Tag Archives: routine

The Start to an Adventure

By Michael Neufeld

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3.5 minute read]

On Sunday, August 13, 2017,  a great new adventure for me began. It was exciting, it was scary, and I couldn’t wait. I was about to begin my freshman year of college. My family and I drove down from Fresno, California the night before my move-in and stayed in a hotel. I was part of the Trojan Marching Band, and with the early move-in schedule, the time we would spend setting up my dorm, and the long four-to-five hour drive down, we were not willing to get up at 3:00 in the morning to finish packing and travel. My younger brother, Daniel, would have especially disliked that.

When we got to campus, my family helped me set up my room. Soon after, they went off to attend the first marching band parent meeting. We met up later, and after a meal, we said our goodbyes. It seemed my family was only there for a few minutes before it was time for them to leave.

Photo by rnaol on Unsplash

I spent the next week at band camp, getting up early each morning to walk to Cromwell Field to learn how to march. I noticed that marching in the University of Southern California band was much different than in my high school band; in high school we shuffled our straight-legged feet across the grass, whereas here we have to pick our feet up off the ground and plant them in steps in front of us at USC. Along with other physical, performance-related differences, I also noticed that this band had way more spirit than any high school band I had seen. Here, we played for the football team; if we weren’t spirited, how could the crowd be?

Along with my marching band experiences, I had so many new things to do, think about, and see as a freshman majoring in Jazz Studies. Traversing across campus from class to class felt a little bit intimidating at first. It was challenging to find all of my classes the first couple of days in territory with which I was unfamiliar. Additionally, there were so many people surrounding me; bikes, skateboards, and DPS cars flew around me as I traveled to and from buildings.

Photo by BP Miller on Unsplash

On this bizarre campus, I found so much to like. I enjoyed eating with my friends at the Parkside Dining Hall. I loved my music classes, and marching band rehearsals always gave me a rush of energy. I picked up a new pastime of zooming around the uncrowded campus late at night with my trusty scooter, something I wasn’t able to do much of in Fresno.

Along with these new, fun experiences, there were some not-so-positive “adventures” that I had to deal with as well. I dealt with some people that for the first time in my life I did not enjoy being around. My roommates and I occasionally rubbed shoulders, something bound to happen when you live with seven other people in a Parkside “suite-style” dorm. I got lost on the Metro once and had to run over a mile from one station to a concert hall.

Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash
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Online to in-person time management

By Alyssa Delarossa

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

As USC has mostly transitioned to an in-person learning format, the struggle to adjust from over a year of online and remote learning to in-person is well felt within the student body. One of the hardest adjustments for myself and other students I have talked to is time management. While time management during remote learning was a struggle and adjustment, time management for in-person classes has always been a struggle and an especially big adjustment for freshmen and other first-year students. I’m going to share some tips for time management that I find helpful and hope they either can be of use to you or serve as a source of inspiration to form your own time management habits.

  1. Planning
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Taking a bit of time to thoroughly plan my days out as much as I can has served me well when it comes to exams, assignments, club and organizational activities, and other deadlines that I have to meet. I usually do this by making to-do lists on my phone notes app and calendar, putting down the time and length for each task (emails, homework, study, etc). I even put planning and random tasks such as grocery shopping and grabbing a coffee, which I find to be super helpful.

2. Focus

Photo by Kyle Gregory Devaras on Unsplash

While taking the extra bit of time to thoroughly plan out your daily school and extracurricular activities can be extremely beneficial, this will not get you very far if you are unable to stay focused. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about attaining an all-day hours on end laser focus; everyone has different attention spans, so it’s about getting to know your own attention span and things that help keep your focus. For me, I usually like to get my work done in my room or if I do have to be on campus, I usually try to find a quiet place outside or in classroom halls (still hesitant to use the libraries due to COVID). I also find that I usually have to take short breaks in between studying and working. Other things that help my focus include pairing tasks with a particular time of day. For instance, I prefer to study for exams or complete assignments first thing in the morning or late at night. During the afternoon time, I find I am more productive at emails and extracurricular work. I also find that music helps me attain my focus, particularly pop and rock music. 

Continue reading Online to in-person time management

Useful Apps and Tools to navigate life

By Liane Chu

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

As students, we are all looking for ways to make our lives at USC more streamlined and convenient. Once the semester begins, time usually gets away from me, no matter how organized I am. However, I have started incorporating some apps and tools into my daily life to stay on top of things and generally help me navigate life on campus better. Below are a couple of these apps and tools that help me accomplish that goal!

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

1. USC Schedule Helper

This is a chrome extension developed by a USC student that is a life saver when going through USC course registration. This extension will let you view how many spots are left in a class before registering and shows if the class conflicts with another class already added to your calendar. If a section is full, you can sign up for email alerts to notify you when a spot opens up, which is particularly helpful if you want to get into a popular class but don’t want to spend time continuously checking Web Registration to see if a spot has opened up.

2. Coursicle

Similar to the USC Schedule Helper, Coursicle is an app that helps with the course registration process. You are able to search for a class, view recent professors who taught the course, the times the sections are offered, the average class size, and more! Download the app or checkout the browser version here.

Photo by Levi Elizaga on Unsplash

3. USC Campus Dining App

Tired of waiting in line for food? Well now you can place an order, pay ahead of time, and pick up your food whenever it’s ready! The app works for 18 USC Campus Dining locations including Fertitta Café, Burger Crush and Seeds Marketplace. You can pay with credit card, USCard, Dining Dollars, or meal swipes. Once your order is placed, you will be notified when the order is ready for pick up! This is particularly helpful if you only have a short break between classes and want to maximize your time spent studying. Learn more on how to download the app here.

4. LiveSafe

LiveSafe is a mobile safety app managed by USC DPS that allows users to contact emergency responders with a click of a button. The app works for both the University Park and Health Science Campus. Once you make an account, the app will allow you to contact DPS or 911 instantly, anonymously report suspicious activity, and have your friends and family virtually escort you with the SafeWalk feature. You can check out some fo the features of the app and download it here.

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