With the May 1 deadline approaching, I know a lot of high school seniors are struggling to make their college decision. For anyone still deciding if Santa Clara is the right school for them, here are my 5 reasons I love Santa Clara to convince you that it’s always a good day to be a Bronco.
- Everyone’s so friendly!
I don’t know if it’s part of the California culture or if it’s a Santa Clara thing, or both, but almost everyone I’ve met at Santa Clara is pretty friendly. It’s like the norm to be friendly and if you don’t meet this standard, you’re considered a rude, standoffish person. I’d say at least 8/10 people you meet will be willing to talk to you and have a conversation when you first meet them, at least in my experience. Walking around campus, expect heys and waves from every person you know, even if they’re someone you talked to twice in the hallway on your way to the laundry room. Because that’s just the kind of school, or rather community, we are.
- It’s super easy to meet new people wherever you go and establish relationships
Santa Clara is a small school with about 5,400 undergrads. Because we also have a small campus, you end up running into the same people all the time. What I love about this is that it’s super easy to meet new people and thus establish relationships given that you have the chance to see them so often. (Unlike big schools where you might meet someone and then never see them again.) For example, we only have one cafeteria, Benson, and it forces all students to congregate in one place, because hey, everybody needs to eat. Yeah, if you eat dinner at a decent hour, there’s a solid chance you’ll be waiting at least 20 minutes for your food. But this just gives us more chances to socialize while waiting for food and thus, establish relationships with people. The good thing about having just one cafeteria is that you’ll always see someone you know, so you can have someone to sit with during meals. And when you’re waiting in line for food, you can just talk to the person next to you because there’s a high chance you’ll know them too!
- Prime Location
I’ll be honest: when I first visited SCU’s campus, I was turned off by the lack of restaurants and things to do around campus. BUT DO NOT BE DISTRAUGHT LIKE I WAS. SCU has a prime location, if you know where the food and activities are (which I didn’t). We’re right across the street from the Caltrain. In less than 30 minutes, you’re in Mountain View or Palo Alto, both great downtowns that have a plethora of delicious eateries. We are also an hour and a half train ride away from San Francisco, which is always hopping, when it comes to museums, sports games, restaurants, shopping, or your favorite tourist attractions. Don’t feel like taking the train? You could always walk 2 miles down the Alameda, home to a nice downtown that includes Chipotle, this super rad, secondhand bookstore, some chill coffee shops, and more. Better yet, you could walk (2 miles!) or Uber to Westfield Valley Fair Mall or Santana Row (the Rodeo Drive of San Jose), where a variety of shopping and food awaits you. As for weekends when you have more time, you have the option of experiencing the great outdoors and driving to places like Lake Tahoe (4 hours), Yosemite, (4 hours), Santa Cruz Beach (40 minutes), and Big Sur (1.5 hours). And if you just want to stay around campus, there are a couple good restaurants within walking distance of the university. Although Santa Clara lacks in having a quantity of restaurants, at least most of them are quality restaurants at a reasonable price. Remember, half of college is about going out and having adventures, so the location of your college is key if you want to have fun when not studying!
- The quarter system
SCU operates on a quarter system, which means we have a new schedule 3 times a year (fall, winter, and spring quarter), instead of the standard 2 semester university schedule. Each quarter is 10 weeks long with an additional week of finals. Love it or hate it, the quarter system has its advantages. What I love about the quarter system is that it gives us the opportunity to take more classes per year – most students take at least 12 classes a year, in comparison to only 8 or 10 classes per year at most colleges – which also makes it easier to double major or add a minor, if that’s something you’re hoping to do in college. What’s also great is that the quarter schedule moves along quickly, so if you really hate a class, you only have to survive it for 10 weeks. But if you love your professor, you can take more classes with him or her! Win-win.
- The peer support system!
The peer support system at Santa Clara is unbelievable and I’ve found that people genuinely care about helping you succeed in the classroom. This past fall quarter, I struggled with math and it was my peers that saved me. When I couldn’t figure out the correct answer from the math homework, my friend from math would do whatever she could to make sure I understood the problem, and we would always work through it carefully. And when we both couldn’t understand how to do the problem, other friends who weren’t even in our class would help us out. This is just one example of countless times where students at SCU help one another out. There’s no cut-throat competition here, but rather SCU is a place of support where we care not only about our own success but also the success of our peers.
Now, if these 5 reasons aren’t enough to convince y’ll to come to SCU, I don’t know what is. Hope to see all you prospective SCU students in the fall! LET’S GO BRONCOS!!!