To all the new Trojans, welcome to the family! You’re in for a wild and amazing ride for the next four years, and you couldn’t have picked a better school. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re feeling a mix of excitement and back-to-school jitters — that was me before my freshman year! With only a few weeks before classes start, I want to share with you some tips from what I learned during my freshman year.
We’re all in this together.
Always remember that we are all here at USC for a reason. The admissions department found something in you that told them you belong here. It’s easy to be intimidated by your peers and feel that imposter syndrome creeping in, but you are absolutely good enough to be here! Some people can seem more put-together than others, but no one can be totally prepared for college. So go meet new people, say hi to your next-door neighbors, and you’ll soon find out that we’re all still figuring this out together.
Find what you’re passionate about.
There is no better time than now to discover what you love. I’m sure you’ve heard people tell you to “try something new,” and it’s a cliche for a reason. You never know what you’ll find out! Did you know that USC has a dragon boat racing club? There’s also a rock climbing crew, a number of intramural sports, musical ensembles and so much more! During my freshman year, I joined Corpus Callosum, a student organization that combined technology and creativity to make some amazing art pieces. I highly recommend going to the involvement fair at the beginning of the semester to find out all the amazing organizations you can join. You can find your hidden talent, meet people from all walks of life, and make memories you’ll keep forever. There’s nothing holding you back!
Make time for yourself.
It’s so easy to get caught up in doing what other people want you to do. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and give yourself some room to breathe. It’s important to remember what your goals are and not what other people expect from you. Once the semester really ramps up and you’re juggling your social and academic life, it’s even more important to take care of yourself. Talk to an RA or your roommate if you’re feeling stressed. Treat yourself to some ice cream. If you’re looking to have some downtime for yourself, there are so many beautiful places on campus to hang up a hammock and soak up the sun. Check out the “highest point on campus” (the tiny hill by EVK), the lawn in front of the Alumni house, or find your own favorite place!
Surround yourself with friends.
Everything is a blast when you’re with friends, whether it’s just watching a movie in a dorm room or going out to the next football game! I met some of the most amazing people during my freshman year, and I can’t say how grateful I am to have them during my best and worst times. Your friends will make the hard times easier and the good times even better. It’s so much more fun going through the adventure that is college alongside some of your best friends.
This is just the beginning of the list, but to be honest, the list is different for everyone. You don’t have to live by all the articles you find online, but hopefully this is a good starting point for you to discover how to thrive during your freshman year. I hope you make the most of it, and feel free to ask me any questions you might have! Welcome to the family!!