Although CMC students rarely go into L.A. to visit the city, they will often travel to other campuses to visit friends from home. The Claremont bubble often causes us to forget that we are surrounded by other colleges and universities as close as USC and Occidental, UC Santa Barbara, and if you’re willing to go slightly farther away, UC Berkeley to the north.

The community of students our age extends outside of CMC, and there are opportunities for many of us to reach out and interact with those at other colleges and universities.  Members of traveling teams like Mock Trial will tell you that they begin to meet students outside of CMC and get to know students from other schools when they go to conferences, but it is much more fun to hang out with kids at other schools in a less formal setting.

The Red Bull Switchboard Event was one of the best opportunities to meet and have a great time with students from over 25 colleges in Southern California. Similar to Ski-Beach Day, Red Bull brought students out to surf in the morning and ski in the evening. It was awesome to meet so many people in such an energized atmosphere, and everyone enjoyed watching the professional surfers and snowboarders that the event brought out.

There may rarely be events held on the same scale as the Switchboard event, but it still represents the possibility of becoming a part of the greater southern California community.  The idea of the event encapsulates the great community we have at our fingertips. Overall, the Red Bull Switchboard event was an awesome time and an amazing opportunity to enjoy the days surfing and snowboarding with kids our age, and was one of the many ways to become more of a part of the Southern California college community.

In fact, there are many more opportunities to interact with students outside of Claremont besides the Switchboard event. For example, vacation companies like SWAT provide all-inclusive trips that provide transportation, housing, and concerts for students across California and Arizona. On the other hand, CMC also creates opportunities for students to attend sports games at schools like UCLA at discounted rates.

It is often difficult to visit other campuses since so few students at CMC have cars, but sponsored games and tours through the Dean of Students office or even ones like the Switchboard event provide great opportunities to get off campus. Living in Claremont means more than staying on campus every weekend, and it is worth venturing into L.A. and meeting new people outside of the 5Cs to truly enjoy the Southern California experience.