My favorite thing about being a student here at USC is the amount of resources available to students. Classes are certainly challenging, but manageable if you seek out help when you need it.

This past week, I had to learn a new programming language (Mathematica- its made by Wolfram and it is awesome!) to complete my physical chemistry homework.  Learning a new language is not easy, after two years working with it I’m still not 100% comfortable with Matlab.  Luckily, my professor and the TA’s were extremely helpful.  This week our discussion section became a forum to ask questions about the homework to the TA’s, and they did a great job explaining the language.  When I continued working and got stuck again, I attended my professor’s office hours, times during the week when the professor just sits in their office waiting for students to come ask questions, and he went through every line of code with me until we found my mistake.  It was great to get one on one time with him, as well as have him help me out so much!

Also this week, supplemental instruction began for my reactors class.  Supplemental instruction is organized by the Viterbi Academic Resource Center, where you can get free peer tutoring in most math, science, and engineering classes.  Supplemental instruction is a session held by a student who took the class last year and got an A, so they are the experts with the best tips on how to succeed in challenging classes.  Brock is an awesome SI leader, and I’m so excited to have him as an extra resource to go to throughout the semester with questions.

And of course one of the best resources we have is each other.  Collaboration is encouraged at USC, and asking each other for help, studying in groups, and ensuring that everyone understands difficult concepts is really important.  I’ve had the same study group since the beginning of freshman year, and we work together so flawlessly now it’s like a well oiled machine getting work done.

Professor’s office hours, TA’s, and supplemental instruction are just three of the resources I found particularly helpful this week!! There are so many other options too that I haven’t even had the chance to use yet!

Lyssa Aruda-2015

Lyssa Aruda-2015

Chemical Engineering (Nanotechnology), Class of 2015, Learn more on her profile here!