Entering college, I was told time and time again that the years would fly by. I didn’t believe them. High school seemed to crawl along, and I didn’t think college would be any different.
I was wrong.
Having just registered for my last fall semester as an undergraduate, I’m facing the terrifying realization that I will soon be a senior. It doesn’t seem possible that the time has passed by this fast. Wasn’t I just a freshman not too long ago? Well, it’s been three years since move in day, and I like to think that I’ve somewhat figured out this whole college thing along the way. So, to those of you about to enter college, here is my advice to you.
1) Get involved.
Chances are you aren’t going to know many people on your first day of college. Getting involved around campus is one of the best ways to make new friends! During my freshmen year, I got involved by joining the Greek system, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Viterbi Student Ambassadors. Joining these organizations allowed me to meet people from all different years studying a variety of different things!
2) Explore LA
When you’re a freshman, it’s easy to live and breathe the USC world and never set foot off campus. I rarely got off campus my first year, and that’s something I regret. Take the time to go to the beach, go hike the Hollywood sign, and try restaurants around LA. You won’t regret it.
3) Utilize your resources
One of the first things I learned at USC was that chances are, as an engineer, you’re not going to be able to get through your classes on your own all the time. If you can, good for you! NASA is calling. For the majority of you, one of the most important pieces of advice I can give you is to utilize your resources. Ask questions in class about something you don’t understand while it is being taught. Attend office hours. Make use of the Viterbi Academic Resource Center peer tutoring. Don’t wait until the night before an exam to figure out a complicated process or theory.
4)Go to football games
Football season is one of my favorite times of the year because it feels like the one time the entire USC family—alumni, current students, and future Trojans—all come together. The sense of school pride on these days is remarkable, and it’s something everyone needs to experience.