Tag Archives: campus

Places on Campus for Great Conversations

By Jackie Kim

Through my involvement with the American Language Institute’s Conversation Partner program, as well as the Undergraduate Student Consultant/ International Teaching Assistant program, I’ve relearned the merit of having face-to-face conversations. The connection you feel in having another person in front of you and giving you their full attention and thoughts is something that can’t be recreated through any media of technology, and I’m grateful to ALI for reinforcing the importance and necessity of having substantive conversations. Through my conversations, I am able to connect with my conversation partners and my international teaching assistants on a more personable level, making our meeting sessions much more enjoyable. My involvement in these programs has also had the unexpected result of getting to know the USC campus much better, as I often have to hunt for places to meet my ALI partners. Having to do this has been great for me but also productive for my meetings, as both my partners and I enjoy the change of the locations and the natural conversations the differing sceneries produce.  Without further ado, here are the list of places I’d recommend for great conversations:

Ground Zero Performance Café: Located conveniently near two of the most popular libraries on campus, Doheny and Leavey Library, so students can grab a quick bite or drink some coffee while studying. The music playing overhead provides an excellent background sound, without being overwhelming. Sometimes when you go (usually at night), you will be blessed with some live music, making the conversation even more interesting as you admire the show together! Although it’s most famous for their milkshakes, the Ground Zero experience is augmented by the rich smell of coffee.

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Gloom and Doom Hits Los Angeles: Resources to Help Uplift Your Spirits

By Rebecca Hu

With the continuation of winter weather (the ever so rare Los Angeles rain and cloudy skies), midterm season incoming, and the drastic changes occurring within our own government, some of us have been feeling a little bit down in the dumps. What was once meaningful activities seem to lose their meaning, the people around you grow distant, and sometimes your outlook on your day refuses to be optimistic. Whether it is because of the winter blues or midterm stress, here are my favorite resources that I use to help uplift my spirits.

One of the easiest go-to’s for me are the people around me. As those around us become busier, I often feel more distanced from our peers and it becomes more difficult to reach out to them. However, this is the first step. A little bit of this is accepting that it is okay to reach out for help, although I acknowledge how difficult this often can be. Another aspect is to know who to reach out to and that it is okay if some do not respond well, because there will always be someone willing to listen. Whether I call my best friend from home, my family, or even reach out to a fellow classmate, it is often nice just to be able to rant to someone and have someone just listen. I try to gauge either who will be patient and is available to listen to me or perhaps, who I know can relate to my problem and can provide me with advice. Even if it is about something as miniscule as the weather or a serious personal topic, I always feel better post this cathartic rant and reinforcing the feelings of community by reaching out to others.

Sometimes, however, it is easier to talk to those who I am not close to and perhaps, professionals. Therefore, I utilize the Engemann Student Health Center at USC and the counseling services that they offer. (Their website for this is: https://engemannshc.usc.edu/counseling/) Whether it is mindfulness training, individual therapy, or a more serious crisis support, they have a plethora of resources to offer students. Most of these services are free (up to a certain point) and work easily with USC Health Insurance! Specifically, in the Office for Wellness and Health Promotion, they have free Yoga and Mindfulness classes that are free and require no registration! Moreover, we have our very own USC Therapy Dog, named Beau.

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