Campus Conversations

Student Voices

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

December 30, 2014

Blogger: Griffin Taylor

As I write this, I wade waist-deep into the least favorite part of the semester: finals week. It is like any other week: there’s a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and even a Saturday. Except there’s a catch- the monolithic examination of your knowledge on the entirety of a class. The fruits of your labor are either exalted to the stellar mark you always swore you would bring home to your parents, or is doomed to haunt you in regret. I would say this is a fairly agreed-upon conception of finals week between college students. 
As one might wonder, finals week is not a fan favorite among students, as first-years and seniors alike cram for an unknown test, compile readings upon readings into a final paper, scribble notes late into the night preparing for a...
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December 25, 2014

Bogger: Connie Oh

Now that winter break is here, and you’ve probably already heard way too much about finals week at this point, I’m going to talk about something other than academics here at Oxy – I’m going to talk about getting involved with community service. I’m extremely passionate about giving back to the community. It’s always been a big part of my life, so obviously, community service is one of the most important activities I do here at Oxy. Here’s my little blurb on why (and how) to get involved in community service at Oxy.

First of all, it’s so easy to get involved in community service at Oxy. One look at the website for the Office of Community Engagement will tell you immediately that there are tons of ways to get easily involved....

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December 23, 2014

Blogger: Keane Tarrosa

Hey everyone,
As the fall semester ends, it is just starting to hit me that I only have one semester left at Oxy. The real world is rapidly approaching and I am desperately trying to make the most of my remaining Oxy experience. That’s why instead of working on my grad school apps or looking for jobs, I’m going to spend the next hour reminiscing with you all and sharing 7 things I wish I had known starting at Oxy. 
1) Make friends with Barry, Kathy, and Jenny
Each of these terrific people deserves their own bullet point but if I start to get too in-depth with them, I will never finish this post. Barry has found the perfect balance between fulfilling his role as a campus safety officer while simultaneously being a friend to...
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December 14, 2014

Blogger: Lisa Chang 

Fall semester has come to end, and with finals winding down, my time in Rome is also coming to a close. I cannot begin to recount all the amazing experiences, lessons, and cultural encounters I have had this semester. But instead of being one of those annoying individuals who can't seem to stop ranting and raving about their experiences abroad, allow me instead to end this semester with some closing thoughts of reflection.
As I start to pack my bags back home, I am reminded of the quote, "This is not the end, but a beginning." Studying abroad in Rome has not only exposed me to a different culture, but also prepared me for more intercultural experiences and adventures in the future. 
After learning to be semi-independent (...
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December 9, 2014

Blogger: Sarah Safuto

Greetings and salutations, readers! Last time I wrote about how happy I was that I transferred to Occidental; today I'm going to talk about my senior year here thus far and how being a transfer student plays into my feelings about that.

I'll start off by saying that all those things that my relatives told me about it all “going by so fast” - those things at which I smiled very politely then brushed off in high school – are absolutely true. Now that I'm getting ready to submit my comps and staring the first round of senior-year-finals in the face, it has started to hit me how close I actually am to graduating.

I told someone a few weeks ago that I...

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December 8, 2014

Blogger: Daphne Auza

As a senior, it’s almost like I am expected to write on the following topics: Senior C*mps (yes, that asterisk is as necessary as it is for a swear word because of how other seniors shudder every time I mention it). Gap year, job, and internship applications. Time speeding by so fast it’s unfair. A bucket list for everything about Eagle Rock I still need to explore before May. All of these things ring true for me, especially the fact that I feel as though all I needed to do was blink and senior year had already half finished.
However, I thought I would use this blog post to mention three campus resources that have proved incredibly useful to me lately. Some of them I’ve been using for a while, and one of them I’ve only become a little more familiar...
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December 5, 2014

Blogger: Aviva Alvarez-Zakson 

Hello again, internet! Did you miss me? Today I’m going to talk to you all about a process at Occidental College known as comps—the senior comprehensive thesis most majors on campus require, where students make contributions to the academic field they spent the last four years studying. As a senior history major, I am just starting to wrap up my comps, a 25 page paper and presentation. A lot of senior bloggers have alluded to their comps, and how much work they are. So, I figured I’d actually describe my own experience. Come on this journey won’t you? 
Step One: Find your passion within your passion 
Ask any of my friends or family members and you will know I was basically born a history  major. I often refer to different...
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December 4, 2014

Blogger: Donovan Dennis

It’s around this time of the semester, with finals looming and research papers accumulating that the usual groans and gripes about schoolwork reach their peak. The excitements of classes and friends have worn off, and students are ready to head home for the well-deserved break. More often than not, the complaints are about a class, or exhaustion, or an exam that was unfairly graded—the list seems endless.

… What a lucky life we live that our most vocal complaint is the binder full of learning we must complete over the weekend.

Oxy students know about privilege. If they were unaware before coming to Occidental, they are introduced to the various privileges one can have—be it socioeconomic, personal, familial, the list goes on—almost upon arrival on campus. These privileges can often cause divisions between students, but there is one privilege that all Oxy students share, and that is the opportunity to attend...

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December 2, 2014

Blogger: Rhys Berkwitt

Hello friends, foes, prospective students, and whoever else may be reading this!

This is not my first time around the Oxy student voices blog block but it has been quite some time so allow me to reintroduce myself…

My name is Rhys, pronounced like “Reese” but spelled this way because my parents have been committed to giving me a hard time since day one (kidding!). I am a current junior cognitive science major, public health minor, from Seattle, and I work in the Office of Admission as a Diversity Initiative Intern.

This semester has been an interesting one. After finding out about my acceptance to study abroad over the summer--starting in January I will be going to New Orleans, Vietnam, South Africa, and Argentina for a global health program--I was hesitant about...

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December 1, 2014

Blogger: Martin Pittman

Oh where have the days gone? In my first semester of senior year I have found myself extremely nostalgic about my time in the past years. It has been a reflective period where so much of the stress and tension of the current year has made me long for the immature days of my freshman and sophomore years where I was unaware of student administrator tensions and even at times student group to student group tensions. Often times I have found myself reflective of my social justice involvement on campus around issues of sexual assault, LGBTQ issues and most recently racial interactions and dynamics on campus. This past semester my friends and I have recounted the days where all we did was have fun and study, but how in our sophomore and junior years we became the leaders of movements and initiatives around these issues on campus. 
While I believe these endeavors have been some of my most meaningful and positive experiences...
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