Mr. Beckner’s College Advice to Seniors

Sophia Scott ‘21, Arts & Entertainment Section Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






With college application deadlines quickly approaching, pressure mounting, and Marymount’s seniors anxiously awaiting their college decisions, it is an extremely stressful, scary, and exciting time for the class of 2019. For seniors who are intimidated and overwhelmed by the application process, for seniors who are nervous about being accepted into their top choice colleges, and for seniors who have already been accepted into college(s), but are apprehensive or indecisive, Mr. Beckner offers you some wisdom, encouragement, advice, and shares some of his own college experiences.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Mr. Beckner in Florence immediately after graduating college.

  • Shooting a student film.

  • Acting in The Tempest while in college.

  • Traveling in Europe during a school vacation.

Mr. Beckner: “Good People Don’t Only Exist At Your Top Choice”

Mr. Beckner grew up in Elk Grove, CA, a small city near Sacramento, which he notes “had more cows than humans.” He attended Elk Grove High School, then a local community college to complete his prerequisites before attending UC Santa Cruz. He says, “I’m glad I did this, but if I had been in a more comfortable financial position I would have gone straight to university.” Before leaving for UC Santa Cruz, he had recurring nightmares “in which beautiful Santa Cruz transformed into a dark and hostile place.” He recalls that “in these dreams, I would walk through campus (which is basically a forest) hopelessly lost, and I wouldn’t be able to find anyone to ask for help.” He reflects that “this arose from natural anxieties over uprooting and heading to an unfamiliar environment. However, as soon as [he] arrived on campus, [he] found it to be a gorgeous, warm, and life-affirming place.” When first attending UC Santa Cruz, Mr. Beckner “was most excited to get away from home and exert [his] independence. Living on campus was a blast, and the sudden and complete social liberation was exhilarating.”

Living on campus was a blast, and the sudden and complete social liberation was exhilarating.”

— Mr. Beckner

Mr. Beckner has always been extremely passionate about nature, so he remembers how “excited [he was] to be living on campus, which more resembles a national park forest than a typical college campus.” Furthermore, “being so close to the ocean didn’t hurt, either,” he adds.

Mr. Beckner applied to several UC schools, and he was admitted to three of his top four choices: UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Davis. He explains that he decided to attend UC Santa Cruz “because of the location and environment. I wasn’t interested in Greek life, so it made more sense than Santa Barbara, and Davis was too close to home. I wanted to throw myself into the relative unknown, so living an hour’s drive from my parent’s house wasn’t in the cards.” Some of Mr. Beckner’s favorite college memories “revolve around seizing opportunities. I love acting, so I auditioned for everything and had a blast. I love nature, so I swam in the ocean and hiked through the woods as much as possible. I didn’t sit in my dorm wasting time.”

Good people don’t only exist at your top choice–they are everywhere, and they will help advance you socially and professionally no matter where you end up.”

— Mr. Beckner

For seniors who have been accepted to several colleges that they like, but have difficulty deciding on a college to attend, Mr. Beckner says that “it is important to go with your gut instinct. If a place feels ‘right’, I’d trust that. It won’t guarantee you’ll pick the right place, but it could guide you in the right direction. Other standards apply as well: do they provide the degree you want? Is it in a place you’d like to live for a while?” Mr. Beckner’s main advice to the seniors is to “enjoy college as much as possible, meet as many people as you can, and go see your professors during office hours.” He reminds Marymount’s Class of 2019, “The most important part of college, apart from knowledge, is meeting people.  If your college is even remotely respectable, you will make sharp and forward-thinking friends. A lot about my life—my friends, my wife, my profession—were formed because of the people I met at UC Santa Cruz. Good people don’t only exist at your top choice–they are everywhere, and they will help advance you socially and professionally no matter where you end up.”

 

*All photos courtesy of Mr. Beckner.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email