Campus Conversations

Student Voices

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

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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November 29, 2014

Blogger: Emily Johnson

Gratitude. This word keeps reverberating in my thoughts this week. But I am not grateful simply because of the time of year. Instead, in the midst of my senior year and approaching my final semester, I am experiencing a different sense of gratitude. Sure, my parents and sister would love to read how grateful I am for their love and support. And, although this is true, I find myself more and more grateful each day for the spectacular students that surround me at Oxy.

When I decided to come to Oxy, I never realized how much the students around me would shape the person I am becoming. The rhetoric around choosing a college revolves around the school that offers the best classes, best degree, and best ability to get your dream job. (I’m still waiting for that shoe to drop.)...

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November 27, 2014

Blogger: Maddy Farkas

¡Hola! Welcome to “Maddy’s 17th Blog Post”. I’ll refrain from making a cheesy joke using the lyrics from “Sixteen Going On Seventeen,” but know that it hurts me not to. It’s officially Thanksgiving break and, in the spirit of the holiday, I thought I would list what I’m most thankful for about my life at Oxy, minus the obvious stuff like weather, squirrels that chase each other, and the Financial Aid Office.

Here it goes:

1. The Quad. If you ever see me on campus, there’s a good chance it’s on the quad. I spend a lot of time on those benches. Sure, I have my favorites, but I’m always open to...

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November 24, 2014

Blogger: Kyle Beasley

This semester has kept me busier than ever. With all the programing going on, coupled with the loads of homework, and on top of that, working on my senior comprehensive project, my scheduled has been packed. But to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
One of the big programming efforts this semester was Unity Week. Oxy’s Black Student Alliance (BSA), in collaboration with numerous other cultural organizations, came together to put on...
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November 20, 2014

Blogger: Amber Thai

These past few weeks have been filled with birthday activities and the final grind towards working on my senior comprehensive presentation. I recently turned 21 a couple of weeks ago, and it was by far the best birthday that I celebrated at school. It reminded me of how great it is to go to a small school and how awesome of a community Oxy is! Since my birthday was two days before Halloween, I remembered to head to Krispy Kreme for their Halloween-themed donuts. 

With all that was going on, I have been working on my senior comprehensive presentation. As a Biology major, I signed up to present on an environmental neurotoxin known as the Tetanus neurotoxin produced by a bacterium that causes prolonged muscle contractions and spasms. My presentation is coming up in a week and I’m trying not to...

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November 19, 2014

Blogger: Griffin Taylor

Working as a senior fellow at admissions allows you to meet a myriad of people from different backgrounds, different states, different countries, different everything. In many ways, these students have similar interests in Oxy and the liberal arts, but one thing that I’ve found that links all of these students together -- and everyone at Oxy -- is that we’re all on our own journeys.
For the students applying to college, they have a new journey ahead of them. They are about to embark on what is probably going to be an incredibly formative four years for them. But what has led them to this point in time, where they must decide which college to attend, turns entirely on their life experiences up until this point. One...
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November 17, 2014

Blogger: Kate Coursey

When I first transferred to Occidental, I had very few memories of my first two years in college. I attended a large state university only five minutes from my childhood home. It was a commuter school with tens of thousands of students. My classes were huge, professors rarely knew my name, and there was no community to speak of. Walking around campus, I could go weeks at a time without seeing a familiar face.
Now, one and a half years into my time at Oxy, I’ve created more memories and friendships than I ever had at my old university. I’ve embarked upon adventures I never would’ve imagined. But perhaps most importantly, I’ve rediscovered the love of learning. It’s a love I lost a long time ago…...
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November 12, 2014

Blogger: Matthew Cecconi

Hey Everyone!

Matthew here, and it is that time of the semester where once again we come to registration. This time is championed by lots of frantic searching for classes and the ever present question, “So, what are you taking next semester?” I wanted to give what I think are 5 important things to remember while registering.

They go like this:

  1. Plan, Reevaluate that Plan, and then Plan again
    I would say this is the first thing because you never know how many times you will change what you want to do. I have gone through 3 potential majors before settling on sociology. One of the many things you can do is create a four-year academic plan. This is in no way binding and it can just be an aid. I would recommend using...
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