No matter how hard you try, I personally believe that nothing will ever truly prepare you for college. As I finished my first year at USC, I found that I was often reflecting about my time here at USC thus far. I had a lot of my older friends try to give me advice to make the transition easier, but I found that it wasn’t necessarily applicable to USC. While some of these things might be obvious, this is a list I created to pass on to my friends going off to college because I wish someone had said this all to me. 

  • You need to hold yourself accountable

In high school the teachers always take attendance, but that isn’t the case in college. I had a lot of teacher’s give all the homework the first day of class and never mention it again, so it is super important to remember to get it all done. 

  • Google Calendar will be your best friend

Going off the last piece of advice I think it is super important to write down everything you have to do because your day to day schedule will always be different in college.

  • If you’re like me and are from Southern California it is okay not to go home all the time

My family home is only 18 miles away from campus, but I only found myself going home 2-3 times during the 15 week semester. I’m glad that I didn’t go home more because it was the weekend that really allowed me to get to know people better and do other things besides studying.

  • It’s okay to pull an all nighter

While this isn’t healthy to do frequently, I have found this is when I have made my best friends. There is something about staying up until 3 in the morning studying for chemistry that really forms a lasting bond.

  • Washing machines are usually free weekday afternoons

Having 400 people and only 16 washing machines can often cause backup. I recommend that once you find a time that works, put it in your calendar and keep it.

  • Try new things

In college you will have the chance to experience so many new things. It’s okay to sign up for things to see what it’s like and then decide it isn’t for you. People understand that you’re busy and won’t think any less of you if you can’t keep up with the commitment. College is the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone.

  • If you don’t drink coffee, DON’T start now

Coffee is such a money sucker. If you are a coffee drinker I strongly recommend making your own or getting it from the dining hall.

  • You don’t have to be your roommate’s best friend

Going to college is a new environment for everyone and it’s the time to find who you are as an individual. It is important to live together amicably, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. 

  • Take a break sometimes

Especially in engineering it is very easy to get caught up in all the work. So make sure you take time to relax and hang out with friends.

  • Take advantage of being in LA

There are so many cool things to do in the city so go out and explore as often as you can!

  • Be yourself always

This one might seem obvious, but in my opinion it is the most important piece of advice I have. Being in a new space it is easy to get caught up in being someone you think people want you to be, but it is only important to be who you want to be.

  • Fight on always

Not many universities are as spirited as USC so enjoy! Go to as many sporting and spirit events as you can and make sure to make the best out of your four years here! Believe me your time here flies by.

Alexandra Rennie

Alexandra Rennie

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Palos Verdes, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @_alexrennie On campus I am the current captain of the USC Spirit Leaders, an ambassador for the Wrigley Institute of Sustainability, and a member of Greek Life.