Category Archives: USC

Growing by Leading

By Sabrina Hsu

Many college students hold on-campus jobs, waking up early in the morning to clock in a shift at the CSC or to pick up phone calls at various front desks. I work from my dorm. As an RA, every minute I spend inside the residential college building is a minute I dedicate to being a mentor and role model to all the residents within my community. It may seem tiring or tedious at times, but the reward gained from putting the time into this position is immeasurable.

I was lucky to be placed in a residential hall similar to the one that I resided in my freshman year, which provided me with a comprehensive understanding of what struggles freshmen living in suites may have. Residential Education, the office RAs “work” under, is a very inclusive and understanding environment. They allow everyone to develop their own style of leadership and interact with their residents in ways that best suits them. It is a nice feeling knowing that just by being myself, I am able to set an example and help someone through their first year of college.

Aside from impacting my residents on their journey through college, I personally learned a lot from the experience. My staff team consists of passionate individuals who dedicate so much of their time providing the best experience for their residents possible. Just by working alongside these people, I was given a platform to work with the best of the best, and to learn just by observing and sharing my thoughts. My staff team challenges me every day as we all grow together, constantly motivating each other to improve and remain passionate. We, together, go through the journey leading, not just by being a leader figure, but also by being a friend and peer.

One of the biggest programs I planned was the Asian American Artists’ Showcase. Featuring alumni and current USC artists, it was a multimedia art centered around the Asian-American identity and experience. Program planning for such a big event took more than half a month, but from the feedback, residents seemed very excited for the program – which is more than any RA can ask for. RAs try to hold programs that not only emphasize community building, but also are educational. Other programs that I have held with my fellow RAs  include Resume Building, bonding with Pug Nation, and Beach Volleyball.

Since having an amazing freshman year, I have wished to form that type of community and positivity for all incoming freshmen. College is a time to push pass one’s own boundaries, but more importantly, it is also about helping other people grow, inspiring and motivating people aside from the self, a time to pass on what one has learned to the future generations. There are many ways to be a leader at USC, being an RA was only one option. I hope that everyone can be a leader in some form at USC.

Sabrina is a sophomore studying Health and Human Sciences and minoring in Chinese for Professions and Managing Human Relations. Though born around the Bay Area, Sabrina moved to Shanghai, China at the age of 8 and has since then attended different international schools. She has 4 years of tutoring experience both in student organizations in her high school and outside of school. She was also a member of the National English Honor Society and took part in the Writing Center, which focused on editing student’s essays and helping student with their English classes. In her free time, Sabrina loves reading, hanging out with friends (exploring LA), and doing anything that makes her happy.

10 Things I Learned in my First Semester at USC

By Esther Cha

Whether you’re here at USC as a freshman or Graduate student, your first year on campus is a time for exponential growth. In my first semester here, I learned a lot in my classes, but the real learning (about life and being on my own) came from outside the classroom. Here are some things I learned in my first semester that I know will help me survive college. Perhaps they can help you too!

  1. Don’t be afraid to say hi

Remember that everyone is in the same boat as you. College can be nerve wracking but a smile and a hello can go a long way. Who knows? The random stranger you say hi to in math class could potentially become your new best friend.

  1. Don’t buy your textbooks full price

Textbooks costs ADD UP. Be smart with textbooks and wait till the first week of classes to make sure you actually need to buy them. (Sometimes professors do not require them even though they are listed in the syllabus). Amazon and Chegg.com offer textbooks at significantly lower prices for rent and will save you a ton of money. Another option is to see if the libraries have the textbooks or required books you need and if they do you can borrow them for an entire semester at no cost!

  1. Be active and take advantage of your gym membership

Don’t forget to take care of your physical health by staying active! Not only will the endorphins make you feel better you will feel healthier and cleaner. Your tuition pays for a gym membership so take advantage of the great gyms we have on campus. The new village gym has great equipment and classes that you don’t wanna miss out on!

  1. Go to more events on campus

Join all of the facebook groups like your class page, USG, USC Events page to keep up to date with all of the exciting and cool events on campus! There are always so many cool speakers and guests on campus that you can meet if you take the initiative. Last semester I got to hear Danny Trejo speak and even see Brittany Snow (from Pitch Perfect) at Bovard for an Acapella concert.

  1. Be aware of the Freshman 15

Two Words: Unlimited Swipes. As a freshman with an unlimited meal plan, it can be very tempting to eat ice cream for dessert after every meal and indulge in the famous EVK chicken tenders. Make sure to keep a balance and eat vegetables and fuel your body with nutritious foods. You are what you eat after all.

  1. Google Calendar is your new best friend

College can get very hectic with so many events, classes, and appointments. Google Calendar helps to keep you organized and sane. Having a planner or calendar in college helps keep you organized and on top of your assignments and meetings. Don’t let that midterm or paper creep up on you; use Google Calendar to plan ahead!

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Adjusting to Campus Life

By Alexis Peters

As a transfer student and a spring admit, I understand what it’s like to feel out of place at USC. You can feel a bit like a fish out of water, unsure about SC life and the opportunities available to you. Many  students are from the LA area, or elsewhere in California, but some of us have homes that are thousands of miles away. I’m originally from Chicago, so I may not understand homesickness on an international scale, but I still miss home a lot. So here’s what you can do to combat homesickness and adjust to campus.

  1. Stay busy.

Besides just studying all the time and going to classes, you have to make time to do something fun that doesn’t involve sitting in your room watching HBO. Go to fun events and see what’s happening on campus. There’s almost always something to do, no matter what day it is. So keep an eye out and go ahead and have fun. You may even make a new friend! I went to Spoiler Alert’s comedy show at Tommy’s Place. Spoiler Alert is one of USC’s improv comedy groups and they perform a hilarious set!

2. Join clubs!

When I first got to USC, I knew exactly what kinds of clubs I wanted to join. Going in with a couple of student organizations that interest you in mind will be helpful so you don’t get too overwhelmed at the Involvement Fair. I usually pick 3: one that is an activity that I know I like and have done before; one that I have always wanted to try, but never got around to starting it; and one that never even crossed my mind, but hey, it might be fun! For me, this was theater, Science Outreach, and boxing!

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