Hi everyone – I hope you are enjoying the beautiful changing autumn season as you read this!
This week I’d like to tell you about all things non-engineering – I love my major (which you can read a little about in my post from last week about the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering), but it’s the whole spectrum of extracurriculars, hobbies, activities, and experiences that make life here at USC so exciting.
One of my absolute favorite involvements is Overflow Acapella, USC’s Christian Acapella group – what started out as simply a choir of people who like to sing quickly became my dearest family when I was accepted to the group last year. We usually rehearse about 5 to 6 hours each week, and though we rehearse very late at night, it is an amazing blessing to end long days in engineering singing with the family and getting to share life with this amazingly talented, kind, and loving group of people. All of our music is arranged or originally composed – I have been so amazed by the incredible musical skill and brilliance of our members, and have learned so much from them. Overflow is more than just an acapella group; it is a fellowship built upon the goal of loving one another and loving others. One of our traditions during retreat is playing a game where new members (nicknamed “bubbles”) are not allowed to use personal pronouns of any kind else their initially empty jar is slowly filled with water, which becomes increasingly heavy as we walk around the city. The goal of the tradition is based in the verse Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this you fulfill the law of Christ,” the idea being that if we are all supporting one another instead of focusing on ourselves, we all be more loved and supported and be better able to thrive. Overflow truly embodies this idea of encouragement, and I am so grateful for the friendships in this group that have made my college experience truly beautiful. We support and encourage one another, studying together and helping each other work through stress, and are there to celebrate together in triumphs! I have been so inspired, blessed, and encouraged by the Overflow group, not to mention all the fun we’ve had going out to Korean BBQ together, having massive epic board game nights together, going to the movies together, and just sharing about life together!
The nature of time yields many blank spaces, metaphorical margins that can be filled with so many exciting experiences. It is how we fill the tick-tocks of the clock in-between the great strokes that make life count. Amid the monumental events are moments of breaking into spontaneous harmonies with my roommates between at absurdly early hours of the morning, running around the campus at dusk when the sky is alive with color, and hanging out with my classmates at physics office hours. There are ultimate nerd moments of celebrating with my friends when we notice the number 11:11 on the clock, which is a palindrome and could simultaneously represent a number written in binary. Sometimes the blank space is occupied with time walking through Hollywood after church, playing intramural soccer games at midnight, or attending Visions and Voices events like “The Gloaming,” an amazing Irish Folk Band (You can read about the amazing USC Visions and Voices Art Initiative here-http://visionsandvoices.usc.edu/). I’ve loved all the random and spontaneous events, like going to the Mexico vs. USA soccer game at the Rose Bowl (which was an AMAZING game by the way!), going to Disneyland with friends, volunteering with Troy Camp, attending performances at the Walt Disney Concert Hall (where I’ve seen a number of incredible artists including the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chilean artist Fransisca Venezuela), going to church and community dinner at the Caruso Catholic Center on campus and Reality LA church in Hollywood, hiking the Hollywood sign with the Society of Women Engineers, volunteering at the Los Angeles Care Harbor Clinic (learn more about this amazing medical initiative here: http://www.careharbor.org/care-harbor-los-angeles/), visiting the Museum of Natural History, having potlucks with my hall-mates from freshman year dorms, going out to eat in Santa Monica, going to the movies, and a million other small moments. Life as a Trojan is a run-on sentence just like that last one. It is this “doodling in the margins,” the often unscheduled random adventures, that make life so exciting!
Check out some of the pictures below:Meet Madelina