BackgroundInterview Date:December 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: Charter school in Phoenix, AZ with a graduating class of about 43 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Majors: Economics and French Dual Major
Minor: Media Studies
Extracurricular Activities: I’m part of the Scripps College QuestBridge Chapter, and I work at the Art Museum on campus.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience? In what ways?
Working at the museum has been pretty cool because I’ve been able to meet a lot of faculty that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Seeing different exhibits has been cool and has exposed me to things I haven’t been seen in my studies.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your majors?
For Economics, I would say it’s mostly problem sets and reading. Right now, I’m in a data-heavy course called Econometrics, which is a lot of regressions and answering questions about them. I also have a final 10-page paper. For French, it’s all reading and writing based. I have a lot of writing and presentations.
Is there anything you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or poorly?
I think Economics isn’t as business-focused as it could be, but they have a broad curriculum and choice of classes, which is really cool. As far as French goes, I think they do a good job expanding the curriculum materials for Francophone countries, so it’s not just readings or literature for France itself. We talk about North Africa and other colonized areas.
How accessible have the professors in your department been?
Everyone here is extremely accessible because of how small my classes are. If I want to talk to a professor or see them for office hours, I could meet with them during the week, or I could set up an appointment by email and they’ll respond pretty quickly. They know my name and will say hello if I see them around. [About 63% of classes have between 10-19 students.]
What is your favorite class you’ve taken for your majors?
Behavioral Economics is my favorite because I’ve found it really interesting and it applies to a lot of different areas. I finally see a synthesis between things I’m interested in, the financial markets and the way people make decisions. For French, I’ve pretty much enjoyed all my classes, even the introductory ones.
What is your least favorite class you’ve taken for your majors?
For Economics, Econometrics is my least favorite class just because I find it challenging and it’s not particularly interesting for me. It’s very dry, but I’m grateful I’m taking it. It’s probably the most applicable class I’ll take in college because data is necessary for any industry.
Why did you choose your combination of majors? Are you happy with your choice?
I chose Economics because I think it fits my personality and it’s pragmatic. I think understanding financial markets is essential for a lot of different industries, so no matter where I end up, having a good foundation in Economics is really important. I’m more content with it now that I’m getting into interesting electives with higher level thinking and application, rather than just principles. As far as French goes, I’ve taken it since high school and I’m determined to be fluent. I’m going abroad next semester to Paris, so I wanted the opportunity to come out knowing a second language.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: NEW Hall with one roommate.
Sophomore: NEW Hall with one roommate.
Junior: NEW Hall in a single with six other suitemates.
Why did you chose to live in the same dorm each year?
I didn’t choose it as a freshman. The two consecutive years after that I chose it because it’s really nice. I enjoyed living in it because it’s brand new, beautiful, has air conditioning, and the rooms are huge.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I feel like the campus is super safe. If any issues arise, the school is very quick to address it. Campus safety is super prevalent on campus. We also have the blue light alarms all over campus.
How was transitioning from Phoenix to Claremont, CA?
It was super simple. It’s only a one-hour flight or a five-hour drive, so it’s not bad. As far as climate goes it’s not different, and it’s also pretty suburban in Claremont. The transition wasn’t jarring in the slightest.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I go to L.A. quite a bit to go to restaurants or to walk around. It’s kind of a trek, but it’s not that bad. The train is pretty easy to hop on to get to Union Station, or if I have my car I’ll go to Orange County and Laguna Beach. I don’t get to do that as often because it’s a bit of a drive.
What are the pros and cons of being located in Claremont, CA?
1) Because it’s suburban, I can focus on my studies without being distracted by a bustling city like New York or San Francisco.
2) It’s nice and quiet and peaceful.
3) We’re really close to L.A., being about an hour and a half with traffic is good.
1) On the weekends if you’re not going to parties or don’t have a lot of homework to do it’s a bit dull as far as activities you can do during the day. Mt. Baldy is pretty close, so there’s hiking, but as far as it being exciting there aren’t many things happening here.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in?
There’s a fair number of parties here at night and on the weekends. Sometimes there are school-hosted events which are really cool. People will also just have them in the dorms because the school is fairly lenient about that. During the day on the weekends, I’d say a lot of people just do homework, go to the pool, or do things in L.A. with friends. [See Scripps College’s student newspaper article for a comment on their alcohol policies.]
What are your favorite events that happen?
The only 5C party that Scripps officially hosts is called Eurobash, which is fun because they have it in a parking garage underground. It’s a trashy European themed party with good music in a weird location. The whole weekend of Halloween is the most fun because people usually go out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and wear different costumes every day.
