Christine Cao ’17

Sociology and Visual Studies major Christine Cao ’17 explores the twists and turns of her academic curiosity. 

 So many classes piqued Christine Cao’s interest when she came to Redlands, it took her a while to settle on sociology and visual media studies as her majors.

“In my freshman year I was intent on English and sociology. Then I remembered it’s okay to change and to take some time to figure out what you want. Getting to know myself better was also vital. It was hard to say goodbye to English, but I know I can get what I want out of it without being a major in it.”

Redlands gave her the flexibility to find her own path, she says, and “the whole idea of a broad liberal arts foundation has really resonated with me and spoken to different parts of me,” she says.

With its small class sizes and strong sense of community, the University also gave her a platform to voice her own opinions. “I knew I didn’t want to feel like a number in a classroom. I wanted to cultivate relationships with my teachers, and that’s what I’ve been able to do here. This intimate community just creates a better environment to explore and play with ideas.”

Christine’s time at Redlands has been all about dipping into different fields to make the most of her college experience. “I’ve come to appreciate what I’ve gotten from being open to new perspectives, and I’m always curious to learn more. If a class sounds like it’s over my head, I’m going to take it. Modern Political Theory was way out of my comfort zone. I loved it.”

Christine’s extracurricular activities—from mentoring local children through the Big Buddies program to getting involved in KDAWG college radio and being part of the Orientation Mentor program—have also been about “not restricting myself to one path.”

“It’s a really big privilege and a great opportunity to have this time in my life to grow. I love everything that I’m doing here at Redlands.”