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Letter to the Editor
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A View from the Outside: Shape a future

Sea breezes, the Pacific Ocean and movie stars readily come to mind when one talks of attending Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. While all of these things are present, my college experience has included much more.

Coming from the small student body at FC, stepping onto a university campus with close to 3000 other undergraduates was overwhelming at first. But within the first week, I began to make acquaintances that would soon become friends and help me find my niche on campus.

Upon the arrival to a new school came a plethora of new opportunities. Everyone advocates their individual club or program and wants you to join them. Not wanting to dive into anything prematurely, I took a moment to survey all that was offered and found that there are more groups than I could have imagined.

As far as classes go, it has been relatively easy for the most part, or so I thought. After turning in an essay for my freshman seminar, I had a conference with my professor. I vividly remember her asking me: ?They taught you how to write in high school, right?? While it helped to know that everyone in the class did not do too well on the assignment, it still came as a shock to me.

It was the wake-up call that I needed to help me see that this is no longer high school. This is a whole new game and there are different rules by which to play. While my classes are still simple and straightforward, I am no longer taking any chances.

Outside of class, I have devoted myself to the intercollegiate club soccer team and to the college group at the nearby church. Through these activities I have gotten to know a wide range of people and have learned much from them.

Great ways to create bonds with peers are the random opportunities for fun that can occur at any hour of the day. Just recently a group of friends and I decided to make a midnight run to Ralph?s grocery store. We spent time roaming the aisles for something that would temporarily take the taste of cafeteria food out of our mouths. Away from the pressures of campus, we were able to get to know one another in a new context.

The more I experience this place, the more I realize that I made the right decision to attend Pepperdine. While I could have stayed home and been just fine there, there is nothing like getting out on my own and trying something totally new. I will learn new things about my surroundings and about myself as a result.

While I have not personally seen any celebrities myself, I have heard plenty of stories. But more important than the famous people are the lessons learned and the relationships that are made with peers and professors alike, for these are the things that will continue to shape me for my future.

(Gary Darakjian, ’06, The Feather’s former editor-in-chief of the print edition, now attends Pepperdine University in Malibu.)

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