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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Subtle Beauty of College Life

Scarlet Vandegrift
Students can find serenity within their surroundings and explore nature on campus.

“College is scary”, is probably the most overused statement regarding the searching process for potential universities. 

No one knows where to start. No one ever wants to tour schools, especially at the beginning of the process. Most high school students wait until they’re a part of the renowned upperclassmen to search for schools, to take their first step on a college campus.

Not me. 

I toured my first college freshman year and absolutely hated it. I was new to the process, my mom and I had no idea what we were doing, and I crumpled in on myself when college seniors began asking me questions regarding my major, my interests, my school, et cetera. 

And it was the wrong school. 

So, I persisted and have toured seven schools since. Three schools that really struck home were Cal State University Fullerton (CSUF), San Jose State University (SJSU), and Sonoma State University (SSU). All three schools are a part of the Cal State University (CSU) program, and all addressed my needs, no matter how atmospheric my aspirations were. 

CSUF was the first university I fell in love with, and was my top school for a long time. The school is only thirty minutes away from Rancho Cucamonga, which was a big relief to both of my parents, and had many opportunities in the arts. 

CSUF also had a really great (but impacted) Nursing program and is mainly known for its Business Management college, as well as many popular majors in Psychology, Communication, Journalism, and Social Sciences. 

What I mainly fell in love with was the large Performing Arts program, which has eight known stages that house the Theatre Department, Dance Department, and Music Department. CSUF also has a very large campus and an amazing cafeteria. 

SJSU is a little ways away–a five-hour, 35-minute car ride–but it also has a lot to offer. Offering a little more space away from my house, the campus was very similar to CSUF, as both universities were flat in landscaping, unlike some other CSUs. 

SJSU also had a large Music program and a Theatre Department, which is always a big deal breaker for me while on these tours. The university also offers a large Humanitarian program, despite its main focus being Engineering. Another interesting and rare addition to SJSU was the Aviation and Flight School Program hosted on campus. We learned that this program is the only school established in all of the CSUs. 

SJSU also has a very welcoming environment, leaning more toward the metropolitan aspects of college. It has apartment-style dorms, with six buildings dedicated to student housing. 

SJSU also has a large Business program, and is known for its majors in Engineering, Psychology, Communication, Journalism, Social Sciences, and Visual and Performing Arts, a large similarity between CSUF and SJSU. 

SJSU is also only an hour away from San Francisco, making for great social outings and small escapes from school. SJSU also has BART, a mode of transportation into metropolitan areas free for all students. 

SSU is now my top school in my ranking of colleges, beating out CSUF by far. I loved CSUF, but to say I adored SSU is a large understatement. I did not want to leave campus, a feeling I had not felt in past tours. 

Filled with beauty to the brim, SSU is located an hour north of San Francisco and six to seven hours north of Rancho Cucamonga. SSU is surrounded by nature, and the trees are breathing with color.

SSU offered multiple opportunities for students, including a pantry full of free food for students to utilize, an “interview closet” full of professional clothing for students in need, and beautiful and spacious dorms, ranked top tier out of all the CSUs. 

Similar to SJSU and CSUF, SSU also offers an excelling Business and Marketing program, Social Science majors, and Psychology. Other popular majors at the college include Humanities, Education, Fitness and Kinesiology, et cetera. 

Unfortunately, the university was not as flat as SJSU or CSUF, however, the soft hills added an accent to beauty and emphasis in serene peace. I also found all of the people at SSU to be very welcoming and down-to-earth. 

The Greene Music Center (GMC) adds a final flourish to the campus, being widely accomplished and widely revered in Sonoma County. My mom and I, after the campus tour, were able to view a holiday performance produced by the Santa Rosa Orchestra.

CSUF, SJSU, and SSU all proved to be enchanting and attractive in every way, tailored to all subjects of interest in both the logical and humanitarian fields. 

Start the tours now, before it’s too late. You’ll never know what you’ll find until you try. 

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