After a relaxing weekend free of college tours, Monday morning brought us to a school we knew very little about: University of Redlands. We arrived in Redlands early, as usual, and drove around both the campus and the city itself. It definitely had that college town feel, which was a plus for all of us. When we got to the admissions center, my wife went in to get the parking pass while I walked over to get a shot of one of the main buildings:
This view offers one of those “postcard shots” of one of the main buildings on campus. It also gave me the “country club college” feel while I was shooting it, as I fully expected someone to drive up in a golf cart telling me to get off the lawn. Once again, my first impression of the school couldn’t have been more wrong.
There were a dozen or so kids there on our tour, and before we started, the guide introduced herself and gave a brief talk on the school. After about 5 minutes, we were off for the walking tour.
I can’t really explain why, but all 3 of us really liked this campus. It wasn’t that it was more beautiful than any of the others, but it just really struck us in a positive way. Maybe it was the fact that most of it appeared to be flat (except the hike to the building above), or that the school came off as far more laid back than any of us expected when we first arrived. I’m honestly not sure, but our guide did a great job of giving us information on campus life, the colleges within the school, admissions, and more.
One of the things that showed the school’s more laid back than it would appear is the story behind these flags that are near the bookstore:
Each flag holds part of their school chat used at athletic events. To us, it looked like gibberish, and when one of the parents asked what it meant, we discovered we were right!. Called the ‘Och Tamale Chant‘, this was apparently written in the 20’s in response to the chant their biggest rival at the time, Occidental used. Oxy’s chants during games (at the time, anyway) were all in Latin, so apparently a few people at UofRedlands thought it would be funny to mock that by yelling gibberish in return, and it stuck! We all got a good laugh out of that.
The tour ended back at the admissions office for a change (one of the few that didn’t end at the bookstore), at which point the guide made herself available for questions again. Reflecting back on that tour, some of the more interesting things that came out of it, other than the general admissions data:
- The school is a bit of a drive from L.A., so we were surprised to find our daughter was so interested. To me, that’s one of the best things about the school, it’s distance from the nightmare that is L.A. traffic.
- It’s not too far from Big Bear, and the guide did mention that one day each school year there was a “surf in the morning, ski in the afternoon” trip offered (I apologize if I have that backwards 🙂 ). Nice touch!
- The only negative, mosquitoes and other biting bugs seem to love me, so I get to be the family member that discovers problematic areas. This was one. It was the only school that I suffered some bug bites on during our tours.
Like I said earlier, I’m finding it hard to put in to words what we loved about this school so much, but only one other school surprised me more in that regard (one I haven’t reviewed yet). Overall, well done. Had we thought ahead, we’d have scheduled a meeting with an admissions adviser, like a few of the other parents had, since this is on the final list of schools she wants to apply to. Well done with the tour, UofR!
UPDATE: I remembered one of the key things that stood out here. At larger colleges, it can be somewhat difficult to get any time with your professors outside of class. That does depend on a few factors, but as someone who went to one of the largest schools in the country, I can attest this is true. One of the benefits of smaller schools is that you generally have much easier access to professors. UofR appears to take this a step further. In one of the academic buildings we toured, we noticed that there were tables situated right outside of the professors offices. The guide said these are used as study areas, making it incredibly easy to ask a professor any questions that come up while you’re there (if they’re in office, of course).