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Occidental College - Comments and Student Experiences |
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.
Even though the students are friendly, the values learned by peers might be bad such as nosy behavior and always wanting to know too much of others. Those were some of the values I took when I transferred to a state school and were viewed unacceptable by other classmates. My freshmen roommate at Oxy was bothered that I was not in a relationship and could not mind his own business. He called me "antisocial" and he was also antisocial himself. He was in his girlfriend's room 24/7 and never attended lectures. Also, my freshmen roommate was irritated that I was writing papers few weeks before due date instead of few days before.
This school exaggerates on the writing and some professors were questioned that they were testing students on material never discussed in class. Some professors do not like to give out A's even though some students deserve it. From my understanding, 5% of the student body get a 3.5 GPA or above. Over the years, when I met some Oxy alum, they expressed regrets going to Oxy due to senior comps and thesis, which are required for graduation.
For all you prospective students, good luck in making the most important decision of your life. Carefully research Oxy if you are serious about going there.
Don't let the marketing fool you!!
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.
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