New York-based alumna Cathy De La Cruz ’03 shares her thoughts on Evergreen and independent study

Last month, alumna Cathy De La Cruz ’03 appeared on the Actor Hack Podcast. She shared her first impressions of moving to Olympia to attend Evergreen and the challenges (and benefits) of pursuing independent study. She was gracious enough to write an introduction, and you can listen to the full interview here.

Cathy De La Cruz

Before arriving in my dorm room as an 18-year-old freshman in 1999, I had never even been to the state of Washington. I had grown up in in San Antonio, Texas and had only been on an airplane once, my junior year of high school, to visit some family in Missouri. I wasn’t culturally shocked by The Evergreen State College and Olympia (though my parents were) because it was exactly what I had been looking for. To say Evergreen and Olympia were polar opposites from my Catholic school upbringing and large but relatively conservative hometown at the time—would be an understatement.

Now as a New Yorker working in publishing and the arts, I was recently interviewed on a local podcast called “Actor Hack” where I mentioned my formative years as an Evergreen college student. Even now, 14 years after graduation, I am truly grateful for the experience. Some of my closest friends also live in New York and graduated from Evergreen. I’m still in touch with my favorite faculty, many of whom are still as supportive of my work now as they were when I was their student. Evergreen is a unique school and in this podcast interview, I tried to give those who don’t know anything about the institution a little background on it.

A fellow Greener told me they appreciated what I said about how the best part of going to Evergreen was that you were actually treated like you were an adult, which also happened to be the worst part since in many ways, I was still a kid. But I wholeheartedly believe that is the magic of Evergreen: the freedom you have there. Maybe I learned more about freedom at Evergreen than I did about anything else, but it took me until now to realize that.

Greeners (past, present and prospective) are always welcome to reach out to me—especially those who want to talk film, writing, feminism, New York and so on. You can find me on Twitter via @SadDiego

Hear Cathy’s complete interview on the Actor Hack Podcast here.

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