A Day in the Life of an SMC Scholar

We've all asked those questions while waiting in line at the bookstore, the cafeteria and the parking lot.

What are all these people doing here and where did they come from? It's amazing to think of the amount of cultures that we have the privilege to be exposed to every day at Santa Monica College. We are all so different in almost every way, but we have one thing in common: we go to SMC in order to better ourselves.

So the question begs to be asked: what is a day in the life of an SMC scholar? This question has many roots and many branches. Is there even such thing as a typical day all Santa Monica students can relate to?

Let's all agree that our days all start the same. Now the way each college student wakes up is always different depending on the day. There are the days when a student wakes up well rested, takes a shower (some don't, and that's ok too), maybe has a little breakfast before leaving home, hops in the car and prays that the parking goes smoothly. Those are good days; a student usually will feel pretty good about the start of this particular day.

There are days when a student wakes up late for class and rushes out the door; the days where you just can't get out of bed either from staying up too late or worrying about a test and not sleeping well. The wake up process is different, but we all wake up and we all travel to school.

Transportation for most Santa Monica students is always interesting. There are actually students who take trains to buses from downtown and Watts. Those are the dedicated ones. Waking up early to take a train or a bus can't be fun at all, but the desire to attend college must be applauded.

Most commutes aren't that far away. Some students who live as close as Santa Monica take the bus to SMC, and of course there are the ones that are lucky enough to drive or be driven. That special group deals with parking, but have the option of leaving whenever they chose.

Days vary according to the time. In the first couple of weeks, a typical day once you arrive on campus would be to walk to your first class. After attending the fist class, students will go to the bookstore and wait in line to get the books for the semester to come. As the semester rolls on, the bookstore is easier to manage.

During exams, midterms and especially finals, the store turns alive again. Students are rushing to the scantron and blue books section, usually around ten minutes before the actual test. Those are good times, because you always see kids from your class that you've never spoken to and strike up a conversation about the exam in line.

How ironic, we make friends just when class ends and it's time to move on to the next semester, not to mention that girl or guy you thought was cute and interesting is in line and this could be your last chance to talk to them, maybe even true love. Let's not forget A&R books across the street, which can get crazy too.

Lunch is a good time at SMC. Students spill into the cafeteria wondering if a booth will be available for you and your friends. The lunchtime starts around 11 a.m. and ends around 2 p.m. During that time, the cafeteria shines its social light into the heart of the SMC student body.

An onlooker who's never been to SMC can hear the languages and see the cultures that make this school so unique. Young adults socializing over food and books, talking about their new classes or maybe just about nothing in particular. It's typical SMC. On beautiful days students will lay out in grass and shoot the breeze, or have a cigarette in the smoking area (whatever is left of that).

It's probably the coolest thing about our school, the weather. All SMC students want the forecast to read "warm and sunny." The location and weather is what makes a lot of us go to school in the morning. Knowing the beach is just west by five minutes tops (depending on traffic) and that the sun will shine is sometimes half the battle in the morning.

After lunch a typical SMC student has a class in the afternoon. We all like to organize our schedule so we don't have to stay on campus forever waiting for the next class to come up. After that last class, it's the Los Angeles traffic that rears its ugly face. Whether it's the bus or car, that traffic takes no prisoners.

Some SMC students even have work, sit trough traffic wishing they could have a car that flies or the one that's a time machine; the Delorian. Homework is never really a priority when students get home.

Most like to relax before getting down with our microbiology or communications textbooks, then comes work (homework, job work or both), dinner then bed.
Typical day, wake, commute, attend, traffic, work, dinner and sleep. That would be a typical day for an SMC student. We are all so different; it would be hard to go into detail. This at least gives the question an answer to start from, a base for the bigger picture.

SMC is one of the best community colleges in the world, in the city with the most amazing weather in the world, with arguably the biggest collection of cultures in one spot. Typical? That is a word SMC is anything but.