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 factor in the college search process and are the hugely impactful to the person you will become when you leave college. That said, the busiest students are in class for maybe 3 hours per day. After schoolwork, you might have 18 hours per day that are completely free. For me, this was a drastic departure from high school where it seemed like my whole day was rigidly scheduled. Coming to Oxy gave me the freedom and time to explore my interests both inside and outside of the classroom. I could spend the rest of my life in Los Angeles and never run out of things to do. Every day I am glad that I go to a school where I have endless opportunities and activities I can choose from in my free time.
Even more important than having things to do is having good people to enjoy those things with. Oxy has several commonalities with other schools (small class sizes, study abroad programs, beautiful campus), but no other school can claim to have Oxy students. My favorite thing about Oxy students is how passionate and committed everyone is. I have never met someone at Oxy that just goes to class and isn’t involved in some club or activity. Everyone here is involved in this internship or that sport or something else besides school. These diverse combinations of interests result in everyone getting to know everyone, building the foundation of the Oxy community. As a senior graduating in two months, I am confident that I will have had a meaningful, memorable interaction with everyone that walks across that commencement stage with me. As much as I’m looking forward to graduation, it’s these things that make me savor and appreciate the wonderful people and opportunities surrounding me at Oxy. When picking a school, be sure to pick a place where you feel challenged and happy both inside and outside of the classroom.