Undergraduate Admission Blog

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December 10, 2013

New Student Blogger: Cole Jones

ColeJones         Hi, my name’s Cole and four months ago I started my senior year at USC. In less than one month I’m going to revisit my roots for a week during winter break, which makes that seem even more unreal because Alvin, Illinois couldn’t be more opposite from LA: population 316, no traffic light, and a nearby school mascot named the “Cornjerkers.” This is decidedly not Chicago.

         This is also part of the reason why coming to USC was terrifying. I felt ill equipped both academically and mentally to even apply to some of the schools that I did, let alone move more than 2,000 miles away. At orientation I met people whose entire family had attended USC and people who were so emphatic about what they wanted to do in college and in life. This had me even more worried about where I fit in on the starting line of this race to get a degree.

         Later at orientation, I learned something that seemed insignificant to me at the time. The history of being a Trojan is all about ignoring the odds. In a 1912 track meet against Stanford, USC suffered early setbacks that made it nearly impossible for the team to win. However, they didn’t give up, causing a huge upset by winning the later events and losing only by a hair. Owen Bird of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the athletes “fought on like Trojans” and we’ve been Trojans ever since. This is a spirit that exists in all of us and something I wish I had thought more about when applying to colleges and during my first year here. That would be my biggest advice to prospective and incoming students: to realize that being a Trojan and being a college student isn’t all about who reaches the finish line first. As horribly cliché as this sounds, it’s about fighting on and realizing that anything is within reach.


  1. Dina Sabatelli says:

    Applying to USC can be a very daunting task, and this was an inspiring article during the college admissions process. Fight on!!!

  2. Sarah says:

    Thanks for sharing! USC Sounds like such a fun place to be. I just submitted my application and I’ll be waiting anxiously to hear back 🙂

  3. Alaine Hope says:

    Hello Cole,
    My name is Alaine Hope and I am also from Chicago. I’m currently interesting in transferring to USC as a college junior and found your experience to be inspiring. I love California and I feel that USC will be the right fit for me, but my family feels that I should just stick to attending schools in Chicago because of the financial burden it might leave me in. Is there anything you can tell me that really pushed you to make the leap and decide on USC despite the obstacles?

    • colejone says:

      Hi Alaine! I’m really glad you liked my post. It can’t hurt to apply to USC and see what happens. As I mentioned in another comment, after receiving my financial aid package, USC was actually the most inexpensive school for me to attend, even compared to in-state public schools. It’s definitely a big decision, but I’d say it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Good luck with yours and let me know if you have any other questions!

  4. Karly Bailey says:

    I’m in the same situation you were in. I’m from a tiny farm town in Missouri. I visited California with my best friend and fell in love. We’re both considering moving to California to go to college. She has family in Beaumont so we wouldn’t be alone. We’re just worried about the out of state tuition and living costs. Any advice?

    • colejone says:

      Hello! For me, attending USC was actually more cost-effective than going to an in-state school. Since USC is a private school there is not a separate out-of-state tuition. Also, in my experience USC was much more generous with financial aid than the public schools I applied to. I would definitely advise to apply to a few places and just see what happens. Good luck!

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