Thursday, December 19, 2013

Defining Pitzer: A home away from home

Taylor Caldwell - Mercer Island, WA

Pitzer is curious, inquisitive, and insatiable. Pitzer is diverse, quirky, and unique. Pitzer is well-rounded, passionate, and involved. Pitzer is community, friendly, and intimate. To define Pitzer College with just one word, or even three, would be a crime of inadequate praise for a school that has made me the person I am today. At this school I have battled and won a war with depression, I have fallen in love and gotten my heart broken, I have lost friends and made new ones, but above all I have never been happier or more sure of who I am and what I want out of life. Pitzer has been a safety net, a vast yet intimate community of students with their arms spread wide to any and all newcomers. I knew this was the right place for me when I returned back to campus after my first fall break, telling my friends that I was “so excited to come home”. I even made the mistake a few times to invite people over to my house when I was simply referring to my dorm room. 

This place is especially hard for me to define because I find it to be extremely fluid. Although this school provides an overwhelming amount of resources and opportunities which anxiously await students to take an interest (and they normally do), the Pitzer experience is only what a person makes of it. There truly is a niche for everyone, making the campus an adaptive and ever changing safe space for each individual student to explore their passions, desires, and talents. From a Balinese gamelan ensemble to queer burlesque, it is the uniquely curious and adventurous nature of the Pitzer student body that allows this campus to thrive. Though some may find the abundant number of cacti and succulents to be oddly comforting, others may not love Pitzer as much as I do. The point is, the way I define Pitzer College may be entirely different through someone else’s eyes and that is not a bad thing, rather quite the opposite. The soul of this school, comprised by the unbelievably benevolent facilities and dining hall staff, the knowledgeable faculty, and the rest of Pitzer’s amazing employees have created and fostered an environment conducive to a high degree of academic rigor without the cut-throat pressures of an Ivy league, a flourishing social scene without the exclusive cattiness of a Greek system, and most importantly a place that any and all students can call their “home”.

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