By Cara Hafter
USC can be a daunting place. Dealing with classes, homework, and exams at one of the most academically challenging schools in the region is stressful enough, but what about the difficulties of normal everyday living on a campus the size of a small town? First, there’s the people – around 43,000 undergraduate and graduate students you have to weave among while bolting to class. Then you have the campus, an area compact with so many buildings a person can get lost between WPH and Doheny. Where the heck is ACB? What is all of this stuff happening on Trousdale? Why are there SO MANY people at Seeds? Not to mention USC’s location in one of the most prominent cities in the world; Los Angeles is scary!
It’s a lot to get used to. For anyone! Whether you’re an international student, an out-of-state student, or even a Southern California native, it’s hard to handle everything that happens in and around our amazing campus. Luckily, I’m here to help.
Though I am no USC expert, I have been here for over a year and, during my time, I have tried my best to get involved with everything I can. Let’s start with the campus. I get lost all the time. ALL THE TIME. This has a lot to do with my tendency to get distracted by the events I always seem to walk by on my way to class, but that’s beside the point. Like almost everything these days, there’s an app (or four) for that! For iPhone users that don’t like to use USC’s Web App, there are many other options; just go to Apple’s App Store. There are apps that act as a USC map and help you navigate the campus. There are apps for USC transportation, Campus Cruiser, USC Libraries, and even food at USC. There’s even an app called “USC iTommyCam” that shows you what’s going down at Tommy Trojan in the center of campus at all times. And that’s not even the half of them. Taking advantage of these apps can help you immensely when trying to handle a day on campus. There are even helpful Facebook groups like Free Food @ USC, which is great if you want free food (who doesn’t?!). It can also help you get involved on campus by participating in events and clubs looking for hungry members. It’s a win-win – meet friends, get involved, and eat for free!
Say it’s a typical day at USC. You’re walking to class and pass a lot of activity on Trousdale Parkway. Follow my lead and get distracted (maybe not on the way to class though). Seriously though, stop and check it out! You may be pleasantly surprised with the things you can learn, join, and the people you can meet by taking advantage of the many events happening on campus. This also goes for the big events – usually free to USC students! USC Concert’s Committee puts on concerts throughout the school year; they’re a lot of fun and a great way to hear good music and meet cool people.
What do you think of when you hear “Los Angeles?” Do you think of Hollywood and movie stars, culture, or food? L.A. is a vibrant city with so much to offer, and it’s right in our own backyard! There’s so much to do in L.A. it’s hard to get to it all, but why not take advantage of it while we’re studying at USC?! USC even offers a shuttle to L.A. Live, a booming downtown center that holds events, delicious restaurants, the Regal LA Live Stadium 14 and the Staples Center, a sports arena that holds concerts and sports games. See a King’s game, grab a meal, see a movie, or explore the Grammy Museum! And the best part – all of this is just down the street from campus.
So you have events on campus, you have events in L.A… and you have classes. There are many tutoring services offered by USC, and there are many places on campus which provide great spots to study and work on homework.
If there’s one thing to take away from this is that we have so many resources; take advantage of them. We’re already here, we’ve paid tuition… let’s really soak up everything USC and LA has to offer!
Cara is an undergraduate sophomore majoring in Public Relations. She is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but loves living in Los Angeles! In her free time, Cara likes to travel, try new foods, hang out with friends, explore L.A., and meet new people.