By Rachel Essel
When I studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, the only way for me to get around besides walking was public transportation. If you’re not familiar with St. Petersburg’s geography, the city consists mostly of two main islands and sections of mainland and I lived on one of the islands with my host family. Due to the nearest metro stop to me being closed for remodeling, I had to take mostly buses and trams everywhere which made things a lot more complicated.
The first day of school my host mom actually took me there, and we left while it was still dark out to get on a tram, to go to the next closest metro stop to meet my fellow students where a bus would take us the rest of the way to school. It was so confusing and took so long and then my host mom drops this bomb on me: I won’t actually be taking that route to school, that was just to meet at the correct metro stop the first day. So at the end of the day my host mom takes me out to where I will catch a bus that will take me all the way to school the next morning.
Continue reading The Triumph of Navigating a New Bus System
By Jackie Kim
I want to address this article to new students at USC. At the beginning of each semester, USC is blessed with new students, and they seem to be forgotten about after the first crazy week of orientations and welcome events, especially during the spring semester. Having been at USC for almost three years, I want to share some bucket list items that I have completed/ want to complete that are great ways to explore the campus and get to know USC on a more personal level. I’ve included items that are not mentioned during the campus tours, in the brochures, or on the school website. Most are things that I’ve figured out while attending USC, and fun things I wish I knew when I was adjusting to life at USC. Most continuing students will know things on this list, so feel free to ask a continuing student for more fun ideas!
- Try all of Ground Zero milkshake flavors
Ground Zero, the on-campus coffee shop and performance café, is a great place to hang out with friends—especially because of their milkshakes. Amazing creamy and sweet, these milkshakes can cheer anyone up instantly. The diversity of the milkshake menu is fantastic, stretching out over three chalkboard menus. I recommend that you grab a different-flavored milkshake as a treat every weekend!
The running route around campus is just over two miles long, a perfect distance to burn off all the calories from the Ground Zero milkshakes. It’s great to go for a run before it gets too dark and say hi to all the fellow Trojans you’ll be running in to! The best thing is that if you get too tired, you’ll pass by a lot of gates, so you can stop and rest inside campus whenever you want!
Continue reading USC Bucket List for New Students
By Layla Zomorod
The Airbnb was booked and my friends and I were set to spend two days in Joshua Tree National Park. I was mistakenly under the impression that Joshua Tree equated to a smaller-scale Yosemite, and prepared for hiking trails that met cascading waterfalls to the backdrop of evergreen trees and whiffs of pine needles. I hoped to take a nap on a bed of moss or dip my toes in a flowing river; a sweet ending to my summer. Little did I know, I was heading to the extreme opposite. In actuality, I was walking into an endless desert, littered with sparse shrubs and various types of cacti. Despite an underwhelming sense of disappointment that this was not the picturesque nature I had envisioned, I was on this trip with ten of my favorite people, so I gave Joshua Tree a chance. The house itself was an architectural labyrinth, built by a rock climber in the 2000’s. Slate walls and strategically placed geometric windows filtered natural light and balanced the Mojave themed furniture. Shoes in the house were recommended by our Airbnb hosts because cactus pricks tend to trail in and fire ants posed painful surprises. A shower with a sliding door to a balcony, a newly fastened ring of hammocks in the front yard, a working record player, and spiraling staircases; turns out, exploring the house was half the fun and certainly a modern oasis in this dust bowl of a national park.
Naturally, we began to cook a truly continental breakfast to the blaring tunes of our favorite 90’s hip hop jams. A platter of avocado toast sprinkled with radishes and sunny side up eggs hit the table alongside roasted Potatoes O’Brien and turkey bacon. We feasted and exchanged antics, I would safely say we made King Arthur’s round table jealous.
Continue reading Joshua Tree