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Occidental College

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I graduated from Occidental in 2008, and my

Feb 22 2014History/Histories (art history/etc.)
I graduated from Occidental in 2008, and my time there was probably the most miserable point of my life. I had some emotional problems, which is common in college, and the administration vilified me more than giving me any useful help.

It tries to fight its reputation as a party school but almost every student there drinks excessively on a regular basis and most of them use drugs. Cocaine is very popular and easy to come by.

While it's true that the school is ethnically diverse, almost all of the students are wealthy and there are visibly african-american, asian, hispanic, and white tables in the cafeteria.

The sciences at Occidental are excellent but the arts and humanities are very politically motivated. Good luck if you don't agree with the college's views. The college is also in very bad financial shape but spends an enormous amount of money on its image. There have been a number of scandals lately about students being punished for their political opinions, the college's extremely lenient sexual assault policy, and their grossly unfair treatment of workers. All in all I left occidental with absolutely no useful skills and completely unprepared for the working world.

Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
Starting Job: Intuit-Certified Quickbooks User Preparedness: F Reputation: D+

Occidental is perfectly challenging

Sep 24 2014Biology
Occidental is perfectly challenging. I feel like you know that going in- if you read the mission statement. Occidental is preparing you for an increasingly interdependent and pluralistic world by challenging you to push yourself to your absolute greatest. The choice is up to the student though. To help to do this Occidental has amazing resources like AMP and SSAP that you can go to for extra help to help you excel. Occidental not only has these resources but has amazing research opportunities and internships that are exclusively for Oxy students. However, even then it is up to the student to go out of their way to apply to them. This is what makes your Occidental education a selling point for graduate school and for the work force taking upon those opportunities that you just don?t get at state schools. Occidental College has the tools to make your education more than ?just a liberal arts education? I feel as though some just don?t take upon the opportunity. Here is an example. Everyday a newsletter goes out with everything going around on campus and sometimes internship opportunities. That is where I found my internship with a big biotech company. When people asked me how did I get it I told them where and they said they never read the newsletter. The opportunities are there friends you just have to open an email or two. Also they choose a certain type of student body on purpose- because they realize people aren?t cookie cutter shaped like the state school system makes people seem. They give people a chance to take upon the opportunity because they see your potential. Also every professor I have had is willing to take time out of their day to help. I have had professors in the Art History, Biology, Chemistry, Education and UEP all set up a meeting with me outside of office hours. Their doors are always open. The way they stress writing is extremely important for your future no matter what direction you are going into. Occidental is an expensive school but if you take upon the resources and opportunities available to you it is worth it. I know my feelings will not change after graduation either.
3rd Year Female -- Class 2016
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Campus Maintenance: A-

You will be making an accidental decision to

Feb 01 2014Anthropology
You will be making an accidental decision to go to OXY. Don't be deceived by its marketing or the positive reviews you get from others who have heard of Occidental. Those who have experienced Oxy and disliked it will think of it as a bad school. Some negative reviews of this school include: campus assaults not completely resolved, oppressive administration, poor admission standards, nosy students, and professors setting up students to fail. It is not worth spending 60 grand a year on this school for what is described above. Occidental should drop that freshmen CSP. Why is it Fall semester course is 8 units and spring is 4 units. Are the professors trying to mess up students' GPA.

Pay close attention to the last decade. Over the course of 5 years, Oxy had multiple college presidents who stepped down because they felt it wasn't properly structured institution. I left Oxy due to academic difficulty. I think I got a wrongful admission because my recommendations and writing samples stood out. I feel guilty of choosing this school in the first place. I was under the impression that professors care about the students and want them to succeed. It was total opposite. I paid the price. The state schools were the only institutions on a semester system willing to accept my units. I almost transferred to Cal State Fullerton and the admissions officer there told me her son in law went to Occidental for one year and left. Oxy nearly wrecked my future. If I stayed there, I would have been put on academic probation and eventually face dismissal. Leaving a school due to extreme academic difficulty is embarrassing and hurtful. If you really want a liberal arts education, consider the Claremont Colleges. They have well structured curriculum and admission standards.

Recently I bumped into Oxy grads and they regretted choosing Occidental. They wished they had gone to state schools where a solid education is attainable.

You don't have a sense of independence by attending Oxy. Even though most students are friendly, they are considered nosy which is expected at a small tight knit community. Sometimes they should mind their own business. I carried that nosy personality to my new school and some students there viewed it as unacceptable. This demonstrates that Oxy does not provide proper character building. I recommend large schools over small schools for the following reasons: wide variety of majors and classes to choose from, independence, lots of students, and well heard of due to wide alumni network.

Don't bother considering Oxy if you prefer Scantron tests. You will never get one there. The writing at Oxy is exaggerated. Professors intentionally give lengthy papers which is unnecessary. Some of them have been accused of testing students on material never discussed in class. Senior Comps and Thesis are a requirement. If you plan on becoming a doctor or lawyer, you will be loaded with graduate school tests, comps, and thesis. Don't expect senior year to be a relaxing year. You never know, President Obama and Ben Affleck might have left Oxy due to tough academics.

To all you high school students, best of luck in your college decision. Please spread the word to any friends or relatives considering Occidental. I am making sure that you will not become a victim like I did when I ended up choosing Oxy. If you absolutely need to attend a private college, consider Pepperdine, University of San Diego, University of Pacific, Claremont Colleges, and Loyola Marymount. I know peers who were completely satisfied with those schools.

Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
Preparedness: C- Reputation: D
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