Today I embarked on my second college tour of my summer vacation, this time to Point Loma Nazarene. When I was first listing out which colleges that I wanted to visit, Point Loma wasn't even really on my list. It was in the back of my mind mainly because they had accidentally sent me about twelve postcards asking me to visit them. My mom urged me to put them on my list, so I agreed, knowing that I would at least be spending my time in a beautiful place. When I set up the visit with my dad, there was a checklist of what I wanted to attend. I dutifully checked off the "tour" and "information session" boxes before asking my dad if he wanted me to meet with my admissions councilor. When he said yes I rather dubiously checked that box as well, wondering if it would be weird to meet with the councilor if I wasn't even seriously considering the school.
When we arrived at the campus, I immediately remembered how beautiful it really was (I had driven through the campus once without being set up for an official tour). When I started learning more about different aspects of their academics and feeling the atmosphere, I realized that I was beginning to become very interested in this school. Spoiler alert, I am probably going to apply now that I have gone through the tour and the information sessions! Since I am trying to get myself back into writing regular blogs, I thought that I would share what type of information and atmosphere could so turn my head when considering a college.
First, the academic options and opportunities. From the time that I was in the first grade, I have wanted to be a pediatrician. That choice came from knowing, even as a child myself, that I wanted to work with children and I wanted to do something that I felt would be challenging and would change lives around me. I know now that there are many careers and ways that one can accomplish these things, but healing people is the one that has held a special interest for me for over ten years now. Though I know that I want to go into medicine, I don't want to actually major in pre-med. I want to have a degree in a hard science so that if anything were to happen and delay my ability to go to medical school, I would be able to have a degree with which to get a job. Pre-med is mostly good for getting into medical school, while I could get a better job with a chem or bio-chem degree.
This being said, I was extremely interested to hear about Point Loma's medical and nursing programs. Very well known in the area, these provide great internships, networking, and opportunities for their students. Even more interesting was finding out that you did not have to be pre-med or pre-nursing to be in these programs; in fact, there was no such option at Point Loma. Once one qualifies for the pre-med program, they can major in whatever they want, even if it isn't a science. Point Loma also has a number of great scholarships even at the freshman level for students wanting to major in bio-chem.
Though this was one of the academic interests that piqued my interest, a big part of changing my mind about Point Loma was the school's atmosphere. Unlike many schools, they were unabashedly Christian. Many Christian schools will say something along the lines of "So, we're a Christian school but... Don't worry about that! Look over here!", whereas Christianity seemed to permeate every aspect of Point Loma. Even though they are of a Wesleyan tradition that differs theologically from mine, I like their honesty about their faith. Even aside from the Christian atmosphere, I just felt a 'vibe' of a close-knit, lade back sort of school that reminded me of a much larger Mount Rainier. It also helps that Point Loma is literally on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. So, as I go forward in my college search, I now have Point Loma as a top contender!