I spent this summer’s Fourth of July in an exotic and foreign place hundreds of miles from home: Minnesota.

People come from all around the world to learn at USC. Through my fraternity, I was fortunate enough to become friends with Craig, a film major from Minnesota. When Craig invited some mutual friends from Chicago and me to his house for the Fourth, we just couldn’t refuse the offer.

Lil Yachty may think Minnesota is cold, but when I stepped off the plane in Minneapolis, all I felt was the warm sun and the fresh air. Craig picked me up from the airport and immediately took me to a place where I was able to plunge into Minnesota life…a very literal plunge! I was taken to an old bridge where I was able to jump down 40 feet into a flowing river.  Jumping from the bridge was loads of fun, and although I pricked my finger on a rusty nail, I haven’t gotten tetanus yet so I call the bridge a complete success.


(Video Courtesy of Billy Bjork)

Craig took me and the Chicagoans to his house right on the lake where we met his family. His family was very excited to meet some of Craig’s college friends, and they cooked us a feast. They also gave us the key to their jet ski. We spent the rest of that day cruising around on the jet ski and having fun in the lake.

The next day was the Fourth of July. We met up with some of Craig’s high school friends and together we spent the day hanging out on a boat in lake Minnetonka. We played football on the sand bank, blasted music for everyone to hear, and had an all-around great time. The fireworks that night were the perfect way to close out the day.

For me, Greek life was a great way to meet friends that I know I will be friends with forever. However, although Greek life was right for me, there are hundreds of other clubs and organizations on campus that make it easy for any individual to find friends.

My trip to Minnesota was hands-down one of the best experiences of Summer 16, and it was only possible because of who I met my first year at USC. I was able to stay at Craig’s house, ride his family’s jet ski, and clear out his fridge, all without even knowing him a year ago. And if Craig ever finds himself in northern California, he knows that he always has a place to stay as well.


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