University of Southern California USC

What’s Trending Now

Posted on by Meredith Schweitzer

          Every year, it seems like there are certain recurring trends we see in the Quick Takes section of the application. Whether it’s a popular humanitarian issue or simply a favorite movie that seems to be every student’s favorite, it’s amazing the similarities we often find.

          This year is no exception. Not surprisingly, Adele is in the lead according to my unofficial tally of students’ responses to the favorite musical performer/band or composer question. Another popular favorite from last year, Taylor Swift, is also in the running. Similarly, books such as The Hunger Games or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo must be flying off the bookstore shelves based on the amount of times students list this as their favorite book! I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that both of these also have soon-to-be-released movies coming out soon…

          One of my personal favorites is “What is your dream job?” In many cases, the response to this question directly reflects an applicant’s academic interest. Some students give very specific responses, such as plastic surgeon for burn victims or Myth Buster, while others are more general in their career aspirations at this point in their life with answers like CEO of a company or professional athlete. Other students really dream big. This year alone, I’ve seen professional ice cream flavor namer to trophy husband to Lady Gaga’s back-up dancer to princess! Let me tell you, I enjoy a nice chuckle from these responses from time to time.

          Personally, I view the Quick Takes section as a great place to let your unique personality come through. Even with a limited amount of room to respond to these ten quick response questions, describing yourself as “knee slappin’ hilarious” tells me quite a bit about you. It’s interesting to see what trends we see in applications from year to year- these definitely give us some insight into what’s going on in 17 and 18 year old minds! Whether or not your interests and personality quirks are similar to those of your peers, we’re not looking for any particular responses in the application. At the end of the day, we want to get to know you. And if your dream job is to own a bike repair/gelato shop on the beach like mine is, so be it. We appreciate your honesty and the occasional bit of humor.

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