Already into the first week of December, I can’t believe the fall semester is coming to an end. It honestly feels like I just landed in LAX with shorts and flip flops and I’m already getting ready to go back except this time with boots and a winter coat. Despite time feeling like it flew by, a few highlights come to mind that made the first half of my sophomore year that much more memorable. Here’s the recap of Fall 2013:
10. Football Season
There’s no better way to come back to school than with a day full of Trojan Pride. The Saturday home games at USC are an elevating experience every time. Students from each year and major come together and show an enormous amount of school spirit. Even alumni and families will occasionally visit campus, thus showing the true loyalty of the Trojan family.
9. Thermodynamics Study Group
One of the core chemical engineering classes, CHE 330 Thermodynamics was the most challenging and rewarding class this semester. And I couldn’t have made it without my study group. Meeting weekly to do homework and recap on the material before exams to ensure we covered all the material helped me so much. Through working through the problems and taking breaks to grab dinner, I got really close to the other chemical engineers and it was nice knowing I could go to them for help if I had any questions.
8. Core 101 Final
My final assignment for my thematic option class CORE 101 class was to form a photo documentary. I chose to make mine about the murals in downtown which involved me going around LA taking photos of intriguing murals and street art. I learned a lot not only about historic landmarks but also about unique areas I could only find and photograph in Los Angeles.
7. Tennis on the weekends
I definitely try to make use of the physical activity facilities on campus: the tennis courts included. Playing tennis each Friday was a great stress reliever and a way to keep in shape and up with one of my closest friends on campus. From as short as an hour to as long as an entire afternoon, I always looked forward to hitting the courts and having a rally.
6. Asian American Tutorial Project (AATP) Carnival
Each fall semester we hold a Carnival for the children at Castellar who we normally tutor each Saturday morning. We have a bounce house come and set up games and tickets for the students to collect and trade in for prizes, toys and trinkets. There’s food and juice and for the whole morning it’s a lot of fun seeing the kids play and have a break from the hard work they’ve done all semester.
5. American Institute of Chemical Engineers Holiday Party
One of the most memorable activities held by AIChE this semester was the Holiday Networking Party. Not only was the food great but the contacts that came really helped students get a glimpse of the opportunities opened in chemical engineering industry. It helped hearing first hand about the experiences of company representatives as we start to think and plan our future careers.
— Lyssa Aruda (@LyssaUSC) December 6, 2013
4. Visiting LA Museums
Going around LA and visiting the Getty, Getty Villa, LACMA and the Annenberg Space for Photography was a great way to immerse myself in the art of Los Angeles. One of the trendiest and artsy cities in America, Los Angeles is great for looking for inspiration and finding unique photographs.
Conquest is an annual performance provided by Program Board that gets the school spirited and ready for the big football game against UCLA. There’s a ferris wheel, a pep rally and a concert. This year Jason Derulo performed. It was awesome spending a night with friends, listening to music and again feeling the school spirit.
2. Thanksgiving dinner at Nikias’s House
Although I didn’t go back home for Thanksgiving, I had a delicious meal at Nikias’s house instead. Along with other friends who didn’t make it back to their families, we got to meet Nikias and have an equally enjoyable meal with turkey, stuffing, gravy or the vegetarian alternative and of course pie!
1. Holidays at the Grove
One of the reason’s I love going to school in Southern California is that it’s a huge chance to explore the LA area. There are so many new things to see and do just a short car/metro trip away. The winter holidays are my favorite time of year so my favorite spot in LA is to get a glimpse of winter at the Grove. Hosting the largest tree in LA, the lights are decorations are amazing not to mention the warm foods at the farmers market.
These are just a few moments of an awesome semester and I can’t wait for the next!