Alrightaaay, sooo umm I wrote all that good stuff down there and then discovered that the pictures from my visit suck….reaaaaal bad. I feel like this is a bad foot to start off with but hey! why not?! Maybe I’ll lower your expectations and then when I have a post with good pictures you’ll be like whooaahh this is the best thing ever! Well maybe not, but whatever! Just know that I’m sorry and I tried my best to make it at all presentable.
This was the very first school I toured! Although I don’t plan on posting reviews in chronological order, this just felt like an appropriate place to begin.
It was the very first day of summer after Freshman year and, although this may sound like a really sad way to kick-off summer, it was a really great experience! I pretty much had no expectations going into it, so it was really fun to drive up the hill and land at this gorgeous school!
I was immediately shocked by the perfectness of the campus. It was so clean (mind you school wasn’t in session), the grass was bright green, and the tour guides were smiling! The school is a very beautiful mission style–very “Californian”. The main campus is atop a hill looking over an industrial part of San Diego. I do remember being able to see the ocean, but campus is not right on the beach.
The layout of main campus is very simple. I would describe it as a hallway with academic buildings on either side and grass and sidewalks through the middle. It was very clear that getting from any classroom to another would take about 8 min or less– beside from those, if any, that are outside this area. The buildings were divided by department. For example, I remember a theology building, the business school building (a highly regarded program), the law school, and an arts building. It seems like a place that would be very easy to navigate. However, it was hard for me to determine how bike-able campus is. Some dorms are down a hill and others are up one so I guess it all depends on where you live and where you’re hoping to ride to. Unless you’re super hardcore.. then you’d have no problem.
One of the buildings that sticks out in my mind is the library. It is beautiful and very Harry-Potter-style, as my guide called it. The other that I remember as being somewhat breathtaking is actually the cafeteria, which is at the beginning of the ‘hallway’. It has high ceilings with large windows and big lamps hanging down. It’s modern and new but has a lodge-y feeling to it. There is also a market in this building, which had a lot of stuff and seemed really convenient.
The cafeteria is the closest building to the dorms that aren’t located right next to the classrooms. Those near the cafeteria are in a valley and next to a soccer field. Also away from main campus is the gym, baseball field, and more dorms. The dorms furthest from main campus seemed pretty darn far. I think, but I’m not sure, these ones are the Sophomore dorms…poor Sophomores. I bet they’re in shape though.
FUN FACT: The gym is the Jenny Craig Pavilion, which, I’m sorry, is awesome.
Also there were basketball hoops by some dorms, which is fun, and a lot of covered parking that seemed convenient.
My friends went to cheer/dance camp there and they got to stay in apartment style dorms. I assume that these are designated for the upper class-men, but it’s great to know that it’s an option!
I really liked that they have a place right on campus where you can buy tickets for local events and rent equipment to go out and do stuff! You can get skis and snowboards or surfboards or kayaks which is great for San Diego because you really can do all of these activities pretty easily!
Something that did leave a negative taste in my mouth was the frat scene that my tour guide told us about. She was honest in saying that it’s kind of a big thing there and I remember my Princeton Review book saying that as well. I personally dislike this, but for someone who’s looking to get involved in this way it’s great!
Their school symbol is of the chapel that’s right on top of the hill in main campus. However, I was surprised to learn that it’s actually a separately owned church. Kids are allowed to go there but it’s also used by the community. On the topic of religion, I recall my tour guide saying that a theology course is mandatory but that it does not have to be a Catholic based class.
All in all I got the feeling that the student body was composed of students who like to have fun and are smart and bubbly. I didn’t necessarily get the feeling that studying was the main focus but it definitely seemed like the students would have no choice but to be happy! I love the beaches in San Diego and I can definitely see this school appealing to kids who like to surf or go to the beach. Okay so this might make no sense and sound really stupid, but I didn’t really get the feeling that I’d fit in there very well. It seems more laid-back than I am, although I’m sure that not every student fits this mold. I walked away really liking it but knowing that it wasn’t the place for me, which is good!
Anywho, it seems like a great school and a lot of fun! The location is pretty great but you would have to take a car or bus from campus to get anywhere, which doesn’t seem like a big deal.
For more info and opinions on USD, I recommend checking out College Prowler! And, of course, if anyone has a question or opinion to share about USD, PLEASE don’t hesitate to do so!!!