Tomorrow marks the last day of classes before Thanksgiving break. Although it is only November, classes for first semester are practically over. When we return from break, there is only one more week of class and then finals. So, now is the perfect time to reflect on the first half of my sophomore year.

Coming back to USC for the second year is an exciting time. I couldn’t wait to see my friends again, to start going to club meetings, and for football season to start! This year, I decided to participate in Sorority Recruitment. I spent the first three weekends getting to know and understand the various sororities at USC. I ended up picking Kappa Alpha Theta, and this past semester it became a place I am happy to call home! I was initially worried about balancing greek life with an engineering workload. I learned that it is entirely possible to do, and some of my most favorite memories from this semester were with the girls I met in Theta.

A difference between freshman and sophomore year was where I decided to live. I moved into a four-person apartment in Webb Tower with three of my closest friends. Two of my roommates are also studying chemical engineering, and another is in the film school! Webb Tower turned out to be an awesome on-campus housing option near both the Lyon Center Gym and Cafe 84. Apartment living is significantly different than the dorm I lived in freshman year: Marks Tower. My apartment has air conditioning, a kitchen, living room, and bathroom. One of my favorite memories was on the first night back, when my roommate put a pizza pocket in the microwave for too long and the microwave nearly caught on fire. Apartment living is an ongoing learning experience in the realm of adulting.

When it came time to do the engineering work, my goal was to revamp my study skills and do better than I did last year. I attended office hours starting the first week of classes just to meet my professors. Most professors have no students show up in the first week, so it is a great opportunity to meet them face-to-face and establish a relationship with them early. These connections can help you complete challenging assignments, get one-on-one help, and secure a letter of reference in the future! Since finals are not over, I don’t know what my final GPA will be. Regardless of the final results, I am proud of changing my study and work habits for the better.

Overall, first semester of sophomore year was 10/10 a great time! Heading into this break, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to create new memories surrounded by amazing people. Dear first semester, it was fun but in the words of Ariana Grande: thank u, next.

Miranda Jernberg

Miranda Jernberg

MAJOR: Chemical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2021 HOMETOWN: Aurora, Colorado PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @_mirandajay On campus, I am involved with Greek Life, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and USC's Latin fusion dance team called Break on 2.