There are definitely a couple things I wished I knew when I was a freshman at USC.
The first would be to get involved. I had a great time first semester—getting adjusted to college, meeting new people, taking my classes, living in a dorm…but I wasn’t really involved in a lot of activities. Second semester, however, I picked up a bunch of new activities—participating in the Culture Show, joining the Joint Education Program, and increasing my attendance to Society of Women Engineers. Since then, I’ve kept picking up new activities and have learned to incorporate them into my busy schedule, and I love it! It’s nice to be involved on campus and be a part of the USC community.
Secondly, get to know your floormates or suitemates! I know that my freshman year was so enriched by being friends with all of my fellow BK4 members. It’s fun to come home to a group of friends who you live with. I got so close to some of those friends on my floor and in my building that I’m still living with them this year and next year! It’s a great opportunity to meet a variety of people; as an engineer you’ll be taking a ton of science and engineering classes, but in dorms and suites there is a plethora of other students to meet. For example, my neighbors last year included a theater major, a communications major, and a film major! I got to learn so much about how their classes were, what their extracurricular activities were, and so much more.
Third, I suggest using your available resources as much as possible. I relied pretty heavily on my Freshman Academy coaches, who are student mentors for the Freshman Academy course, as well as the Viterbi Academic Research Center, or VARC, which provides free tutoring for a number of engineering and writing courses. Even your professors are really great resources; they are usually very welcoming and are willing to lend a helping hand if you need assistance in your classes. I usually meet with my professors at least once a semester—it’s nice to get some face time with them.
Freshman year was a time of a lot of change, as you probably know…so make the best of it!