Guest Blog: The Campus Experience

Hi everyone!  Check out this week’s blog from a current USC student majoring in Dance in the Kaufman School.  Our students find tons of ways to get involved whether they are dancers, engineers, or philosophy majors.  Rebecca’s experience mirrors many of our students throughout every college at USC.  Check it out and enjoy!


Coming to USC Kaufman was a totally unique experience for me. Previously, I attended a performing arts high school, and couldn’t even tell you what football was. Dance was my entire life. When it came time for me to choose a college program, all I wanted was to be somewhere rigorous, challenging, and intense. I thought that meant a conservatory program was my only choice. But Kaufman offers something that no other program in this nation does: the opportunity for an intense, challenging conservatory program paired with a regular college experience.

I never thought I wanted a real college experience, but the opportunity to immerse myself in it has actually made me a better dancer, and I couldn’t be happier. I have had the ability to live real life experiences that I can actually connect to my dancing, which in turn has made my artistry richer. I never got a chance to experience anything remotely close to a real high school or college experience, but coming to USC allowed me to feel like a normal person and have that experience I’ve always dreamed about.

Social life and sororities

This experience is paired with the most prestigious and rigorous dance program ever. I really couldn’t dream of a better combination. I attend my dance and academic classes during the day, but then I am able to come back to my sorority (where I currently live and have dinner with some friends), have a gigantic movie night, attend an invite or a date dash, go to a football game or even go on a hike. There is always something to do, and it is so easy to find the perfect balance of normal life and rigorous training. Through my sorority, I have met an amazing group of girls who have become my fan club at Kaufman performances and who constantly support and encourage me. It has been the best outlet outside of dance and a place I can go to de-stress from the craziness that comes with being a dancer. The reality is, dance can be incredibly stressful at times, waiting for casting, auditioning for a part, or making the deadline on a choreographic piece.  Having a normal experience has allowed me to just be me!

Finding my niche

Here at USC, everyone has the ability to explore just about every single interest they may have. If you want to experience college athletics, or join a salsa club, or do community service, the options are all here for you–and they are all endless. I took advantage of being in a sorority and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are so many unique people on campus and it has truly been something special to expand my network to meet future collaborators or dance supporters. Even the dorms here are set up in a way that totally allows you to meet as many people as you possibly can. Everyone’s doors are open, and the school creates such a welcoming and comfortable environment. I’ve met some of my best friends by just walking into their dorm room on the first day of school. There are endless classes, endless clubs, and endless ways you can involve yourself into the amazing life of USC. You get to find your own fit!

People in Kaufman are involved in lots of different things outside of dance. One of my classmates started a collaboration club at USC for all artists, while another one of my classmates is social chair in his fraternity. USC is a school with the perfect balance of academic, dance, and social experiences. At USC, you get to be a dancer, an artist, and a college kid.

Cheers to school spirit

My personal favorite part of the USC experience is hands down the football games. Everyone dresses up in their favorite USC gear, song girl skirts, knee high socks, hats, or even fanny packs. Kaufman holds its own taco tailgate during Trojan Family Weekend, so that we can all join in on the USC spirit. Not only are we a family in Kaufman, but also we are a family at USC. The band is incredible, and you can’t help but throw up your victory sign and sing along. I never thought I would care about sports until I got here. I felt the spirit and the family that this school creates. Now I’m the girl fighting on, and screaming, “touchdown!” with my Kaufman family next to me in the stands, even though I still have no idea what exactly is going on.

The most surprising thing about the USC college experience is how incredibly unique every student is. Branching out of Kaufman and meeting people who are non-dancers has allowed me to meet some of the coolest people I never would have had the opportunity to meet. It is truly inspiring and has encouraged me to be a well-rounded individual. Each and every experience has been something I have been able to connect to my dancing. It is so amazing that a school offers this. This is the only time we can be normal people while still training like the professional athletes we are!

BY: Rebecca Troyak ’19
BFA, Dance


GUEST BLOG: Trojans 360’s Freshman Must-Reads

Are you an incoming freshman? Welcome to the Trojan family! Take a look at these special posts to get a glimpse of the adventures that await.

Ask a Trojan: Best Parts of Coming to USC From Welcome Week to football games, you have a lot to look forward to these next four years.

6 Things You Must Do in Your Time at USC The events and opportunities available here are endless. You will want to add these to your college bucket list.

The Perks of Being a Student at USC Being a USC student has a lot of perks and benefits ranging from discounts to freebies. Free TV and Uber – need I say more?

How to stay updated on all things USC As you get ready to start your college adventure, you will want to stay up-to-date on everything that is happening at USC. You can find news about anything from recent events to research breakthroughs at these media sites and publications.

