Somehow, the last three years have come to a super-quick end, and I’m midway through the first semester of my senior year. I’ve always felt that fall semester is more difficult than spring – I’m just getting back from a nice, looong break from studying, and getting myself motivated to get back into the groove of managing homework, projects, and student orgs. This year feels a little different, though. I’ve gotten comfortable within my major, in my group of friends, with my roommates; though I’m ready to head into the tech world and make an impact with my work and career, I don’t want to leave this amazing school and all the people I’ve met and become close to.
One thing I’d always been told, but never fully understood the reality of is that the people and experiences you have in college will shape you. Every year I’ve been at school, I feel like I’m coming more into my own. Hopefully, sharing some of the things I’ve learned over the last few years will help you make the most of your years in college!
My freshman year floormates, 3 years later!
1. Find mentors in people around you
Arguably the most important resource you have in college is the people around you. That includes your professors, TAs, roommates, fellow engineering students, and whoever else you can think of. Anyone can serve as a mentor to you – I’ve gotten great advice from my RAs and friends in student organizations who are older than I am. Whenever I’m struggling with a career question or stressed out about all the work I have to do, I’ve been able to go to these people to help me work out my thoughts and create a plan to get on track. I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that my professors have always been willing to sit down for coffee with me and talk me through questions I have about life and managing coursework. I’ve also found mentorship in my peers – I have learned so much from my friends in different fields. It’s always good to find people that are successful to you, and ask them about how their stories and ask them for advice.
2. Find what your interests are
There are over 800 clubs and student organizations on campus, and USC is a huge research university! Take advantage of that! If you think you might be interested in natural language processing or artificial intelligence, or in rockets – whatever it might be, find a club or a professor that shares that interest! The best way to find out if that’s something you’re interested in is to actually try it out and talk to people who know more about it. The opportunities are all there for you, it’s just on you to be proactive and really seek those opportunities out. I promise they’re all within reach.
3. Make an effort to stay in touch
This is the biggest thing for me as a nostalgic senior – I’ve truly met some of the greatest people I know, and I know they’re going to do such amazing things in the future (and honestly, most of them already are)! In these last months of college, it’s been really important for me to catch up with them and make up for lost time, or just keep keeping in touch. I can’t imagine what my college experience would be without them, and I want to make sure that I get a chance to let them know that, and to keep up with their lives before we all spread out across the globe. It’s such a luxury to be so close, geographically, to all your friends. While I still am, I want to make sure that I make the most of it.
That’s all from me! Hope you guys are having a great Tuesday!