FRESHMAN FOCUS: Quin LaComb, ’17, takes up line dancing, student government at Cal Poly, SLO

Quin LaComb, ’17, gives a speech in his Public Speaking class on his love for engineering and history.

Quin LaComb, a freshman at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is majoring in electrical engineering and wishes to spread the word on time management.


Q: What classes are you taking?

A: I am taking Calculus 3, General Physics 2 and lab, Intro to Electrical Engineering and lab, and Public Speaking.


Q: How big are your classes?
A: Generally, my classes are anywhere from 25 to 35 people, but my biggest class is my Intro to Electrical Engineering Lecture, which is probably 200-250 people.

Q: What do you think of your classes?
A: A lot of my classes are covering material that I already know.

In math we’re just doing series and sequences, and I basically learned that when I took AP Calculus BC. And in Physics we’re covering oscillations and vibrations, which we covered in Physics C. So I pretty much am covering stuff I already know at the moment. But it’s good to go into a bit more depth than we did at Country Day.

Q: Have you participated in any extracurriculars or clubs?
A: This is only the second week of class for me, so all of the clubs are still setting up. I haven’t technically joined any clubs yet, but they did have a club fair about a week ago, where all the clubs set up stands and you got to go around and talk to them.

I signed up for a few clubs there, notably the student government, which is called the ASI (Associated Students Incorporated), and the marksmanship club.

Q: Can you tell me more about the marksmanship club?
A: It’s fairly self-explanatory to some degree.

Basically, there is a firing range right around campus – I want to say it’s five minutes north – and so they do a lot of marksmanship activities like rifles and pistols.

I’m more interested in shotguns because that is what I have my experience with and what I’d like to keep practicing. You know, I gotta keep that up as I go further away from home.

But other than that I think it’s basically going up to a firing range and just getting acquainted with firearms. I think they said there are a few people in the club that end up doing competitive activities like going to actual shooting challenges, but I’m not really sure how openly available those are.

Q: When I brought up your name with some other alumni, they said I should ask about line dancing. Why is that?
A: Yes, line dancing is a blast! I hate dancing – I should probably get that out of the way first because it only makes this story that much more credible.

I hate dancing, but line dancing is the best. It is hilariously fun.

Basically, my orientation leaders said, “Hey, on Thursday there’s a club that has line dancing classes, and we go there every week. If you guys want to come, then head on over.”

And I was like, “Whatever! I’ll try it.”


Q: What about line dancing did you like so much?

A: It was just so different, and anyone can try it because no one cares whether or not you know how to do the specific dances. All they really care about is that you try.


Q: Did you transition well?

A: I’d say that I transitioned well. I’m not homesick, and whether that’s because I transitioned well or just because it is my third week away from home is debatable.

I’d say that I’m getting along with people; I’ve got friends, and I’m enjoying my classes.


Q: What is the overall attitude of the student body?

A: I think that at a school where there are (about 22,000) people, anyone can find what they want to find.

There are partiers, there are people who just study all day, there is everyone in between. So, really, you can do whatever you want. You find your niche, and you can stick to it or try new things.

Everyone here is really friendly and open, so you can just walk up to people and introduce yourself whenever you want and they’ll just be like instant friends.


(Photo used by permission of Quin LaComb)
Fellow Cal Poly students gather around the on-campus therapy dog.

Q: Are your roommates colorful?

A: I’ve got five roommates because I’m living in a six-person apartment. We’re all engineers, so many parties are held under our roof.

One of my roommates is a guy from Houston who’s a competitive fisher, which is pretty interesting. He’s been introducing us to the world of competitive bass fishing.

I’ve watched more videos of competitive bass fishing in the past week than I have in my entire life – and more than I ever planned to. It’s way more interesting than I thought it would be.


Q: Since you were on the Octagon for two years, are you going to continue journalism at Cal Poly?

A: When the club fair was going on, I was planning on stopping by the newspaper stand, but they didn’t have a stand.

I’m not sure if they hid it, they didn’t set up, they didn’t get up or if they were coming in later that day, but by the time I left the club fair I had already signed up for four or five clubs. The ASI, I figured, was probably already more than I could chew, so I decided not to sign up for the newspaper.

Whether that will carry over into the future, we’ll have to see about that.


Q: Considering two of your Country Day classmates also went to Cal Poly, have you seen them?

A: I haven’t run into Jacob Durante (‘16) or Brad Petchauer (‘16), but I meet up with Christian Van Vleck (‘17) and Emil Erickson (‘17) a bit. I usually see Emil more because we have a class together, and he’s in a lot of classes that are in the same area as mine.


Q: How did Country Day prepare you for college?

A: There are two main things that I should mention. First, the curriculum at Country Day allowed me to get into the classes that I’m taking. Like I said, I’ve already gone over a lot of the material, so it made the transition smoother. Secondly, it also taught me how to manage my time well, which is incredibly important.


Q: What’s your advice for Country Day students regarding college?

A: The most important thing you have to do – it doesn’t matter what year you are – (is to) to know how to manage your time well.

I know that Country Day teaches you how to manage your time well, but it is incredibly different at college.

For example, I’ve got only one class on Thursday at 8 a.m., and (Thursday is) probably my most productive day even though I’m getting up early and going to class. (It’s because) that’s the day that I do all the chores around the apartment and try to get as much homework done as possible. I’ve got 15-16 hours of free time on that day, and it’s almost all doing work.

You have so much free time to do whatever you want, you can get a little bit distracted because of all the free time. You really have to pay attention to what you have, when it’s due and how long you think it’ll take you because if you don’t, you’re going to fall behind on assignments. They start piling up really quickly once you fall behind, and it’s really hard to pull yourself out of that vortex.

Five-star or subpar? 

  • Food: ☆☆☆☆
  • School Spirit: ☆☆☆☆
  • Location: ☆☆☆☆☆
  • Clubs: ☆☆☆☆☆

—By Spencer Scott

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