College Spotlight: University of San Diego
Freshman Year Update
By Theresa Thomas
All throughout high school I envisioned myself on a beautiful campus near the beach and learning how to surf after class. As a freshman at the University of San Diego my experience has been exactly that and more.
One of the first things that caught my eye about USD was its beautiful campus and overall atmosphere. The vibes on campus are indescribable. It is very common to see kids skateboarding with surfboards heading up to La Jolla to catch some swells.
Do not let the laid-back So Cal vibes fool you, as USD takes great pride in its academic rigor. Large class sizes are rare here, my Spanish class has only 10 students in it. This makes building relationships with your professors easy—by the end of my second week here all of my professors knew me by name. I am a pre-med student currently majoring in Spanish and Neuroscience with a double minor in Chemistry and Biomedical Ethics, and being on a friendly basis with all my professors makes my class load much more manageable. Our campus is full of pre-professional students and double majors and all the faculty are readily available to help along the way.
One of my favorite things here is the opportunity for undergraduate research. Research involvement is crucial for resume building and graduate school applications and the advantage USD provides is immense. This semester I will be participating in research through the chemistry department on enzymes in common medications.
On campus, there are tons of things to get involved with. I myself am part of chemistry club, the American Medical Students Association and a women’s discussion group. I also take yoga classes and am part of a meditation group—something I did not even know existed before I college. There is such a diverse student body here and that is part of what makes going to school here so fun—there really is something for everyone.
Weekends on campus are fairly quiet since a majority of our student population lives locally. This makes the weekends ideal for relaxing and catching up on homework. The social scene is fairly laid back as well as we don’t have Greek life houses on campus. Often times on Friday nights my friends and I will head down to the beach and find students having bonfires on the beach enjoying the sea. I love spending my weekends exploring the city, from hidden beaches and picturesque coffee shops to hiking at state parks and shopping in fashion valley. I have been here for almost 5 months now and I can honestly say there hasn’t been a single day where I haven’t been able to find something to do.
I was pretty nervous about packing up my entire life and moving across the country to a state I knew nothing about to a school where I knew no one, but the minute I stepped foot on USD’s campus I felt at home. I have even started calling my dorm “home” and my friends my “family”. The culture is so different from that back home and it has been a welcome refresher. I am a firm believer that change is good. I could not imagine myself anywhere else. If you’re looking for wild adventure and crazy new things to try, the University of San Diego is perfect.