As my time at PLNU comes to a close, I have been reflecting on my experience here. These past four years have been times of great growth, joy, pain and everything in between. I will definitely miss the game nights, bonfires, Ortiz’s burrito runs and all-around great memories I have made with this community.
I will definitely not miss the late nights of work, stress, relational pains, and struggles to balance the juggling act that is college life. But when I think about if all of this was worth the money, time, and stress, my answer is 100 percent yes. I mean, I did spend four years here!
Let’s be clear: the Point Loma experience definitely comes at a cost. The total cost for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year is about $46,150 with room and board. That is a major cost that not everyone can afford, but it is not significantly different from other colleges. UC schools cost an average of $34,000 per year, and many other private schools in California are at least equal to PLNU in cost.
Going to college is no longer cheap, but that does not mean it’s worthless. While I could debate the merits of a college education, I want to focus instead on why Point Loma specifically is worth it.
Fun fact, if you factor only housing it costs about $26/night to live this close to the water, where most hotels in similar locations would cost at least $150.
For the past three years I have had the privilege of working for Admissions as a tour guide where my job is to help prospective students figure out if PLNU is right for them. I always tell my tours that Loma’s two biggest strengths–besides the ocean–are the small, tight-knit student body and the close connections formed with staff and faculty.
With close to 3,000 undergraduates, we are a small community. The people you meet here genuinely care about others. I know it can be hard for some to feel like they fit in here. Many times I have felt out of place, alone, or like I am “not Christian enough” to fit in.
But I learned that I am not alone in these feelings and found my community here. If you are feeling the same way, I encourage you to reach out to those around you. There is a community here for everyone, you just have to look for it.
We are also extremely lucky to attend a school where our class sizes are about 20 students and our teachers are actually instructing us, not just their TAs. My experience with the psychology faculty has been nothing short of amazing. All of them have at one point or another chosen to actively invest in my life and help guide me in my journey.
We are not just numbers to our professors; we are people whom they want to see succeed. In talking with my friends, I know that this experience is not exclusive to my major.
All of this does not mean PLNU is without its problems–it struggles with issues of diversity and inclusion of those who do not fit the “Loma stereotype.” No place is without its problems, and I hope and believe that PLNU will continue to improve in the years to come. As my own time here comes to a close, I know that it has been time well spent.
Matthew Januzik is a senior majoring in psychology at PLNU.