Campus Conversations

Student Voices

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

October 29, 2013

Blogger: Matthew Cecconi


Hi! My name is Matthew Cecconi and I am a sophomore Sociology major from Los Angeles, California. Specifically, I live in Eagle Rock, a whole six-minute drive from campus.

Whenever I get asked why I chose a school so close to home, I love explaining all the perks that come along with it. For example, move-in day for my first year was a Saturday; I started packing on Friday. Additionally, for every break that we have had so far it is much easier to throw my clothes in my laundry bag and take that home rather than attempt to fit them all in a suitcase. These simple perks, however, are not the only reasons that living close to home is so easy and nice.

The fact that my hometown is Los Angeles was another big reason that made coming to Oxy so easy. The city is so rich with history and...

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October 29, 2013

Blogger: Marisha Thakker


So, what do political theatre, environmental policy and dance have in common? Me, of course. The countdown to my comps performance has begun – the senior comprehensive project – big, scary words for a very big, very scary process. Not really, especially when you have amazing mentors and friends to help support you (chocolates and hugs don’t hurt either). For my theatre comps, I’m writing and directing an eco-friendly production about four women who control the elements and their journey through the darkness to save the world. Pretty epic huh? What’s really incredible is that I get to work with so many talented designers and actors. My Theatre in Times of Crisis class is also an excellent source. We discuss everything from parodies to Brecht.

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October 24, 2013

Blogger: Daisy Zhang

"He felt like cheering privately because people often wanted to start their lives all over again in tough times and not many of them actually got to do it." - David Chen, Claim the Earth

7 classes with 2 labs and a class at Caltech (with Everest!), plus 3 on-campus jobs as a grader, international student liaison and language table coordinator. Here is my third...

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October 22, 2013

Blogger: Madi Tsuji


I used to say commonly-heard things like, “the start of the year is so busy!,” “I’m still settling in,” and “I hate midterms week.” Now, in the middle of my fourth and final fall semester at Oxy, I’m realizing that all of the aforementioned statements are misleading. Yes, the start of the year is busy, but so is the rest of the semester. Yes, I am still settling in, but I will still be settling in until finals week, and then I’ll have to get used to a whole new schedule. And yes, I do hate midterms week, but midterms are really more aptly described as the season from the 3rd week of the semester to the 12th. And not only are the statements misleading, they are also commonly-given excuses.

We’re nearly at the halfway point of the...

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October 18, 2013

Blogger: Claudia Dumpson


Hi everyone!

My name is Claudia and I’m a sophomore from Burlingame, California, a suburb about 20 minutes south of San Francisco. I’m a Sociology major, Spanish minor and a possible double minor in Education. I’m a new tour guide, member of Alpha Lambda Phi Alpha sorority, and a mentor for a program called WYSE. 

I’m a new tour guide this year and something that prospective students and parents ask often is “Why Oxy?”. And since this is my first blog I decided that’d be a perfect way to start. 

Disclaimer: This list is definitely not exhaustive because I love Oxy way way way too much to summarize it via blogging.

1. Community 

I guess my high school would be considered big (around 1,300),...

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October 16, 2013

Blogger: Martin Pittman



My Name is Martin Pittman, and I am junior sociology major from Washington DC.

Being so far away from home, some might imagine, is a big struggle and one that has me longing for bitter winters of the east coast. I am almost the exact opposite, though. The beautiful weather and great people here at Oxy have me consistently searching for ways to get back to the CALI SWAGG DISTRICT. My mom always said I was a flower child at heart, and my love for the west coast has done nothing but prove that.

I came to Oxy as a math major, but like a lot of students at Occidental, the social justice route was just too enticing.  After a few semesters of science, social theory, and crazy fun, I settled on Sociology which let me combine my interest in society and and my...

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October 10, 2013

Blogger: Ashley Wilson

Hi, my name is Ashley Wilson. I'm from San Francisco, CA and a sophomore at Oxy. 

When I was applying to Oxy as a senior in high school, I went from wanting to go to college on the east coast to staying on the west coast...and back again. So Oxy was really the last place I was originally considering for attending for college. Turns out that it was one of the best choices of my life. I'm only a short plane flight or a fun (relatively short) road trip away from home. This became especially important for me as I get easily homesick if I'm away from home for extended periods of time. Because I live so close, my mom can visit me and I can go home fast if there's an emergency. 

I've realized, looking back at my experience so far at Oxy, it's been a relatively positive one. I'...

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October 10, 2013

Blogger: Lisa Gilliland


On average, I would guess that someone says something along the lines of “enjoy it while you can, the real world sucks” or “don’t graduate!” to me two to three times a week. It has gotten to the point where I just want to shake them and remind them that I have no control over time, and that not graduating isn’t really financially an option, so it seems I am headed down a path of inevitable graduating!

Because of this, I have decided that this year, my final year of college, is going to be the year where I make sure to finish off my imaginary “college bucket list” that I unofficially made before I came to college. This list is based off of the advice my parents have repeatedly given me to try new things in college, to take...

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October 7, 2013

Blogger: Jeremy Childs


September has come and passed, and that means the school year is in full swing. Along with the four upper-division classes I’m in this semester, I’ve been kept quite busy thanks to a wide array of extracurricular activities.

The month began with me taking part in one of Oxy’s finest traditions: getting thrown in the Gilman Fountain on my birthday. My friends were kind enough to give me cupcakes after my plunge, but they unfortunately forgot to bring a towel with them! Here’s a photo of me taken immediately after I was thrown in, clothes and all, in the wee hours of my birthday.

September also marked my re-entry into all the on-campus activities I’ve joined over the past two years. This semester, I’m the Vice President of Spoken Word Club, an organization that...

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October 3, 2013

Blogger: Julius DiLorenzo


My name is Julius, and I’m a sophomore at Oxy from Chicago.

I came into college and, kind of on a whim, decided to try the pre-med track. It took about three weeks to realize that there are probably more apt people than I to be doctors, but I still had a lot of fun telling people I was pre-med for a month. Since then, I’ve decided to take courses that sound genuinely interesting, and see where that takes me (the benefits of a liberal arts school). There’s been some magical realism, Los Angeles History, and European political thought--all leading me to think I’ll be a politics major, but I still have the rest of sophomore year to declare.

I also became an RA (Resident Advisor) this year, and it’s been a lot of fun and not like being an RA on...

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