School (SChool?!?) is coming up in 2 weeks and I’ve been feeling half-sad that summer is almost over, and half-excited to go back and see all my friends. That said, I remember this time two years ago at this time, I was so incredibly excited. I was texting my roommate Brooke every day, talking about all the different things we wanted to go do and see in LA, how much we hoped our floormates would be ~cool~, and we were just so ready for everything the next four years had in store for us. I know I spent hours in the weeks before looking at different ways to decorate dorm rooms on Pinterest and watching YouTube videos of people giving their advice on what to expect from their first year of college.

If I could go back in time, there are definitely a couple things I wish I kept in mind.

  1. Be social! Go out and meet as many people as you can, whether that’s in labs, in your dorm, or at the dining halls. You don’t have to force any conversations – I probably wouldn’t go sit next to random people and start conversations with them out of nowhere, but instead of going to dining halls alone, it’s nice to grab some people on your floor and invite them to get food with you. Step out of your comfort zone and usual social circle and meet people you wouldn’t have met otherwise; you’re never going to get the full college experience if you don’t break out of what is super familiar to you. Honestly, everyone’s looking for friends and people tend  to be really friendly.
  2. Don’t get overinvolved right away – you’re going to neet some time to adjust. You’re probably used to a somewhat reguar schedule, waking up at the same time, studying during the same hours, going to practices, and more…but now that you’re in college, you’re not going to have a set dinner or lunch time, an your classes won’t be at the same time every day. That’s going to take some adjusting, and if you’re doing a million things at once, that’s going to be pretty hard to balance. That said, it’s definitely a good idea to join an organization or two and find something outside (or aligning with) school that really gets you excited!
  3. This one is a little cliche, but probably one of the most important things to keep in mind – don’t spend too much time worrying about what people think of you. You and all your peers are coming into college for the first time, and no one knows what it’s going to be like and what to expect. Instead of focusing your energy on how people view the things you do, remember that they’re probably way more concerned about how they come off to you. If you keep that in mind, and instead be your genuine self, you’re going to find people who you click with a lot easier.
  4. Work hard. No matter what kind of school you’re coming from, college is going to present new academic challenges. You’re going to want to be ready for those, and make sure you’re dedicating time to school, as well as all the other activities you’re doing.
  5. Explore! Yes, you’ve got the Village right there (which is going to be amazing, I’m SO excited), but you’re living in one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the United States. Go out and eat insane amounts of good food, go to the beach, go to museums, go to concerts –  do all the things you’ve been looking at on Instagram and Yelp and have crazy adventures. You’ll make some amazing friends and have the best stories to tell.

Overall, the one thing you should make sure you’re doing is having fun, You’re starting college, a crazy 3, 4, 5+ year experience, and the best way to thrive in the situations college will present is to make sure that you’re working hard and enjoying yourself. Take your first semester to learn how to manage all the things you’re doing – you’re not going to have it figured out by the end regardless of what you’re feeling at the end of it, but it’s important to understand that you’re going to be changing, and that will continue throughout these years. You’re in for an amazing ride, and I an promise that you’re going to Love USC and all that it has to offer. College can seem a little overwhelming at times, but you don’t have to go through anything on your own; USC’s got so many resources for you to help you through whatever you might face. Whatever that might be, it’s nothing you aren’t fully capable of handling! Good luck! I’m so excited to meet you soon!

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