Cal is a place that draws you in slowly. A lot people doubt their decision of coming here, at first, but as the year, or years in some cases, progress they find themselves being drawn back to it with a certain fondness that only comes after they've been away from it for a certain period. The same people, who in their first semester said how much they couldn't stand the place, are usually the ones who are aching to get back here by the end of their first summer off. So what makes Cal different from IUP, Clarion, Slippery Rock, or Pitt? It's a combination of the people and the area itself. The people you meet in college are different from all the other people you'll meet in your life, because you are different from not only the person you were, but who you will be. It's personal evolution that makes the entire experience of college different from any other. This is will probably be your first experience to find out who you are, and how you feel about the world, apart from what you've been indoctrinated with your whole life. California allows a person the freedom to see what's inside of them. It's quite possible a person's already made some life affirming decisions before they get to college, but until they test them and see what still sticks, then they are mostly just estimated guesses.
To be honest, California is a two star town. It's small and the industry surrounding the area has fallen on hard times, but that allows a person to get a clear vision of what really matters in life. There aren't a lot of bells and whistles, starbucks and clubs, to distract you here. The atmosphere allows a person to see who they are, and what they're made of. For a long time, Cal was most peoples second or third choice of a college, but a lot of that has changed and it's growing and becoming more acclaimed with each year. The college's promise of fulfillment is a secret that more and more people are finding out and the overall experience they're walking away with is one of satisfaction.