Reflections on My Time at Scripps

May 1, 2024
3 mins read

Aviva Vic Maxon ’24
Staff Writer

In the last four years, Scripps, the world, and I have changed. These three things are deeply intertwined, and while not all of the change has been positive, I am grateful for who I am now.

The first time I visited Scripps was in October 2019, while on a long weekend trip to tour Southern California colleges. After touring some of the 5Cs, my parents and I knew that Scripps was the place for me. One Early Decision application later, I was committed to Scripps by early December, just after my 18th birthday. At this point, the first news stories about COVID-19 were just starting to come out and we had no idea that the world was about to take a major shift.

I had a family friend who was in the Scripps Class of 2021, and I remember hearing that she got sent home for the rest of the semester in March. The fear of the pandemic consumed life, and there was a mix of sadness, loss, confusion, and relief when we learned that we would not be coming to campus in the Fall 2020 to start college. Instead, we would begin our college experience over Zoom. While some people got together and moved to Claremont and the surrounding area, and others chose to defer enrollment for a year, I stayed home and began my time at Scripps on a computer.

My parents moved me into a “dorm” (also known as our guest bedroom) and did what they could to make it feel like I was at school, independent and on my own. That year was really hard as most of my high school friends physically went to their colleges and I struggled to make new connections over Zoom. I learned how important friendships and peer relationships are to education and my ability to learn.

In my second semester, I found my love of labor studies due to a perfect trio of courses: Labor in the Global Economy, Intro to Political Economy, and Imperial University. Individually these courses were all wonderful, but together they radically changed the way I understand and experience the world and informed the educational path I took for the rest of my time at Scripps.

Coming to campus in the Fall of 2021 was chaotic. The overwhelming feeling of moving to a new place, where I did not know anyone, came with many growing pains and confusion, particularly around the constant and changing COVID-19 regulations. I remember being so afraid those first few weeks — afraid of getting COVID-19, not making friends, and being on my own.

While these fears had a reasonable cause, none of them came true. I would not get COVID-19 until the middle of my senior year, in those first few weeks I made one of my best friends, and I was not on my own. I quickly found community at Scripps among my peers, in religious spaces, and in class.

At the beginning of this year, I heard someone say that Scripps is like Barbieland — everyone says “Hi” to each other, is dressed so cute, and wants those around them to succeed. It’s so true. The pandemic shaped my college years, but it isn’t defining them. My time at Scripps is defined by the community, love, and self-growth that I have found here.

Looking back at the past four years, there are a few things that I’ve learned that stand out the most to me. I can be, and like to be, intentionally alone. You have to ask for the things you need, otherwise people who want to support you will not know what you need. You do not need to spend time with people you do not like, spend time with the people you actually want to be around. Talk to your professors, they want you to succeed too. Go to the club, performance, class, etc. that you are thinking about, it will either be fun and you’ll like it, or you don’t have to go again. The more you engage in community building and citizenship behaviors, the more community we will have. Believe that it will be okay, believe that others are on your team.

I’m not going to tell you to enjoy your time here because it goes faster than you expect, but I am going to tell you to take a breath, see the beautiful campus we are on, and enjoy it. Half of most battles is getting there, showing up, and being present. Believe in yourself, the process, and the world.

As much as the world has changed, as much as I have changed in the last four years, I’m so grateful to have spent my time at Scripps. I’m so grateful for my professors, classmates, friends, and collaborators. I’m so grateful for everyone who works on campus to ensure we can live and study here. I’m so grateful to have been able to write for The Scripps Voice for three years, and I’m so grateful for Scripps, and everyone here.

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