Tag Archives: positivity

Adapting In A New Place 

By Rio Jackson

Building confidence and increasing your self-esteem is vital in adapting in a new social setting. I will briefly walk you through a journey on how to channel and become “the best you”. The awkwardness, stumbling out of words or becoming distant can negatively impact your engagement with your peers. College is one of the best places to practice embracing new cultures, learning new languages, meeting new friends and expanding your comfort zone.

Here are a few tips you can use to expand your surroundings and stay on track:

Try something new.

Meaning, go to that yoga class you heard about. Try that restaurant you seen on Yelp, or go see that movie you heard great things about. Remember to try something new when you are ready. You never want to feel rushed or peer-pressured into doing something you’re not prepared to do. Start where you are comfortable.

List your short and long-term goals.

This best way to measure your growth, is to document it. Short goals can include, making sure you set time for self-care. Remember, some goals can be set with your own deadlines.

Practice positive affirmations.

Speaking positively is a great way to begin your day. Some affirmations can include: I will seize the day, I am the master of my fate, I will do and be my best. Affirmations can remind you to be encouraged and build your self-esteem.

Meet new people.

Take some time to introduce yourself to a new classmate. Typically, you have shared interest with your classmates, and will spend a lot of class time with them. Building friendships is a part of the college experience. Make sure you get know the community surrounding USC and explore the school’s culture. Free events are always available and serve as perfect opportunity to meet new people.

Stay connected with your roots.

Keep in contact with your family or friends that keep you grounded. Stay in contact with your family who can positively impact your adjustment to your new school. Lastly, great friends can give you the push you need to finish your semester strong!

Good luck and remember to take care of yourself.

Featured image from Pixabay

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The Revolving Door

By Zachary Cantrell

Graduation. I can feel it hovering over nearly every conversation I have with my friends, colleagues, family, and even acquaintances, like a ponderous star destroyer, a harbinger of the end times.

“You’re almost done!”

“The last leg…”

“Make it count!”

“The last push!”

It makes me feel as if I am reaching the end of the line. The big race. My life. Honestly, it starts to feel that way sometimes. It’s as if I have lived out my life of education, and beginning my life as… a real person, I suppose? It’s positively daunting. How do I completely construct a new life? I have been wrapping my mind around this for months now, until recently when I began to look at things in a slightly different way. This is not an ending of one life and the beginning of another. Afterall, we only get one life each!

It sounds ridiculously obvious. Of course we only have one life. Here is a different way of looking at it. Last spring, I was in an acting class with a professor named Joseph Hacker, which I enjoyed immensely. One day in class, he said something that gripped me, and stuck with me all this time: “This is the work.” Basically, what we do here is not in preparation for something else. It is not two separate things, the preparation and then the thing, but the preparation IS the thing. It’s all happening, in the here and now, on a continuum.

I could write this off as an isolated circumstance, since I usually like to have more than one credible source on such matters (thank you, Writing 340). However, I was recently in a production of a play by Tom Stoppard called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Forever a fan of Stoppard’s writing, I took his printed words to heart, especially the phrase, “Every exit is an entrance somewhere else.” It nearly blew my mind. Our lives are not a play, with different scenes to mark the biggest moments of our adventure. Life is a revolving door, out of one place and into another. It’s all there, it’s all fair game, and it never stops.

What I am getting at with all of this existential blathering is this: What we did here, are doing here, or will do here at USC is not preliminary. Maybe for some classes it is about going through the motions for the letter grade, or maybe some of the people I met here will never enter into my life again. However, I cannot deny that all of it, “significant” or not, has played an essential part in my identity, here and now.

Graduation is neither an end, nor a beginning. It’s a part of the whole, and a very important one at that. So whether you are walking the stage this Friday, or just beginning your time here at USC, think of it not as a means to an end. Dig deeper. Consider how this university changes you, and how you change it. Because I guarantee that, no matter how big or small the changes are, they are there. And they matter.

Featured image from Pxfuel

Zachary Cantrell is a senior in the BFA Acting program at USC. He has performed in numerous productions during his time here, most recently with Downtown Repertory Theatre at The Pico House. He is also currently pursuing a minor in Cinema. In his free time he enjoys reading, playing racquetball, and bouldering.

The Tales of My Partly International Roommate

By Matthew Payton

Let me start off by saying my title is a partial fabrication. Technically, my roommate Daniel barely falls into the international student category; he was born in America and has lived here for almost half his life. More specifically, Daniel grew up in beautiful Simi Valley, CA, but he moved to Shanghai when he was 9 and stayed there until the ripe age of 18. Daniel is half white and half Japanese, so he already knew the struggles of not looking like everyone else. This was nothing  though compared to the culture shock he would receive in Shanghai, a place halfway across the world where absolutely no one looked like him. However, the surprising realization to which he eventually came was that those 9 years in Shanghai were the greatest of his life (besides living with me, of course).

This fall semester he is back in Shanghai, experiencing an amazing internship at the prestigious Deloitte Consulting Firm. Anyone would be ecstatic to be employed at this high-profiled company, but Daniel is more focused on the happiness of being back in a little place he likes to call home. I messaged him during his first week of the internship and he talked my ear off about how much he loves being in Shanghai. Only a couple days in, he had already bought seven knock-off but well-made items and had indulged in endless amounts of Yangchun noodles and Sheng Jian.

“And what about the job??” I asked, expecting more gloating about the amazing life he now has.

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