I once attended a talk hosted in the USC Village in which Danny Trejos was the guest speaker. The face behind the ever so frightening Machete revealed to me, not only the key to success in college, but the key for the future: build a strong support system. The people that you surround yourself with and instill your trust in have to be special to you. If you ask yourself “how is this person helping me grow?”, and can’t find any remote possibility of an answer, that person may not be your best option to entrust with your problems.
Finding the right people to support you is the most critical part of college. The best part is, you do not have to actively search for these people. Even though it might take a long time, like an entire freshman year, the support group will make itself. It won’t necessarily be just one group of people, it can be a complex mix of all different types.
When I first got on campus, it was easy to feel like there was nowhere to turn when I had problems. All my family was either back home in Arkansas (1500 miles away) or on the east coast. I knew that I needed to set myself up for success by creating relationships with people where I will be spending this four years of my life.
Almost immediately, there were two great options for me to branch out and start building my support. I attended the USC involvement club fair and also rushed a fraternity. The club fair is one of the best opportunities to find your people because there is a club for, I am not kidding, literally everything. Once you find the club that best suits your hobbies/interests, it is easy to be around people that you share a common connection with, making it easier to build relations. For me, that was club baseball.
My next venture to find my best friends was rushing. Originally, I did not want to be part of Greek Life, but after going to house tours (literally went to every house), the last one I went to was the winner. Beta has provided me with over 100 guys that I know have my back at any given moment. Even though you might think it isn’t for you, I encourage you to go on house tours/the rush process to see what it is like and find your supporters! In addition there are plenty of professional fraternities, including an engineering one, that are also worth while to check out!
Finally, you will find lifelong friends here, but it might take some time. When you find your group, it will be the most rewarding thing and make you enjoy every single day even more!