What have been your favorite times at Scripps so far?
Probably getting ready before parties with my friends, and just hanging out with them. Going to brunch on Saturday or Sunday or doing homework with my friends and talking about the night before is fun. I would say I usually go out on Thursday and Saturday nights, but depending on what’s planned I might go on a Friday or Saturday, but usually two nights a week.
Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year when you were less socially established?
I would party with my friends then go to the Claremont McKenna College North Quad and walk around into open doors and make friends. We’d then go to wherever the party location is, and then if it’s a Saturday night there’s usually a later party at the senior apartments where we’d end up, or we’d go to a food place called the Hub to eat curly fries and go to bed.
How happy are you with the nightlife options at Scripps? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I think it’s good, but I’d say it’s on the decline since freshman year. Not to say it’s less fun, but people used to show up more for the Five C events, and there were more scheduled events. I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily bad because I always have a really good time.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I think I met them all right away freshman year through various orientation activities first semester, but ended up not being as good friends with them second semester. I have a bunch of friends that go to Pitzer, but subsequently I’ve met people from classes, or people that I meet out, and friends of friends.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
I’d say everyone is pretty friendly and open to meeting new friends. I don’t think it’s particularly cliquey, depending on where you go.
Do you feel like you are more of a student of Scripps or a student of the Five College Consortium?
I’d say more of a 5 C student than a student of Scripps. This is because I have more friends that go to some of the other schools.
What is the social impact of Scripps being all female?
It does feel like it’s all girls as far as dorms go, but I feel like there’s female empowerment. It doesn’t necessarily feel like a female school.
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I’d say it’s pretty mixed as far as sexual orientations go. As far as diversity goes, the schools aren’t nearly as diverse as they could be. The people here mix socially, but to a lesser degree because there are not as many people from different races at our school. [43% of the undergraduate population are students of color, and 5% are international.]
How would you describe the student body?
Everyone is very curious and fairly driven, but definitely from a privileged background. Most people are extremely liberal and open to talking about a variety of interests, and have set goals for after college. [64% of families come from the socioeconomic top 20 percent.]
How has the size of your school influenced your social experience? [The total undergraduate population is 1,066 students.]
It’s pretty cool because you get to see familiar faces all the time and know the majority of people you go to school with. Also, I’m a junior and have run into people this semester that I’ve never met before, so I wouldn’t say it’s too small.
Do people generally seem happy with Scripps by senior year? Do people leave loving your school?
I’d say yes. The people here love it, but there is a decent amount of people that either transfer or take a semester off for different reasons. I don’t know if that’s any higher than any other school, or if you notice it more because of the size of Scripps. [Scripps has a 91.7% retention rate.]
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Not recently, but I was able to network with a bunch of alumni over the summer. Scripps had a really nice opportunity to go to San Francisco and talk about technology with alumni. They chatted with us, had panel discussions, and are more than willing to connect us to other people in the network. A lot of fresh graduates were there that found their job through alumni who were already in the industry.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
They’ve been super helpful. I’ve used them for finding internships, interview preparation, and for going over cover letters and resumes. Everyone who works there is knowledgeable and accessible for anything related to career services.
Have you learned any computer programs or computer languages that will be helpful professionally?
I’ve done Excel for Statistics, and Stata for Econometrics.
Have you used financial aid? If so, accommodating was the office to your needs?
I have a lot of financial aid awards and scholarships. Due to a shift in my family’s financial situation, I requested more money and got more than I expected. They were extremely generous and helpful when I asked for more aid.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Scripps before you entered as a freshman?
I was surprised with the backgrounds of a lot of people that go here, and how privileged they are. It’s not an issue, I just didn’t expect people to blatantly express the amount of wealth they have. [14% of families come from the socioeconomic top 1%.]
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
In one of the dorms there is a laundry chute that is a concrete slide in the basement that you can go down. I think it’s in Browning.
Reasons to attend Scripps:
1) If you want a true liberal arts education that’s full of humanities, writing, and forces you to think outside of what you might not be comfortable with.
2) If you want to make great friends. You experience support being a woman here.
3) The alumni network is important. A lot of people that went here have high power positions and are more than willing to help undergraduate students.
4) If you like being outside. In Southern California, we always go to the pool, and parties are outside.
5) If you want the resources of attending a large school without attending a large school.
Reasons to not attend Scripps:
1) If you like being in a bustling city environment.
2) If you’re looking for a specific dorm culture, that’s not something we have here.
3) If you’re at all conservative you probably won’t be super happy here because the majority of people aren’t.