This semester feels like it went by faster than any other I’ve had at USC! I can’t believe I’m about to be a second semester junior. I would have to say my biggest accomplishment and favorite part about this semester is increased involvement with my extracurricular activities. I was really committed to my job as a lifeguard, my sorority, and of course ROTC. Doing more with activities outside of engineering actually made me more productive when I came to class– it was a great balance!

The best part about lifeguarding this semester was working as an ASSC (After School Sports Connection) coach. I worked several Saturdays teaching elementary school children from around LA how to swim. It was a very rewarding experience, and I could tell parents loved seeing their kids improve as the semester went on! In addition, I worked lots of weekends at the beginning of the semester when I wasn’t too busy. Turns out the extra spending money will come in handy now that I’ve been accepted to the Viterbi Overseas program! Paris here I come 🙂 Check out my previous blog about Studying Abroad to see why I’m so excited!

Going over the basics of swimming with our ASSC kids! (an unusually small class)

This semester my sorority went through formal recruitment, which was a very important (and exhausting) experience. We worked tirelessly for two weeks getting ready to welcome new members into the house. I really enjoyed getting to know the younger girls in my sorority and having the extra time to bond with everyone. I also became an academic mentor this semester, which means I helped sorority sisters in my major with homework or questions they have about ISE classes. I was glad to be able to share my two years of experience!

Photo shoot before Bid Night, where we welcome the new members.

In ROTC, this was my first semester as an upperclassman, so I had many more responsibilities. I’m longer focused on getting to Field Training and trying to develop leadership skills—now it’s more about fine-tuning what I already know and putting those skills into practice.  Being in charge of teaching brand new cadets all about the military lifestyle and how to succeed in the program was a lot of pressure, but I’m confident that they now have a solid foundation in the program. I’m glad I can say I helped them through their first semester!

My flight was the ‘Bravo Bros’, so they got me this t-shirt!

Looking ahead to next semester, I plan on staying just as involved. I’ll be taking on a bigger leadership role in ROTC- I was selected to be the Director of Training, which means I plan our weekly and extracurricular training sessions. This will be really important because Spring semester is the last chance cadets have to prepare for Field Training. I’ll definitely be putting my experiences to use and making my training as similar to Field Training as I can. But I also want to keep it fun!

Only a few finals to go and I’ll be heading back to Tennessee for a well-deserved break. I’ll be spending most of the holidays at home because I’m planning on taking flying lessons! I probably won’t be able to get a private pilot’s license in such a short time, but I’ll definitely get some good experience. My family might also go skiing in Colorado, but I think for the most part we’re all just excited to spend time together at home. Stay tuned for more updates in the Spring semester, and have a great winter break!

Me and my sister decorating the tree over Thanksgiving Break!