By Sasha Rivera '19
This fall, Scripps College welcomed to its ranks a fresh new group of students. This diverse group of individuals has come from 31 different states, the top five being Calif., Wash., Ill., Ore., and Ariz. Others arrived from 11 countries, such as Saudi Arabia and China. They have also reportedly traveled to over 40 countries and eight percent of them have been educated abroad. Not only do the students come from many different locations, but they also speak a multitude of languages. With 28 languages spoken overall, 109 students are bilingual, 34 are trilingual, and five students speak four or more languages.
The freshman class is one of many talents as well, with 55 musicians and singers. They have also been a part of 55 theater productions and practice 36 styles of dance. Alongside these extraordinary feats, the first years balanced a multitude of other activities with academics, including 123 clubs and organizations and 47 sports activities. In addition, they volunteered at 24 animal organizations and 64 were members of student government. Other fun facts about this class include that 22 are first-generation students, 147 of them share a birthday, eight students are named Emma, and 16 have family ties to Scripps College.
From their move-in day on Aug. 27 up to the start of classes on Sept. 2, the students partook in an intensive orientation program filled with many mandatory activities. After having a few hours to move in, they and their families went to Garrison Theater for the welcoming speech and then continued on to various other events together until they had to part. The rest of the evening, the students went to an academic open house, residence hall meetings, and listened to the diversity and inclusion speaker, Rhonda Fitzgerald. The next day, Aug. 28, the first years took various placement exams and attended group and individual advising appointments in order to begin organizing their academic schedules; the night ended with the Scripps Carnival, an enjoyable event despite the electrical issues and limit to just Scripps students. On Aug. 29, every student went on the Scripps Orientation Activity Retreat (SOAR) to various locations, including LACMA, rock climbing, and Santa Monica. After registration for classes and many other activities, the first years partook in the traditional Matriculation ceremony, followed by a dinner and dance.
Meet three first years in the incoming class — Julia Martinez ‘19, Diana Arreola ‘19, and Chelsea Huang ‘19.
Martinez originally wanted to pursue molecular biology, but now has decided to take her introductory courses and become more accustomed to the Keck Science center. Arreola currently has her mind set on the 3-2 engineering program, where she will spend three years at Scripps College and two years studying at an engineering school. Huang’s intended area of study is currently human biology.
The first years gave their opinions of the orientation program, especially on how loaded it was with activities.
“I liked [Orientation] but maybe they should give us more time to settle in because everything was just so fast and I didn’t get time to sleep or breathe at all,” Arreola said. “But it was fun. the [SOAR] trips were fun.”
The students also described their impression of Scripps College so far, and their responses were positive.
“I love it,” said Huang, a Claremont local. “The community is great and everyone is nice. The people are new, but it’s literally ten minutes from my house so it’s not really a new environment.”
“I really like it,” said Arreola. “It’s super calm and everyone here is super nice and genuine, and I just feel like this is home now.”
The overall transition from high school to college life had both positive and negative aspects for the students.
“I was in SSIP [Summer Science Immersion Program], so I was here a week and a half earlier than everyone else, so that helped a lot,” Martinez said. “Especially because I’m not necessarily a first-generation student, but my father didn’t help me prepare for the whole dorm experience or being away from family and having to organize my time management. I knew people from the DIVE [into Scripps overnight diversity program], so that helped me not feel as lonely. The best part is honestly meeting the people from the DIVE and diversity programs again because we already have that connection and come from similar backgrounds and taking on the transition into college life together. The worst is having to have the energy to meet new people because it drains a lot out of me.”
“The best part, meeting new people,” said Huang. “The worst part, meeting new people.”
“It’s been a little bit difficult because orientation took so much time, so when we finally got to the classes it was just really hard to transition into that,” said Arreola. “But so far it’s been alright.”