Undergraduate Admission Blog

Follow the Official USC Undergraduate Admission Blog for information, advice, and a behind-the-scenes look at our process

December 5, 2013

What I Wish I Would’ve Known…

You may have heard the saying, “hindsight is 20/20”. We surveyed our current students to see what they wish they had known prior to applying to USC. Here is what they have to say:

Mary Waller (Junior from Chicago, IL): As you freak out about small details in your essay, and have regular panic attacks because you got mixed up about an essay topic or a deadline, just remember that you are (probably) not actually insane, and that everyone else is experiencing the same thing. Try to remember, instead, that you are awesome. That’s the part of you that admissions officers want to see, and if you don’t think that you’re awesome, how in the world are you going to convince an admissions officer that you are? Challenge yourself to be authentic.

Spencer Lepow (Freshman from Houston, TX): I wish I would have known that the goal of the admissions officer is to get you IN. They are fighting for you, so help them out by submitting a polished application that really reflects you and your strengths.

Simone Geller (Freshman from Foothill Ranch, CA): For the most part, the students applying to a prestigious school like USC are all going to be smart with good grades and high test scores. What’s crucial to get across in your application through your essays is a clear picture of who you really are. Talk about the things you’re passionate about, your goals for the immediate and the distant future, and things you hope to do at USC if you decide to come here.

Paige Handley (Sophomore from Provo, UT): I found it very helpful to visit the schools I was applying to because it gave me a feel of what kind of school I would like. I didn’t know whether I wanted to go to a big or small school and I think it is different for everyone, so visiting helps.

Lorelei Christie (Freshman from Arlington, VA): Research all the programs USC has to offer, and do it early on! Luckily, I found out about Thematic Option early enough to apply to the program. Now T.O. is one of my favorite things about SC. There are tons of other unique, exciting programs here that I wish I had known about earlier.

Engie Salama (Junior from Irvine, CA): I wish I had known how helpful the admission staff at USC are! Honestly, just shoot an email to your admission counselor with any questions you might have, and they’d be happy to help. I feel like a lot of students are intimidated by the application process, and it can be a little depersonalizing because of how many applicants schools like USC get– but I think communicating with the staff helps alleviate that feeling.

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