Students take a plane from snow to sun


Ms. Langford

On the first day of the trip, Lane students and teachers pose in front of the mountains that overlook Claremont McKenna College.

By Alina Panek

Thirty juniors escaped Chicago’s bitter sub-freezing weather to enjoy the sunny rays of California during the last week of February.

The college trip was nicknamed the SoCal trip. Students visited sunny Southern California, where the colleges Claremont McKenna, University of Southern California, Pomona College, Pitzer College, Harvey Mudd College, Scripps College, and Chapman University reside.

“Tour guides apologized for the cold weather they were having. It was about fifty degrees.” Kelly Raye, Div.672, said.

Ms. Langford was in charge of organizing the college trip. Langford chose these schools because they were generous with scholarship money and part of the Claremont College Consortium.

The Claremont Consortium is an association of five undergraduate liberal arts colleges and two graduate institutions. If you are a student at one of the colleges, you are allowed to take a class from any class in the Consortium.

On the first day, they visited Claremont McKenna, Pomona College, Pitzer College, Harvey Mudd College, and Scripps College.

Rene Valenzuela, Div. 677, had high expectations–and California exceeded all of them.

“The reality was everything I expected and so much more. I know that sounds cheesy, but other than the traffic of Los Angeles, there was nothing I could complain about,” Valenzuela said. “The student body at every college gave off great vibes, the admission meetings all provided amazing tips that will really help polish up college applications, and California was absolutely stunning.”

Valenzuela’s favorite college that they visited was Pomona College.

“Pomona was my favorite because it contains almost everything that I am looking for in a college. Not only is the campus gorgeous and the student body well-rounded but what set it apart from the other colleges visited was the academic environment that was physically odd but interesting,” Valenzuela said. “From the admissions meeting I learned that Pomona provides the best resources for its students, out of the other three colleges visited, and just had that competitive edge that I want in a college. Not to mention how Pomona participates in the Posse scholarship and is a part of the Claremont Colleges consortium. Every single aspect of it was perfect.”

The most memorable part of the SoCal College tour to Michelle Cheung, Div. 667,was the newfound friends she made.

“I like how the chaperones and peers that were on the trip treated me and each other because I met a lot of people and they are all very friendly and enthusiastic about the colleges we visited,” Cheung said.

In between colleges, the students went to the beach and Disneyland. The students felt relieved for the break. The frequent college trips are exhausting, since the campus is very busy and they throw a lot of information at the prospective student.

Another frustration the SoCal student might face is the great distance between Chicago and Southern California.

Kelly Raye, Div. 672, is not worried about the distance.

“The thought of being over a thousand miles away from home sounds a lot more scary than it really felt. Granted, we were only there for a short while, but honestly whether I’m a four-hour plane ride from home, or a four-hour car ride from home makes no difference to me really,” Raye said.

On the last day, the students visited University of Southern California (USC).

“My favorite experience was visiting USC. I didn’t expect to like it, but I ended up not ever wanting to leave by the end,” Raye said. “Because it was the only school that had that kind of effect on me. I just felt like I belonged there. It definitely felt like a place I could love living at for four years. I liked the other ones, but not nearly as much as USC, and it was the last school we visited so it was really nice to end the trip on such a high note.”