May 23, 2013
5 Ways to Make the Most of your Time at USC
These past couple of weeks, I have seen the inside of a library more than I have seen my One Direction poster that hangs over my bed. In other words, my schoolwork really picked up this past month. I, like many others, always considered myself a good student. I knew to study well before exams and to not put papers off until the last minute. When I first came to USC, however, I soon realized that college is very different from high school. Not only is the level of coursework different, but there is also more independence and a level of personal responsibility to balance work, activities, and a desire to have a somewhat fun social life. Although I’m still trying to find that perfect balance (it’s much more difficult that it may appear), I thought I would offer a bit of advice to all the newly admitted students and all those looking to apply in the next year or so.
1)Read. This may seem trivial, but actually do your reading. Although you may not be held accountable for the assigned reading each day, eventually you will be need to take a midterm or test. Let me just say from personal experience, it is NOT fun to catch up on 200+ pages of reading two days before an exam.
2)Don’t let the library become your home. Although I love Doheny and could spend hours in there (and do), I recognize that it’s important to get outside every now and then. That vitamin-D from the sun is always nice, and just smelling the roses is a good thing too(no literally, smell the roses, they’re amazing). But in all seriousness, it’s important to remember that college is more than just what you learn in your classes. It’s learning about yourself and defining who you are as a friend, student, son or daughter, etc., which means building relationships and growing as an individual (read: getting involved and doing things, which brings me to point
3)Get involved. It may seem overwhelming at first and you may feel as though you want to fully settle into school before you join any club or get a job. However,by doing so, you’ll not only make some new friends, but also learn all about time-management, which is a super important skill. I didn’t get involved my first semester and really regret it. I had SO (too?) much free time. Once sophomore year hit, I got hired as a Tour Guide and an Orientation Advisor, two things that will define my time here at USC. It’s definitely important to find those “homes” on campus.
4)Explore. I’m all about exploring. Campus, Los Angeles, outside of Los Angeles. I love getting around and trying and seeing new things. Freshman year, I spent most of my time on campus and I attended many free concerts, performances and events. Now that I’m a junior, I try to get around to see different parts of L.A on a regular basis. Whether it be getting dinner in the Arts District, grabbing gelato in Malibu, or going to College Night at LACMA, I thoroughly enjoy living in such a vibrant and diverse city.
5)Create your own experience. Again, this may seem trivial, but I remember coming to USC and thinking there was something like a “typical” college experience. Nothing is typical. Everyone at USC is pursuing his or her own passions and yes, sometimes they overlap. However, don’t get caught up in what you may think everyone else is doing, and instead focus on creating your own path and defining who you are.
That’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll think of some more tidbits. It’s crazy that I just registered for my last fall semester at USC. I’ll save the super nostalgic post for another time, but I do hope you all reading this realize just how quickly college goes. So, enjoy the last couple months or years of high school, and just get ready for the most amazing four years of your life!
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