It seems like just yesterday when I was trying to get in to UCLA because I thought it was the perfect school for me. Luckily, I was rejected from UCLA and was forced to choose from among all my backup choices, schools to which I had given almost no consideration.
Probably the first time I heard the words “University of La Verne” was when my friend and neighbor for 15 years said he was going there to play volleyball.
So before he was forced to quit school and work full time, I applied to ULV. I thought it would be cool to go to the same school and I thought I might be able to play soccer here, considering it is a Division III school.
I had no interest in journalism and knew very little about the school. But when I was turned away from Westwood, I decided it would be a good experience to play collegiate soccer and La Verne seemed like an OK school. Although, whenever one of my classmates asked where I was going to school, it was tiresome always having to give a detailed dissertation on how I came to La Verne as my school of choice and then, cartographer-like, draw a map of where exactly in the world La Verne was.
Now, almost two years later, there are many reasons why I know I made the right decision by giving this small school a chance. This University has made me who I am and set a path for who I will be. Every school should do that. But nearing the end of my fourth semester at La Verne, I am becoming the person I hoped I would.
I cannot think of any other school where I would have had the same opportunities presented here. Anyone who applies himself can become a standout at La Verne. One does not have to be a superstar athlete or scholastic genius to find success here, and in the future.
The summer before I came here, I finally found something in which I was truly interested, a field in which I could make a career.
This is my third semester writing for the Campus Times, and the more I do it, the more I realize it is something I enjoy doing. I work for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, and that has opened my eyes even more to the reality of journalism. Still, my passion for it has not been diminished.
I have also met some of my best friends at La Verne, people I will never forget. No matter what school I would have gone to, that would have happened. And although I believe we make our own fates, I think there is a reason I ended up at La Verne.
I have been given the opportunity to gain journalistic experience that I would not have gained at many other schools.
People constantly complain about things at La Verne, but they may not realize all the positive aspects, although some of those may be in serious danger (i.e. the much-advertised small class size). And the complaints and problems facing students here are no different than the ones faced by students at other universities.
This is not to say students should accept the things they do not like about the school. If there are things about the way the University operates that students do not agree with, by all means students should voice their opinion in an effort to effect any semblance of change.
But for the most part, students do not realize the opportunities that exist at the University of La Verne. An individual need simply possess the desire to make themselves the best they can be and put forth the effort needed to do so, and they will be rewarded with success that should lead to later achievements in life.
Brice Nixon, a sophomore journalism major, is editorial director of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.