So, it’s been a year since I’ve transferred to USC. I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t an easy road to feel established here, but it’s seriously been worth it.

Let’s be honest: Moving to a new city and school knowing absolutely no one is always difficult. I was sad to leave beautiful Seattle, my friends, my boyfriend, and my family. I felt safe and happy at UW, but I knew something was missing, so I came here. 

My first few days on campus, I felt like an outsider. The first few months were painfully lonely, filled with despair-driven facetime calls to my friends at home, and a little too much online-shopping. Coming in mid-year as a sophomore, It felt like everyone had already established their friend groups, and I wasn’t exactly sure how to make my own. I was a confused and scared freshman all over again, and frankly felt embarrassed about how little I knew on making my way around campus and registering for classes. A second year college-goer should feel established and confident, but I didn’t.

However, eating chipotle and binge-watching netflix alone in my apartment was not something I intended to do forever. I joined mountains of clubs and organizations, and tried my best to talk to people around me in my classes. Even if it felt forced, I tried my hardest to introduce myself to around me hoping for a click. I even DM’d this girl on instagram after hearing through some friends that she was a new transfer at USC too (and now she’s my best friend and roommate — shoutout Lorena!). 

Initially, my efforts felt worthless. I hated some of the clubs I joined, and I didn’t immediately have this perfect family of friends like I had at home. Yet, as time passed by, friends stuck around, and I adore the clubs I’m in now.  I’ve gotten to explore a completely new and beautiful city, and appreciate its culture. I have a great support system and study buddies for those long engineering nights. Amidst my journey, I was even able to secure an internship because of a SWE convention I attended with a friend I made in one of said clubs. I’m exactly where I saw myself to be before I came here, even though it took a little while.

I guess my take-away is this: nothing happens quickly or easily. I know that seems pretty straightforward, but for the romanticists like me, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking everything will be perfect right away. 

My “second” freshman year is coming to an end, and I couldn’t be happier. 

Alice Gusev

Alice Gusev

MAJOR: Electrical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Seattle, Washington PRONOUNS: she/her/hers