Before you go to college, everyone tells you that your experience will “change your life forever,” and they’re right, just not in the way I expected.
I personally would consider myself, a junior living off campus, a very different person from my first day of freshman year. That being said, I don’t believe that college has changed who I am as a person, just my priorities. I’ve realized what’s most important to me and what I want to achieve in my last four quarters at Santa Clara University, as well as in the years that follow it.
Although I’ve had this revelation that time at SCU has changed what I find most important, I was curious to see if I was the only one who felt that way or if this was a trend among my peers.
I decided to reach out to my friends and classmates and ask them a few questions about their college experience so far. I asked four students, one from each grade, two men and two women, to talk to me about how Santa Clara has impacted their lives thus far.
Why did you choose Santa Clara?
Brady Smith (Freshman): “I chose it because of the good academics and exceptional post-grad job opportunities.”
Molly Buehler (Sophomore): “My brother went here and whenever I would visit I’d fall in love with the campus again and again; I knew it was the right fit. Plus, I love the west coast so I knew I wanted to come out here.
Hamilton Coke (Junior): “Because it’s in the middle of Silicon Valley, and I want to be an engineer and the school itself seemed like a good engineering school. There are also a lot of things do: ski, bike, and surf.”
Ariana Cvitanic (Senior): “Wow, no one has asked me that in a very long time. At first I didn’t want to go to school too close to home, but I received a really good financial aid offer. The school matched my ideals of social justice and a had a beautiful campus with happy people.”
What do you like most about SCU?
BS: “The amazing people I have met along the way.”
MB: “I love all the people I’ve met here. They honestly are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. For some reason this school just attracts the most genuine people and I’m happy I was able to meet all of my friends and grow as a person.
HC: “The people are really nice. I’ve made great friends.
AC: “I like the location because it offers us a lot of job opportunities and internships in the Silicon Valley.
What do you like least?
BS: “Benson’s hours.”
MB: “It can be a little like high school with people knowing everything about everyone because the school is so small…when you make some sort of social error its likely that a lot of people will hear about it.”
HC: “The size. I started noticing how small it was at the end of sophomore year.”
AC: “I wish they would have offered more major options.”
What does a typical Friday night look like for you?
BS: “Hanging out with friends.”
MB: “On Friday nights I usually go out to a party with my friends. Sometimes when I have a ton of work to do I stay in and work so I can be really productive Friday and Saturday and then just hang out on Sunday.”
HC: “I try to go surfing and then drink and have fun with my friends.”
AC: “I sometimes get dinner out with friends and then I pregame with my housemates and go out with them if we feel up to it.”
How often do you go to class?
BS: “I always go to class.”
MB: “I don’t take 8 AMs. I will skip them because I always end up going to sleep too late. Even 9:15 is a struggle for me. I think it’s really important to go to class but I do every now and then just because I don’t really feel like going.”
HC: “I skip a fair amount.”
AC: “I always go or have a very good reason not to.”
How many hours a week do you spend studying?
BS: “I would say more than 10.”
MB: Probably not as much as a should. I would say at least 15-20 hours a week, depending on how much work I have.
HC: “It really depends, some weeks it’s all day everyday and some weeks it’s two hours total. I definitely study a lot more now as a junior.”
AC: “Maybe 15?”
How’s dorm life or living off campus? Which do you like better?
BS: “Living in Dunne has been great thus far. It’s great to have sophomores on the floor who can show me the ropes.”
MB: “I love living on campus and living in Dunne. I’m really excited to live off campus with all my best friends, but I’m a little worried its going to be harder to meet people because they won’t just be in the hallway talking or right next door.”
HC: “Both have their benefits, but living in a house is definitely better because you’re living life rather than having someone tell you how to live life and you can do what you want.”
AC: “I like both. Dorms were a nice transition to living on my own but still having a tight knit, almost family unit, with my dorm mates. It was a fun way to meet people and socialize. As a senior I like living off campus because it’s a little less monitored, you’re living on your own and taking a step towards being an adult, like paying bills and cooking for yourself. And it’s fun having no parents and no rules.”
Do you currently have any career goals?
BS: “Maybe becoming a lawyer.”
MB: “I’m not exactly sure what I’d like to do yet. I would really like to be successful and to love my job; just be generally happy with what’s going on.”
HC: “Love what I do and make a lot of money doing that.”
AC: “I want to go into the Public Relations field.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
BS: “Possibly law school, or settling into a career.”
MB: “In five years I see myself still living on the west coast, preferably San Francisco, but who knows if I’ll be able to afford that! I’ll have a job I like and make a decent living at and maybe I’ll be dating someone? Who knows the possibilities are endless!”
HC: “Hopefully working at a startup that I founded here in Silicon Valley”
AC: “I made a timeline…in 2022, I will be graduating from grad school, hopefully.”
What has been the best part of your college experience so far?
BS: “So far it’s been the amazing people I have met.”
MB: “like I said earlier, the people here have made my experience so amazing. My favorite part so far has been meeting my best friends.”
HC: “All of the opportunities I’ve had and the life realization that you have in college [that] the world is yours. It makes you think about life differently.”
AC: “Being surrounded by like-minded people who genuinely care about making the world a better place.”
Whether their experiences have been as drastic as mine or not, Santa Clara has shaped its students. As cliché as it might sound, I think that that’s all one can really hope for when they come to college. SCU has given us unbelievable friends and memories, what more could you ask for (other than better dining hall hours)?