December 10, 2013
New Student Blogger: Cole Jones
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.
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