The fact that I am moving back to campus in a few weeks blows my mind. I still clearly remember how it felt opening my acceptance letter over a year ago. I was not sure exactly what to expect when coming to college, which I now realize makes sense because everyone’s experience is so different that it’s hard to explain “what college will be like”.  However, I’m sure that I am not alone in some of the ways college has changed who I am. Here’s my list of the top 5:


  1.     I Feel Like I’ve Grown 5 Years in One.

Me and my mom

Living away from home has forced me to mature more than any other single year of my life. Small things like buying my own snacks, taking care of myself when sick, and scheduling my own medical appointments added up and forced me to mature in a way I never really thought about. I’ve had to become comfortable proofreading my own emails to professors and employers since my parents can’t do that anymore, and the increased responsibility is definitely noticeable.

  1.     I’ve become more confident in my capabilities

I realized that no one will hold me accountable for my work and organization, which has brought a sense of self confidence that I can succeed in whatever I’m doing- because I have to. It has made me improve my time management and efficiency while working.

Calendars are key

  1.     I have become more open-minded in my learning

If I knew about some of the GEs I would take in college while I was in high school, I would have probably complained that they were irrelevant to my major and interests. However, after taking several “irrelevant” classes, I have realized their value in diversifying my education and enabling me to engage in more diverse, high-level conversations. I am able to see the world from more perspectives and problem solve in a more effective way.

  1.     I’ve realized that concerts are amazing

Jack Johnson strummin

Before college, I had never been to a concert and did not realize how much I was missing out. Living in LA, there is always a show close by, so I went to three separate concerts during the year and discovered how much fun they are. Next week I’m seeing my favorite artist, Jack Johnson, and I’m going to a music festival in August and can’t wait!


  1.     I found out that my parents really were right

In every way. Manners are important, chewing with my mouth closed is critical, and keeping my room clean actually is for my own benefit. They were right about the importance of talking to my professors and saying thank you, using Google Calendar, and being proactive in all of my involvements and prospective employments. In pretty much everything we talked about, I realized that trusting their experience and wisdom is generally the best call.

USC has changed who I am over the course of a year, and I can’t imagine being happier. I have grown as a student, friend, and person and am excited to see what’s in store for the next few years!