Ahhh so great to be back in sunny Los Angeles again! I moved into my first apartment three weeks ago and am just starting to get into my regular routine again. As a sophomore, I had a better understanding of how precious welcome week is and used it to my full advantage this time. Up until syllabus-week ended, I have filled my days adventuring, catching up with friends, and decorating the new place. I finally hiked the Hollywood sign, went cliff jumping at the Malibou Creek State Park, made it to “the top of the world” where I watched the sun go down over all of LA/The Pacific Ocean. I even tried surfing in Huntington Beach for the first time. I literally managed to pack all of the leftovers from my freshman year bucket-list into two weeks. Great start to the semester for sure.
Unfortunately syllabus week does not last forever and it is time to snap back to reality. The start of school is not only a time to get organized in classes, but also the time to join new clubs, social or academic groups, or get more involved in Viterbi. As a board member of the Ski and Snowboarding Team, it was my job to recruit new members and get people stoked about the season the past few weeks. I talked with numerous freshmen at involvement fair booths, and our annual ski team meeting. Even if you don’t end up joining a club, going out to these fairs and meetings is a great way to meet people and see what all USC has to offer. I learned we have a Quiddich and Polo team…who knew?
Deciding to branch out myself, I signed up for USC’s ASCE chapter (American Society of Civil/Environmental Engineers). Every year this organization works together to create a steel bridge, canoe, and water purifier. Later in the spring we compete with a bunch of other schools. These projects allow students a chance to get hands on experience and become comfortable working as a team-member. Eager to learn more about different career paths of civil and environmental engineers take, I had the opportunity to sign up for a “big” through ASCE. It was super helpful to chat with an older Environmental Engineer about internships, activities, and future plans. There are professional and academic clubs like ASCE for every engineering discipline and it is definitely a great way to take your learning experience outside of the classroom as well as a good opportunity to network with professionals and even future co-workers/employees.
Joining clubs, trying to acclimate to a new environment, making friends, and keeping on top of classes can be super overwhelming…I know. My advice is to pursue only the activities that mean the most to you and stay as organized as possible. Using a planner or calendar will help you stay on top of assignments, meetings, and important events. As for the fun stuff… don’t wait until your sophomore year to make a dent in your bucket-list. There is plenty of time over the weekend to get out, explore, and even get ahead on schoolwork so the week does not seem as stressful. Freshman year is incredible, seriously make the most of every day ((: