These past few weeks I have been feeling increasingly sentimental about USC and have a general nostalgia for campus life last year. Maybe it’s because it’s been cloudy in Arizona for the first time in 6 months, making things seem moodier and more dramatic, or maybe it’s because I’m listening to The Paper Kites and Tom Rosenthal on repeat throughout my day. Either way, the memories of USC from a year ago have come bubbling up more often and I feel like this is the perfect place to indulge in them. (Disclaimer: this is not meant as a sad, “RIP campus life” blog but more of a “what I’m looking forward to getting back to sometime soon” post)

Those days sitting in my dorm room with my roommate, just doing homework with the sound of her pen scratching along with mine. I loved when it rained (those maybe ~four~ times during the year) and I wrapped up in my excessive number of throw blankets to take full advantage of the cozy weather and watch Big Hero 6 or 10 Things I Hate About You for the 20th time as I wait for the teabag I snagged from the dining hall to steep. The general comfort of knowing I had a (mostly) clean room to come back to after a long day where I could take a nap then bike to a library for some solid studying or just sharing my day with my roommates and suite mates as we all manage to fit on my fuzzy Target rug. Running down the hall to bang on my friend’s door when I just couldn’t do anymore coding and needed to grab a warm crepe with them. Yes, I may have had to walk up four flights of stairs that felt like an eternity numerous times a day, but I really do miss that little room I made my own in those 7-8 months.

Libraries! Man do I miss libraries. Especially as I sit here with my final Intro to Film class paper to write, I’m missing those days where I headed to the Mudd Hall library to crank out a 10 page religion paper or WRIT150 essay while nestled amongst the books. There’s something very motivating, even inspirational about being in a stain-glass walled hall with shelves of old books all around, working at a wood desk. I always loved the Harry Potter vibes I got from the place… Doheny is a close favorite of mine too. I took several naps at the little desks hidden amidst the maze-like bookstacks that went on for 9 levels. I was always finding new quiet study areas and smaller rooms to work in with really noisy chairs for some reason.  And, I never thought I’d say it, but I miss Leavey Library even. Despite some painstaking nights spent in the library basement with a group of classmates and a whiteboard covered in multivariable calculus equations, I do kind of miss just having a place like that to study. 

The little moments make it for me though. Like biking back from office hours as the sun shines on the leaves on Trousdale. Realizing that Rrousdale is where Timothee Chalamet skateboarded in Beautiful Boy and trying to channel the Hollywood energy on my own travels to class. Stocking up at the USC farmers market on homemade hummus and lemon garlic pita chips along with endless baskets of fresh berries. Using brunch at Parkside dining hall as motivation to finish my Sunday morning runs on campus. Going to watch my friend star as the lead in one of Dramatic Theatre School productions. Going to a friend’s apartment in the nearby neighborhood to make an unholy amount of baked mac n cheese for a Friendsgiving celebration or to decorate holiday cookies before leaving for winter break. Throwing handfuls of soap foam at my friend after someone filled the fountain with detergent (or dish soap, who honestly knows).  The agility I gained from trying to avoid getting toppled over by skateboarders. Last minute trips to Griffith’s Observatory or Santa Monica on the metro or LA Live for a movie. Game days. Just game days.

Campus life wasn’t always idyllic and I certainly had my fair share of emotional moments in my dorm room, breakdowns over work in a library room, and particularly stressful days where the last thing I wanted to do was go through the pain of locking and unlocking my bike to go from one office hours session to the next. But absence makes the heart grow fonder and all those moments fade when I think about the little joys that made my, albeit short, first year at USC a lovely time to look back on amidst everything going on. Just makes it all the more exciting when I think of getting back there. 

À bientôt USC campus…

Gianna Beck

Gianna Beck

MAJOR: Computer Science (Games) YEAR: Class of 2023 HOMETOWN: Phoenix, Arizona PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @gianna__b I'm involved with computer science research investigating affective gesturing in robots in the Interaction Lab along with being a Freshman Engineering Academy Coach. Outside of Viterbi, I'm a part of Greek Life, SC Climbing, the Student Alumni Society leadership board, and I am a volunteer at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.