Sarah Cardoza, 2015, Seattle, WA
English/Art History double major
Why did you choose Providence College?
Applying to schools, I knew that I wanted to go to a smaller, liberal arts college, preferably on the east coast. PC sort of just fell into my lap and I had never heard of it until my college counselor suggested it. After I visited campus, I got that “click” feeling that everyone talks about when applying to schools. I don’t know what it was, maybe the general niceness of everyone there, the beautiful brick buildings, or the fact that I knew Providence as a city was so close to places like Boston or New York City.
How has the liberal arts education you received at Providence benefited you?
For me personally, I came to school having absolutely no idea not only what I wanted to do after college, but what I wanted to major in. The liberal arts education offered at PC allows students to explore their likings. First semester of freshmen year, I was taking a lot of science classes but found that I was enjoying the literary aspects of the required Western Civilization classes. Through trial and error, I was able to figure out what I wanted to study and the liberal arts structure made that possible and a lot less stressful.
Why do you think that PC is a good fit for students from the Pacific Northwest/Seattle?
One reason PC intrigues me, being a Seattlite, is that it is so incredibly different that the west coast. I figured that when else in my life am I going to have the privilege of choosing where I get to live, without the outside influences of career placements or family obligations. So I figured that while I still have the chance, I could experience something different, almost foreign, and Providence stuck out to me. The artistic influence on its small city also sometimes reminds me of the artful Seattle. But generally, I think its healthy to do something outside of your comfort zone because, at least in my experience, those always end up being the most rewarding decisions. I think ultimately PC’s extreme difference to Seattle is why I think people from Seattle would love it. At PC itself, the people are incredibly friendly, being students or teachers. And it is always fun to entertain the east coast students’ fascination with someone from so far away.
What has been your favorite academic experience so far?
I just recently declared my major in English-Literature and the first required class is an Intro to Lit class. We had to write an analytical paper on any of the short stories or novels that we had read and I chose a story called “This Is What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona”. Upon looking further into the author, Sherman Alexie, I discovered that he was actually from the Seattle area. I emailed my professor because I had some questions with my paper structure and while meeting with him, I told him about my intrigue with Alexie because he was from Seattle which led me to learn that my professor had actually lived in Seattle for several years. I not only got help with my paper, but was so incredibly motivated to make it the best possible product of my writing. Small classes at PC make it possible to have easy access to professors, and in this case it helped me with my paper and my homesickness!
What has been your favorite non-academic experience so far?
Being from the west coast, I have not gotten the opportunity to extensively explore the east coast. Last year, my friends and I decided to plan a short, two-day trip to New York City right before Christmas break. Just a three hour bus ride away, we arrived in the city and walked around all day. That night, we waited in line for over an hour and finally set foot on the ice rink at Rockefeller Center. The Christmas tree was lit and so many people were skating, and it was something I never thought I would ever do. As for the cherry on top, a young couple got engaged while we skated, creating a memory I’ll never forget. Providence has fantastic location, illustrating the beauty of east coast border geography.
If you had to sum up Providence College in one sentence, what would it be?
One of the few places where you will meet the friendliest, yet most intelligent people.
What activities are you involved in at PC?
I have been contacted by the student ambassador services and plan on joining the newspaper crew. I also plan on studying abroad next semester and being an orientation leader my senior year.
Tell us about any “student engagement” experiences you have had
I work on campus in the call center (phone room) where we call alumni and parents of alumni to verify information and to discuss the importance of the several funds that PC services and how they benefit the progress of the school and the students themselves. There are a lot of on campus jobs available and they really serve as a way to continue meeting fellow students while working as well. I only work three days a week so it is not that time demanding, seeing that school work is my first priority, but it is a nice way to get away from a desk and books for a while.
What is your favorite spot in the city of Providence?
My favorite spot in the city is the art district. Being an art history minor, I always appreciate the artsy spots of a city. In the art district are so many little boutiques and stores filled with products created by artists from a global to local scale. Also, whenever I am feeling a little homesick, I know I can find a small coffee shop somewhere in the art district to feel like I’m in Seattle for a little while.
Any long-term plans? Given that college everywhere is an investment, why do you think PC is “worth it” ?
After PC, I plan on going to graduate school either for a masters’ degree in English or law school. If I decide to go to law school, I know that I will most definitely want to stay on the east coast and Providence’s location makes it so easy to get in contact and personally involve myself in prospective schools that I would be interested in.
Any final thoughts?
Providence College is honestly one of the few schools I’ve been to where everyone is just so incredibly friendly. And it rubs off on you. Becoming a Friar is like joining this huge, welcoming family, providing an environment that you’re never sad to return to after holidays. My heart is officially in two places, and it’s great to feel like you have family on both sides of the country.
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