1 in 33,000: Near or far, a true California girl at heart

Christianna Triolo

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


Email This Story






Lauren Lefkowitz, a 20-year-old business major decided to experience college life on another campus all the way across the country in Massachusetts for a semester. Photo Credit: Christianna Triolo / Staff Photographer

Lauren Lefkowitz, is a 20-year-old business major who wanted to have the true college experience. However, she did not find it at CSUN but across the country on the East Coast at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst).

Born and raised in West Hills, Lefkowitz is following in her family’s footsteps by going to school at CSUN. Lefkowitz’s father, mother, brother and two sisters have all attended CSUN.

“My oldest sister loved CSUN, but the other two, not so much,” Lefkowitz said.

Like her brother, Lefkowitz chose to pursue marketing. She said she’s always found marketing interesting because it is a “hands on sort of experience rather than learning the material from a book.”

“I didn’t want to choose something just because I liked it and then end up not doing anything with the degree,” said Lefkowitz of the practicality a marketing degree holds.

Still following her brother’s lead, Lefkowitz took the opportunity to attend another school for a semester through the National Student Exchange program (NSE). The NSE program allows students to live and learn in a different state for up to a year.

Lefkowitz’s brother went to school in Massachusetts for a semester and came back with stories about his time there. It was all he could talk about. She then decided to also go to Massachusetts and attend UMass Amherst.

“I wanted to see what it would be like to live in a dorm, be away from home. I live at home and commute like most CSUN students,” said Lefkowitz.

“I chose Massachusetts after looking (at) their website and seeing how beautiful the campus was. Plus they had a really good business program, with a good reputation.”

She arrived on campus early which helped her to find her dorm and become aquatinted with the campus before the start of school. There was even time to figure out the campus bus system which made getting around a lot easier on the huge campus.

Unlike at CSUN, Lefkowitz had class everyday, but found that with excellent professors she didn’t mind going and looked forward to it.

Her favorite class was a Greek mythology class taught by an archeologist who reminded her of a fatherly Indiana Jones. She recalls one day the professor brought his young son, Jasper, to class and lectured while holding him in his arms.

Lefkowitz was able to escape the California state budget issue for a semester by attending UMass, where there were no budget constraints and none of the teachers had furlough days. In fact, all test supplies and class handouts are given to you. There is no need to buy Blue Books or scantrons.

“One time I was going into a test and thought, ‘Oh no, I don’t have a scantron.‘ So I asked someone where I could buy (one) and they looked at me like I was crazy,” said Lefkowitz.

One of her favorite things about UMass was the great food. She said there is a greater variety to choose from in the cafeteria than what CSUN has to offer, from waffle machines to an omelet bar.

“The food was so good! So much better than CSUN, I’m sorry. Although, they didn’t have a Panda Express, which sucked,” said Lefkowitz.

So why did Lefkowitz come back from a school with an omelet bar, no budget crisis, and great teachers? Simple, she missed CSUN and California.

“I missed CSUN. I missed having my own room, the dorm rooms were teeny tiny cells. I missed the sun and 70 degree weather, and of course I missed my friends,” said