Category Archives: L.A. Life

Myers-briggs vs. Astrology

By Josie Macdonald

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3.5 minute read]

I recently moved to California this past August, and one question I have been asked consistently since arriving here is “What is your zodiac sign?”. I had heard of astrology before, but I had never gotten much into it or discussed it with other people until moving here. Although many people believe in astrology, it is widely criticized as a pseudoscience as there is no scientific evidence suggesting there is a strong correlation between the day and time you were born and your overall personality. After all, what makes you unique if your personality is determined at birth? Does that mean that the baby who was born in the hospital room next to yours is just like you?

Photo by Vedrana Filipović on Unsplash

While astrology is a very popular topic to discuss in one’s personal life, in the workplace, people sometimes use personality tests to discuss different personality types. One of the most common ones that you will probably take at some point, if not already, is called the Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI). It is a personality assessment that was developed in the 1940s by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs. The test was based on the theories of psychoanalyst Carl Jung, who was a follower of a very famous psychoanalyst you’ve probably heard of named Sigmund Freud. The MBTI test published online is a list of about 90 questions, and once you are done answering them, you will be categorized into one of 16 different personality types. There are 4 main traits, and the different combinations of them are what make up your MBTI. Your answers to the questions determine whether you are an introvert (I) or an extrovert (E), intuitive (N) or sensing (S), feeling (F) or thinking (T), and judging (J) or perceiving (P). If you are an introvert, you are more likely to enjoy spending time alone than your extroverted counterparts. If you have the intuitive trait, you are said to rely on your instincts and ability to draw connections from seemingly unrelated topics, whereas people with the sensing trait are more practical and rely on the data in front of them. The third trait measured is based on how you make decisions- if you rely more on impersonal, logic-based criteria, you are thought to have the thinking trait, but if you tend to take into consideration how others will feel, you are thought to have the feeling trait. The last criteria measures whether you want a more neat and orderly life (judging), or whether you are more flexible and spontaneous, and don’t mind some disorder (perceiving).

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This test is used in a lot of professional settings because companies use this information to build better teams that communicate and work more effectively. But it is not a definitive science either—neither Isabel Briggs Myers nor her mother Katherine had formal training in psychology, and they based the test off of the research of Carl Jung. Psychoanalysis has been thoroughly disproven in recent years because there is no concrete evidence of its main theories, such as that your unconscious mind and things you experienced in early childhood create irrational fears you have today and determine the actions that you make.

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Local Los Angeles Hotspots Outside of Downtown

By Melissa Kitagawa

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

As a person who has lived in Los Angeles her entire life, I have gotten the chance to explore the city for years. For those who have only recently arrived in LA to attend USC, they might not be as knowledgable about the best spots to visit. Here are some places that stand out to me that I still continue to visit every year.

The Grove

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Everyone in Los Angeles has been to The Grove at least once. Most of the stores are more high-end, but many people just go because of the bright lights and warm atmosphere. However, if you go, the best time to go is at night when the views are the prettiest. My personal favorite part is the farmer’s market. They have cheap, tasty food and the best crepes.

Top of the World

This is a very local secret. It is hidden in the hills of Pacific Palisades. Not many people know of this place and I just found out about it recently. It does take a bit of a drive to get here, but it’s worth it. It is essentially a lookout point you can hike up to, and it gives you the best Los Angeles view possible. From here you can see the entire LA coastline and at night, the view is even more stunning.

Griffith Observatory

Photo by Pedro Marroquin on Unsplash

The Griffith Observatory is a very popular site to visit. They have a variety of shows where they project the night sky on a screen on the ceiling indoors and you can learn about the night sky and our planet. However, many people enjoy coming here to see the views of Los Angeles from high up and also to enjoy their hiking trails.

Sawtelle Blvd.

Sawtelle is a street in LA, and if you walk from Sawtelle and Pico to Sawtelle and La Grange, there are tons of popular Asian stores. Many locals visit this area for some of the city’s best ramen, lots of boba choices, and yummy sweets. It is open very late, so if you want some midnight ramen, this is the perfect place to go. One particularly popular place here is Bsweet. They have warm doughnuts filled with ice cream and all different kinds of warm fudge.

Culver City Stairs

Photo by Adam Rhodes on Unsplash

The official name of this spot is the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, but locals call it the Culver City Stairs. This is another popular scenic view; however, most people come here to exercise. Visitors range from children to adults to whole teams who come here to exercise. The individual stairs are tall and the climb is long, but once you’re at the top, you can take a rewarding picture to document your achievement.

Whichever places you choose to visit, I am confident you will be able to capture some great photos and some great memories. Take advantage of your time in Los Angeles by immersing yourself in the local experience, and I promise you won’t regret it!

Featured Image by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Melissa is a recent graduate who studied Business Administration. She graduated high school as valedictorian and spent her summer before college volunteering at the 2017 Summer Taipei Universade. She is half Japanese and half Taiwanese but has lived in Los Angeles her whole life. Every year she visits friends and family in Taiwan and speaks Mandarin fluently. Her interests include playing basketball, traveling, and socializing.

Nature Outings Around LA

By Sarah Selke

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

Every once in a while, a brief trip away from the bustle of metropolitan LA can be a much-needed respite for a USC student. While there are plenty of things to do in the city, there are just as many day trips one can take in the surrounding areas. Going for a hike or bike ride in some different scenery can be a refreshing and inexpensive option for weekends when you would like to spend some time away from campus. I have listed below some of my favorite hikes and nature expeditions you can take in the LA area that will make it feel like you are visiting a place far from the city!

Photo by Praveen Thotagamuwa on Unsplash

One of the more popular places to hike in the LA area is the Sturtevant Falls trail. Located in the Santa Anita Canyon, this approximately 3.5-mile hike is frequently crowded with Angelinos, and follows a steep descent into a lush valley that ends in a spectacular waterfall. There are several other side trails that branch off from the sometimes overly busy path, such as the Upper Winter Creek Trail, which leads into a very dense, green forest that hardly feels as if it were only half an hour from downtown LA. 

Another slightly further destination is the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, which hosts large fields of the state’s flower each spring. This reserve is located about an hour and half away from USC, a few miles outside of Lancaster. Often crowded during peak season, it is highly advisable to visit the poppies early in the morning before parking gets too full. Another tip: bring an extra layer even when the temperature is high, as it gets particularly windy at this spot.

Photo by Pamela Heckel on Unsplash

Perhaps my favorite outdoor destination to visit in the area around LA is the Malibu Creek State Park, which is nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains. This park is filled with miles of beautiful trails, and was also the sight for various feature films, including the MASH series. The Yearling Trail, which starts from Reagan Ranch and leads to Century Lake, is a gentle 4-mile hike that leads through green fields, a Redwood forest, and ends with a glimpse of the Century Lake dam. It is a personal favorite of mine that can be accessed all-year round. 

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