I think my advice to freshman would be to try new things in college but to also stay with some your favorite involvements from high school. As a new freshman at USC I wanted to do everything I did in high school – lacrosse, dance, some student orgs, etc. I was constantly busy in high school, and I wanted to have free time in college to do fun, spontaneous things from time to time. I think USC is the perfect school to try all sorts of new things – there are so many student organizations that do so many cool activities, its hard not to be excited about all of them. I think the secret to having fun in college while doing well is to have good time management, be involved, and try new things.
So I decided to try new things and started out college with all new organizations. But then I realized after a while that I missed some things that I did in high school. That’s when I figured out that you need to have a balance. For me, that’s when I joined the club lacrosse team. I’ve learned that all these different activities not only give you a whole new group of friends and fun things to do in your spare time, but also a valuable support network. If I was ever having a tough day, I knew that I could count on one of my friends from whatever meeting I was attending that night to cheer me up. The friends that I’ve made at USC are like my family here, and I’ve accumulated many families, from my involvement with VSA, SWE, my sorority, and my lacrosse team.
I’ve learned though that to stay involved and do well in classes, you need to narrow down your involvements so you have time for classwork, and time for spontaneity or whatever curve gets thrown into your daily routine. I’ve dropped some of the organizations I joined my freshman and sophomore years, but I think that is a valuable lesson to learn in college – you can’t do everything.
Looking forward to my senior year, and learning from my past three years, I think I’ve finally nailed the recipe for success in college. You need to first do well in your classes and have fun with your student organizations, which is all about time management. The friends that you make in your classes and orgs will be your friends for many years to come, so choose wisely! And the memories you’ll have from your college experiences, whether its from student org activities or spontaneous trips around LA, will certainly last a lifetime. Oh yeah and definitely study abroad! My time in Madrid was the best summer of my life. So enjoy your next four years in college! I’m jealous.