went to bed, and ended up having a dream about Morgan Freeman. So, like, anything is possible.] I decided to dedicate this post to telling you all some of the hidden treasures at Oxy, the underground stuff that the tour guides won’t tell you. Except that I’m a tour guide. So I guess a tour guide will be telling you this. I’m sorry I lied to you. I’ll make it up to you one day.

SECRET ONE: Order...

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March 31, 2015

Blogger: Everest Law

Since this is not an academic paper, I can cite Wikipedia with impunity. It turns out that the word 'senioritis' has its own Wiki entry (who knew?), and its definition is as follows:

“...a colloquial term mainly used in the United States and Canada to describe the decreased motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their high school, college, and graduate school careers.”

That definitely sums up how part of me feel towards Oxy right now. This is my final semester before I graduate, and I can't help but to think of life beyond undergraduate studies. As an international student from Hong Kong, I came to the US to...

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March 30, 2015

Blogger: Nina Greenebaume

A couple weeks ago, we had spring break here at Occidental. Oxy students traveled near and far; among my friends, some traveled home, some stayed on campus to complete work, some traveled with their Occidental sports teams and extra-curricular groups, while others traveled with friends to locations including the Grand Canyon, Sedona National Park and Hawaii. My week included a combination of several mini-adventures: time with family in Southern California and Portland, followed by time with friends in central California.

Now, as I write this post from the Academic Commons at Occidental, I reluctantly must admit that spring break is coming to a close. Sunday evening at the tail end of the week is an interesting time on campus. Students begin trickling back to the library, preparing for the week. However, there is a sense of calm on-campus. That is not to say that the coming academic week is not filled with midterms, papers and projects, but the...

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March 28, 2015

Blogger: Rebeca Saida-Lopez

Sawadeeka! Chan shoo Rebeca, chan pood pasa thai nid noi! : Hi! My name is Rebeca Lopez and I can speak a little Thai. I am currently studying abroad in Thailand and I will not try to sum up my experience into one blog because I don't think that is possible. Instead I want to talk about one of the many amazing experiences I have had: my homestay.

My homestay experience was much more than I had expected. Initially I was extremely nervous because my Thai is still a work in progress but by the end of it I didn’t want to leave. My host family consisted of my host mom and her older sister so it actually felt like I was having a girl’s sleepover (especially since we watched TV and ate tons of snacks almost the entire time). What surprised me the most was how easy it was to get...

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