So as you guys know, (or don’t know,) I’m from Fort Worth, Texas, which is about ~1300 miles away from L.A. That being said, I am also the only person from my high school, out of the 2 that applied from my graduating class, that attends USC. A lot of the people I went to high school with chose to attend universities closer to home, which is not uncommon for students to do. Many of them went to universities with friends, or where they had friends already attending.
This was not the case for me. I didn’t stay anywhere close to home for school, nor did I know anyone who attended, or was planning to attend USC. I was basically flying across the country to spend four years in a place where I didn’t know anyone. That sounds a lot more terrifying that it actually was. Even before the first week of classes started, USC’s Welcome Week had tons of events where I met way too many people to count. Although I didn’t necessarily become friends with all of them, it was a chance for me to meet people I may not have come across once school started. My favorite Welcome Week event was hands down the Viterbi Luau, where I ended up meeting one of my now really good friends. It was cool because at some point during the luau, students were split up by major and had the chance to meet other students who they would have class with. So I went from knowing no one, to walking into my first class of freshman year already knowing 5 other people! Besides Welcome Week, classes are surprisingly another easy way to make friends. I never went into my classes with the goal of making friends with my classmates, it just happened naturally. And not even just for my engineering courses! I ended up meeting another good friend in a general education class that had about 60 students in the class. Joining organizations also gave me the opportunity to make friends while being involved in something I enjoyed.
Going to a new place is already scary enough, and going alone makes it 10x scarier. I realize now that I spent way to much time worrying about not having any friends going into the school year, instead of just enjoying the new experience of being a college student. Almost all of my friends are from states and countries besides California and the US, and they all came to USC alone with no friends. So many students come to USC without knowing anyone, and by the time they leave, they have made some of their best friends. Making friends happens so naturally without you even realizing what’s happening. So never stress about not making any friends, it’ll happen!