Senior Amanda Cooper smiles during a brightly colored photoshoot in her friend’s garage in September. The writer said she plans to take a gap year after graduating from Pepperdine before pursuing graduate school.
Photos courtesy of Amanda Cooper
Senior Amanda Cooper is preparing to graduate with a Creative Writing degree and is ready to find a good home base to start her writing career. Cooper was originally planning to attend graduate school right after Pepperdine, but due to COVID-19, she is now planning to take a gap year and possibly move to Chicago to dive into the thriving art scene. Her biggest goal for the future is to write and publish a screenplay.
Why did you choose to go to Pepperdine?
Amanda Cooper: I chose Pepperdine because my brother was forced to apply to one Christian school when he was looking for colleges and he just picked Pepperdine from a random list of Christian colleges. When he got in, he actually received the Regent scholarship. He ended up going to a state school, but once I saw the potential for going to school in beautiful Malibu for a really good scholarship, that’s kind of what I started to work towards. So, all throughout high school, I kind of kept that in mind that it was a possibility to attend Pepperdine one day.
What are you involved in at Pepperdine?
AC: Right now, I’m the editor of Expressionists Magazine. That is something I’m really excited about. I’m also the Vice President of New Member Experience for Pi Phi. I really enjoyed holding both that position and being a rho gamma during recruitment. As far as music goes, I have been involved in the Pepperdine Concert Choir, the wind ensemble and the percussion ensemble. I’m also a TA for two humanities classes, and I’m in the Pepperdine Feminist Club. I was supposed to be this year and will be next semester an SLA, which I was also was last year in freshman housing.
Emily Ambler, Cooper, Emily Tortora, Caroline Chance and Megan Offutt are celebrating a Pi Beta Phi Galentine’s Day party in February. This year, Cooper was the Vice President of New Member Experience for Pi Phi and was a Rho Gamma.
How has your Pepperdine experience been for you?
AC: It’s definitely been an experience punctuated by surprises. Another reason I came to Pepperdine was because when I was looking it up at 14, I saw that they had a program that went to Switzerland, which was my dream destination. And so, [with] my experience at Pepperdine, I can’t divorce that from how incredible the abroad program was.
If you had advice to any first-year students at Pepperdine, what would you say?
AC: It’s easy to be jaded about this type of format and feel like something has been taken from you this way. But I would say just think of the stories that you’ll be able to tell your children and your children’s children, and now it may seem frustrating that we’re stuck in such an important historical event, but one day people will look at you and be grateful that you have that perspective to offer.
What has been one of your favorite Pepperdine memories?
AC: My favorite experience was being an au pair in Laussane for the [program director’s] three children. Especially the week that their parents were away, I took them to the fair or up to the mountains, and it felt like I was living in the “The Sound of Music.” It was every mountain dream I ever could have had. It made me excited to have my own family someday and possibly even live abroad myself.
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