Campus Conversations

Student Voices

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

April 25, 2015

Blogger: Lisa Chung

I just want to be real in this post. As a student admissions blogger, I tend to feel this self-imposed pressure to paint everything in college in a positive, happy light. And yes, things in college are for the most part awesome. I love my classes, professors, friends, extracurricular activities, and I absolutely love Oxy. But there are days and weeks when all of us can literally start to feel our shoulders sag from the weight of just... everything.

It's that time of the semester when students are starting to burn out when they least need it. With finals around the corner, student clubs and groups holding end-of-the-year events, and research projects being assigned left and right (I have three research papers to do), I know that, at least for me, it has been harder...

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April 21, 2015

Blogger: Denzel Tongue

Hello blogosphere! My name is Denzel Tongue and I am a sophomore sociology major, public health minor. This is only my second time doing this whole blogging thing but once again I’ll give it my best shot!

This school year has been the busiest I have ever been. Sitting on the Black Student Alliance’s E-Board, working as one of the Diversity Initiative Interns in admissions, starting on the Men’s Lacrosse Team, sitting on the Student Marketing Board… just to name a few things! Being able to participate in so many organizations has been a huge growing experience for me, as I slowly learn how to take on more responsibilities and become a leader. As the semester nears the end I have become reflective about the year overall. I...

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April 18, 2015

Blogger: Claudia Dumpson

Hey everyone!

Spring has officially sprung at Oxy! As you may know, Oxy’s campus is beautiful, but it’s especially beautiful in the spring. With temperatures in at least the 70s every day, I’ve been trying to spend more time outdoors, which isn’t hard to do when you go to Oxy. In no particular order, here are my three favorite outdoor spots on campus!

Branca Patio

Branca Patio is the outside dining area outside of the Marketplace. The weather has been SO nice this semester (which isn’t out of the ordinary) so I’ve been having most of my meals outside. I have a love/hate relationship with the sparrow-type creatures that flutter around and occasionally rest on people’s plates when they go to the bathroom, but I love Branca nonetheless.

Academic Quad


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April 16, 2015

Blogger: Daphne Auza

I’ve never been any good at good-byes. I either obsess over making them perfect, or I avoid them completely in order to avoid the whole messy process. Neither are probably the most emotionally mature way to approach the situation, but I’m still figuring it out. This being my last post ever for the admission blog, I am tempted to write a heart-wrenching and eloquent farewell to Los Angeles, or something that will do justice to the time that I’ve spent at Oxy. But each time I try and form the words to do so, I can already feel myself melting into a puddle of raw feeling that historically hasn’t resulted in my best moments of coherence.

I can most succinctly describe my college experience as a series of rapid changes. Coming to Oxy, I was the farthest thing from self-aware....

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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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