As my suddenly brief time at Pacific comes to a dwindling end, I cannot help myself from writing the eponymous “farewell column.” Corny? Yes. Cliché? Very. Yet, at the same time I feel compelled to finish on a note of reflection. While my experience here in Forest Grove has been undoubtedly positive, there certainly was room for improvement. So, here’s what I found good, bad and even surprising in my four years as an undergraduate at Pacific:
Good: The people. At first, I was worried about missing out on the “college experience” of going to a big-time state school. With less than 2000 undergrads, Pacific was smaller than even my high school. Ultimately, this turned out to be a major plus. Students here are intellectual, outgoing and friendly. In just four years, I have met some of the best friends I probably will ever meet. Because campus is so small, the feeling of community is much more present than it would be being one of 20,000 at a state school.
Bad: The clique divide. I know this is a sensitive subject, so I’ll do my best to tread lightly. While the people at Pacific may be great, we tend to pack together in very distinct groups: Greeks, jocks, Hawaii Club, etc. Not that there is any bad blood or hostility between any two groups, but out of chance it just happens. In the future, I hope to see more interaction between these different cliques than we have right now.
Surprising: Small class experience. This may not apply to some of you in the natural sciences – apologies – but what really sold me on Pacific in the beginning was the chance to have smaller discussion-based classes rather than tedious lectures along with 500 other students. At Pacific I have had classes with as few as 12, 10 and even 5 other students. That’s amazing! The experience is far more helpful and much easier to endure; certainly something you cannot find just anywhere.
Not so surprising: Tuition increase. It might as well be expected, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be upset with it. Before attending Pacific, my family was told we would never be charged above a five-percent tuition increase per year – that figure turned out to be well over that estimate each year. Pacific has its benefits, but they are costly.
Unique: Guests. Since my freshman year, I have seen the likes of Noam Chomsky, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Tommy Thayer, Comedy Sports, Dave Zirin and a handful of other famous personalities make appearances for Pacific. In my most recent politics class, three of the authors from our assigned readings made guest appearances in our classroom. Not to lecture, but actually engage in discussion with us. Unbelievable! Just meeting some of these people is a valuable resource, not to be overlooked. Hopefully, the new Tom McCall Center will continue to perpetuate this trend.
What I won’t miss: Aramark food. ‘nuff said. (Once you took away the chicken breast from the grill station it was all downhill.)
Honorable mention: Boxer Briefs. Nobody reads you and you keep coming back even after I unsubscribe from you. Please stay away for good.
Although not without its faults, Pacific is truly a fantastic place. My only regret is that my stay here is so short. To all that I had the pleasure to spend time with, thanks for the memories and best of luck to you in the future!