Puget Sound’s special quality is kindness

You won’t find it in U.S. News & World Report’s college rankings, and it isn’t something you can advertise in a school brochure, but I have to say, ”kindness” is a category where UPS scores highly.

It is one thing to be welcoming and friendly to prospective students. I’m sure many of us can recall getting the VIP treatment on college tours or being courted through letters and emails in schools’ desperate attempts to win our tuition checks.

That warm attitude tends to wear off once they have secured your money; at least it did for me when I began at Occidental College in Los Angeles two years ago. This is not meant to be a rag on Occidental, but comparing and contrasting my two educational experiences has been extremely valuable during my time as a Logger.

My stay at Occidental was a certainly mixed bag, but I generally enjoyed my peers and made a number of great friends. However, I would be lying if I didn’t notice an important difference between my two schools. People here are just plain nicer!

I always encountered a particular bit of rudeness when dealing with faculty and administration at Occidental. From residential education to the office of the registrar, I continually felt frustrated by my interactions with authority figures on campus. It seemed like there was a constant struggle between the students and the administration.

Coming here was like a breath of fresh air. It is something easily taken for granted, but the general kindness and friendly atmosphere in the SUB, from our professors, and from strangers all over campus makes a significant difference. I remember one of my first weeks here my economics professor asked me how my soccer games went over the weekend. I was shocked. He remembered, he cared, and he actually wanted to get to know me outside of the classroom. It is such a simple thing, but these conversations go a long way toward building the relationships we value at a small school.

I feel truly blessed to be at a place where so many have impacted me in a positive way, and so quickly too. Teachers reach out and actually encourage students to work with them on assignments to make certain they understand the ideas. Administrators have helped me get my classes in order, even when registration did not go my way, and I developed a terrific group of friends the first time I set foot on campus.

Now maybe it’s a Pacific Northwest thing, or maybe UPS is truly unique in this way, but whatever the case may be, I want to thank you. We are lucky to go to school with faculty and staff that are on our side and that truly care about our experiences. This simple difference has solidified my decision to transfer here, and I am forever grateful.