What We Love About Fall at USC

Fall is a special time of year at USC. For our freshmen students it marks the beginning of their college experience. For our admission staff it marks the beginning of the recruitment cycle for our next freshmen class. For students and staff fall is a wonderful time of year for many different reasons. We thought it would be nice to survey our some of our students and admission counselors to see why they enjoy the fall at USC so much.

Here’s what some of our students had to say:

“I love producing TV shows at USC’’s Annenberg TV News” – Jake, Senior, Broadcast and Digital Journalism, Ridgefield CT

“I love seeing so many alumni come back to USC Football games to support the Trojans” – Pooja, Junior, Kinesiology, Cupertino, CA

“I love seeing all the new students getting involved with the different student organizations who recruit at the start of the semester” – Matt, Senior, Public Policy Management and Planning, Irvine, CA

“I look forward to a cappella auditions and welcoming our new members” – Trace, Junior, Broadcast and Digital Journalism, Elmhurst, IL

“FOOTBALL” – Ryan, Senior, Accounting, Chicago, IL

Here is what some of our admission counselors had to say:

“I love leaving work each day and hearing the marching band practice at the track stadium and listen to Dr. Art Bartner direct the group. I love that the band allows us to run on the track during their practices. Good music to get you fired up!” – Michael Gulotta

” I love fall because the students come back and bring life back to campus!  It’s great to hear what they did over the summer.” – Samantha Schreiber

Conquest is every fall and it’s a sendoff for our football team, but it’s also a lot of fun for the rest of campus.  The main quad gets turned into a carnival, with a Ferris wheel, fireworks, bonfire, and food.  But the best part comes at the end of the night when they start the concert.  Every year they bring amazing artists to campus to perform for students.  My favorite show was Lupe Fiasco!” – Kendall Williams

The Trojan Knights” – Olivia Sajjadieh

“I love when the weather actually turns to fall and the leaves begin to change color, especially in Alumni Park – it’s the perfect setting with all the trees and Doheny in the background!” – Neelam Savla

Picking the right college for YOU

              It’s the middle of April, which means high school students across the country have less than 2 weeks to make a huge decision: which college to attend for the next four years.  I remember quite vividly how I felt during the month of April when I was a high school senior—panic, excitement, pressure, fear of the unknown, and anticipation and hope for the future.  I spent weeks agonizing over different options and comparing colleges that, in hindsight, are like comparing apples and oranges.  Even so, I learned a lot from the experience and have found that there are different factors students take into account when making this life-changing decision.

  • Gut Feeling – By now, you’ve likely visited a college campus or many.  If not, now would be the time to take a virtual tour, read up on the college, and perhaps talk to current students.  Sometimes it comes down to a feeling that really tips the scales and helps a student decide which college campus they intend to call “home” for the better part of 4 years.  It may be because you felt comfortable at the school or felt like you recognized pieces of yourself in other students.  Or maybe you can’t explain it—maybe you saw something occur during a college visit that just clicked for you.  Whatever the case may be, a gut feeling can go a long way.
  • Pros and Cons – Quite the opposite of the gut feeling approach, making a pros and cons list or creating a chart that compares and contrasts colleges in different areas employs a more formulaic approach.  This can be helpful in organizing what you’re looking for in a college and what is truly of value to you.  Are you looking for opportunities to double major or pursue a minor?  Do you thrive in a large classroom setting or prefer more intimate, discussion-based classes?  Do you want to be near a city or in a small college town?  This method can often help you sort your thoughts and assessments.
  • Rankings, Reputation and Stereotypes – We’re all familiar with common stereotypes associated with different schools, however, these stereotypes often miss the mark—by a long shot.  I hear students who say they want to attend a “prestigious university” but they are unable to define what makes an institution “prestigious” or how this is going to affect their college experience.  Similarly, students will disregard a potential college due to a negative reputation and rumor they believe to be true.  It’s important to know your source and find out the truth about any schools you are considering.  Just because a college is ranked as a “top college” somewhere doesn’t mean that it’s the right college or best fit for everyone.  That includes you.

              There are many other factors, methods, and ways to evaluate what college will provide you with the ideal experience.  In the end, it’s probably best to pick the school that you identify with in some way.

Decisions, Decisions

     Oh, how the tables have turned! For months and months students have been waiting patiently to hear back from USC with their admission decision. Those decisions have been made and now we are waiting anxiously to hear whether or not you are going to come to USC. We know that each and every one of our admitted students is a great fit. We also know that you will have many great options and that you have a really tough decision to make in just under a month. We want to help make that decision a little easier so we have programs throughout the month of April that are designed to show why USC is the right fit.

     Your admit packet includes a brochure with all of your options. I highly encourage you to attend at least one of the programs we offer before making a final decision. Even if you’ve been to campus several times or you’ve attended a fall off-campus reception, the admitted student programs will enable you to see the University through a much different perspective- now you’re an admitted student! By now you probably have many questions about USC. Why should I choose USC? What will the incoming class look like? Social life? Academic resources? Housing options? Financial aid? The admitted student programs are designed to give answers to these questions and many more. Parts of some of our programs are specifically designed for you to learn more about your admission to the spring term or to introduce you to the diverse communities on campus. We really do want to help you make the best decision.

     We in the Office of Admission are very excited to meet you after spending months and months getting to know you through your application, so when you do come visit us either at our on-campus programs or off-campus receptions, be sure to introduce yourself. This week I’ll be heading down to South Florida to work on my tan, eat some Cuban food, and take some great photos. But most importantly, I am looking forward to seeing all of my students at the Miami program on Wednesday night!

Once again congratulations on your admission and we hope to see you soon!