How to Find the Right Club at USC for you There are hundreds of clubs and organizations for you to discover at USC. Pursue a passion, try something new, or even start your own club! Here are Trojan 360’s tips on how to find one that fits with your schedule and interests.

Which Student Organization Should You Join? If you don’t know where to start, you can take this quiz to help you narrow down your club search.

Learn from your Big SCister Trojan 360’s Grace Carballo shares her years of experience and knowledge to the incoming freshman class so that they can make the most out of these college years.

12 Things I Wish I Knew My Freshman Year Freshman year can be both exciting and challenging at times, especially since it may be your first time away from home. To help you out, you can consider this advice from someone who’s been through it.

Reviewing the Freshman Dorms: 2016-2017 Edition Need help deciding which dorm you want to live in next year? Trojans 360’s Adriana Bernal Martinez breaks it all down for you by dorm, room type, price, and more.

If USC Dorms Were People …and if you’re still not sure where to live, then maybe you can find one that matches you!

A Week In: Key Conversations with your Roommate  For some of us, college may be the first time we have a roommate. To facilitate a fun, peaceful dorm experience, here are some important conversations you should have with your roommate(s).

Ask a Trojan: Freshmen Move-In (Tips, Tricks & Packing Lists) Are you already starting to make your packing list and shop for dorm supplies? Don’t forget these items!

Ask a Trojan: Class Schedules Creating your first-semester schedule can be daunting, especially when you’re trying to navigate the course catalogue and determine which requirements you must fulfill. These tips can help you get started in your search for the perfect class schedule.

5 Resources at USC to help you study Sometimes adjusting to the college workload can be challenging. Need help with your writing? Trying to survive your math class? Don’t worry – USC has many resources to help you improve and succeed.

Where should you go to study at USC? There are so many different places that you can go for a productive study session. Find your study space now!

Ask a Trojan: Fitness on Campus Avoid the Freshman 15 by staying fit at USC’s recreational and fitness centers. If you’re interested in taking classes or finding a place to work out at USC, look no further.

4 Freshman Dining Hall Food Hacks During freshman year, you’ll be spending a lot of time at the dining halls. If you’re craving something different and unique, these quick and easy food hacks may come in handy.

7 “Must-Do” Attractions with Friends in LA The beautiful city of LA will be your home for the next four years. Explore with your new friends and see what adventures await you.

If you have any questions, send us a message!
Welcome to USC, and fight on!

By: Anna Lipscomb ’19

Traditions at USC

USC is well-known for its school pride and Trojan spirit, yet many students often ask me, “Does USC have any traditions?”  My answer?  There are TONS of traditions at USC!  Many of these traditions can be seen at sporting events, while others take place on campus in the form of student organization competitions.

While our campus is looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with loved ones later this week, we are also enjoying Troy Week.  Troy Week is a celebration of school spirit leading up to the annual football game against cross-town rival UCLA.  During this week, a student organization called the Trojan Knights stand guard 24/7 at the beloved statue of Tommy Trojan while being on the lookout for any mischievous Bruin fans. In past years, they have encountered Bruin fans with paintball guns, fraternity brothers with cans of paint, and even an overhead helicopter one year.  The annual Conquest spirit event took place Monday, which included a performance by the band Cobra Starship and the opportunity to ride a ferris wheel and enjoy a food fair, among other activities.  In recent years, bands such as Third Eye Blind and The Fray have also headlined Conquest.

Songfest is another long-standing tradition on campus that involves many university organizations to compete for the “Tommy” trophy and other awards.  This song and dance competition happens during the spring and has been held around Los Angeles at places like the Hollywood Bowl, the Greek Theatre, the Shrine Auditorium, and also on campus at Bovard Auditorium.  This annual event brings together students from residence halls, fraternities and sororities, the USC Marching Band, the USC Song Leaders, the Trojan Dance Force and various other campus organizations.  Last year’s theme was “Drawn to Action,” which focused on comic books and superheroes.  The funds raised from Songfest benefit Troy Camp, which is the largest philanthropy at USC and sends kids from the LA area to summer camp for an entire week.

There are many other traditions, however one of the first experiences for new students at USC is Welcome Week.  From Move-In Day to a pancake breakfast prior to the New Student Convocation, Welcome Week brings together incoming students to help them meet one another and get acclimated to campus and the University.  Students can attend the involvement fair to meet representatives from hundreds of student organizations on campus, take part in a campus-wide scavenger hunt, take a free shuttle to Venice Beach, or attend the Welcome Back Rally and Concert.  When it comes to welcoming students to campus, USC takes no shortcuts.

For now, I’ll leave you with one last tradition in the spirit of Troy Week: the USC fight song.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!