Campus Conversations

Student Voices

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

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 know...

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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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March 24, 2015

Blogger: Sarah Safuto


Hello all, it’s me again! You know the intro drill - Sarah, redhead, senior, history major, transfer student, blogger extraordinaire. Lover of mini-horses and adventures.

Last time I blogged back in early December, I was slowly cycling my way through a series of panic attacks about graduation. Well, you miiiight be surprised to hear this, but that definitely, absolutely, 100 percent… hasn’t changed. Womp womp. If I thought I was close to graduating when I penned that post three months ago, then I’m practically staring commencement straight in the nostrils now.

I feel strangely compelled to apologize ahead of time for the heaviness of...

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March 21, 2015

Blogger: Kyle Beasley

While many of my peers headed off to Las Vegas and Cabo San Lucas, I stuck around campus to get some work done on my, what seems to be never ending, senior comprehensive project. Now in the second semester of my research, I have conducted interviews, distributed surveys and questionnaires, and have read through enormous amounts of literature. With only a few more weeks until the due date, I will be spending a lot of time writing and editing. It is honestly weird to think that this time last year, I was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which was pretty much the best 6 month vacation anyone could have.

I should admit, that my break wasn’t entirely consumed by work, however. I did get to venture out into Hollywood a bit, relax by the pool, and of course, get in a workout or two. I think that is one...

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March 19, 2015

Blogger: Daphne Auza

Unpopular opinion: I like public transportation.

By no means would I claim that the system here in Los Angeles is perfect. But since I don’t have a car and insist on leaving campus as often as possible for mini adventures and internships, I’ve been taking the bus and metro to get pretty much everywhere since my first year here. Yup, back when the 28 to Eagle Rock Plaza was still the 84. And I’m kind of proud to say that despite the horror stories about delays and stalled buses, I have never been late for anything as long as I have been using LA Metro.

My dependence on the bus does mean that I’ve had to make a few unfortunate accommodations in my schedule. For one, I refuse to ride the bus if it turns out the route will take three hours or longer. A rideshare like...

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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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