January 2, 2019

Ben, Class of 2018 – Alumni Impact Story

As a first-year landscape architecture student at Cal Poly SLO, I’ve found that I really enjoy my major because it fits my personality and interests; it is a creative and artistic field, and also technical and hands-on. I draw sketches, learn about landscape ecology, and get my hands dirty collecting plant specimens from nearby areas. Botany has been my favorite class so far. I’ve grown my own plants, discovered that oranges are berries—and why raspberries are not—and learned how to use a dichotomous key to identify common trees found in California.

It has been a fairly smooth transition coming to college, though, of course there have been some difficulties in adjusting to a new way of life. I am very confident that Pacifica—its values, academic training, and personable faculty—have prepared me for this new chapter of my life. One of the most practical things I took away from Pacifica was the ability to effectively manage my time with a rigorous workload. This skill has paid off and has made academics here—at least for the moment—very manageable. Deeper still, Pacifica provided me with an independent and curious mind; one that can entertain an idea without immediately assuming its validity, while still being able to marvel at the complexity and meaning of the world. Pacifica taught me to think carefully, and to strive to discover the truth and beauty in my studies. I have tangibly observed this, even in the little things, like oranges. I am grateful for Pacifica and the platform it has built for me, and on which I now stand to further my education and future pursuits.

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