College feature: Lewis & Clark

Brendan Nagle, class of 2015, knew he wanted to live in Portland, OR.  Lewis & Clark College, located just a few miles from the downtown, seemed to be the perfect fit.

Nagle was drawn to the city because of its thriving cultural scene and its coastal climate. “The city brought me here,” Nagle said. During his college search, he briefly considered other schools in the area like Reed University or University of Oregon-Portland, but decided that Lewis & Clark was right for him.  Part of what he likes best is the size.

“It’s not so small that you never meet new people, but it’s not so big that it’s unfamiliar. It’s a really good size,” Nagle said. Nagle was also struck by the beautiful campus. “The campus is definitely not urban,” said Nagel. “It’s basically surrounded by woods and really pretty gardens. It’s also smaller than you’d think.”

According to Nagle, Lewis & Clark is very comparable to Shorewood. “Lewis & Clark is like Shorewood but Big Brother,” he said. “If you enjoyed Shorewood, you’d enjoy Lewis & Clark.  If you did not enjoy Shorewood, you’d definitely not enjoy Lewis & Clark.”

Nagle has found positives and negatives in their similarity.  “The people are all very nice and the outdoorsy thing is really big here,” he said. Nagle also spoke to the “bubble phenomenon,” which he notices at both schools.

“There’s a tendency to get sucked into the bubble. It is really easy get caught up in campus stuff and never leave. Campus is great, but it’s important to be aware of what is going on around you, too. You definitely see that at Shorewood, too,” Nagle said. “There’s a lot of diversity, but there are also [privileged] upper middle class kids who haven’t been exposed to a lot.”

Nagle has made a concerted effort to fight the “bubble phenomenon” by taking advantage of all the opportunities offered off campus. According to Nagle, it is very easy to get into the city using either public or school provided transportation. Nagle has enjoyed exploring the unique restaurants, coffee houses and record shops that Portland is reputable for, and has already made it to several concerts, including

Some of the best fun he’s had has not been in the city, but outside of it. There are many adventures to be had in the forests, beaches, rivers and mountains surrounding campus. Lewis & Clark facilitates outings through their College Outdoors club.

“It’s a really cool program. They have day trips, surfing trips and longer trips during the breaks and summer,” he said. “There are just so many opportunities to get outside and there are so many opportunities to do what you love.”

On campus, Nagle is involved with Lewis & Clark’s online radio, where he hosts a show every Tuesday afternoon. “It’s very low key and a fun thing to do,” Nagle said.  Nagle’s interest in music is not just a hobby. He recently declared it as his major, and is currently studying trombone, guitar, piano and musical theory.

“They have a really, really great music department, the classes and the professors are really cool,” Nagle said.

In addition to his music classes, Nagle is also taking Environmental Studies and Exploration and Discovery, a required class for freshman that Nagle describes as a mix of literature and philosophy. Nagle thinks about Shorewood a lot, especially now that it is fall.

“It’s still really hot here, and I honestly miss the cold. It just gets kinda clammy and it rains a lot. The other thing is we mostly have pine trees up here, so it looks really different, too,” he said.

Nagle also laments how difficult it is to come home. “It’s easy to get flights and everything, but you can’t just drop 500 dollars every time you want to see your family,” Nagle said.

(by Sydney Widell) 

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