First Weeks of College: USC

June 14, 2014

Are you a graduating high school senior and wondering what your first experiences in college will be?  Or maybe you are a high school student just beginning the college process and wanting a sneak peek into the first few weeks of college life? Sabrina is a sophomore attending the University of Southern California. She is majoring in International Relations (Global Business) and isn’t totally sure what she wants to do after college, but wants to be able to travel all over the world and meet new people as part of any future career.  Here, she talks about her first few weeks at USC and her advice for all new college students.

USC Freshman Orientation Group
USC Freshman Orientation Group

My first two weeks of college were overwhelming, to say the least. I left the city I had grown up in to go to school in a city I had last visited when I was 4, at a campus I had only visited once before I moved in freshman year. At USC, freshman move-in is timed so that you have a full week of freshman-orientation activities to move-in and get acclimated to the college environment before classes actually start. This was really nice, but also gave me a bit of a false impression of how college would be: after a week of hanging out with new, cool people every day in the daytime and going to parties at night, that second week when classes actually started was a bit of a shock.

I highly recommend that any freshman at an even medium-sized school scope out where their classes are before the first day—and by ‘scope out’ I do not mean leave to get to class 10 minutes early, I mean physically walk the route you will be taking to and between classes to ensure you know your way around well enough not to embarrass yourself by being ‘that freshman’ who is late, our of breath and flustered to her very first 9am class that Monday morning. I made the mistake of thinking I could find my classes by allowing a little extra time and carrying a map around, but I was wrong on both counts: for one, carrying a map around all day is really embarrassing, and for two, I discovered the hard way that it is possible to get lost for almost 30 minutes on a campus that only take 30 minutes to walk all the way around.

USC Football Game
USC Football Game

Another piece of advice for those first two weeks is to befriend someone who lives in the same building as you (it doesn’t have to be your roommate if you don’t hit it off, but that’s convenient) to stick with you as you try to figure out your new schedule. By ‘stick with you’ I do not mean insist on doing every single thing together; I just mean that, for example, you have someone to hit up when it is 4pm, you just got out of class, but you do not yet feel brave enough to walk into the cafeteria alone.  Or when there is a ‘freshman dance’ being held in the courtyard that could be really lame or really fun, but either way you want someone to go with so you can leave right away if you want to. Having that other person to go with benefits you both, and who knows? You might stay friends for years. If not, that’s OK; although the first two weeks of college can be terrifying, you will get used to it soon, and learn to make the most of the best 4 years of your life.  Good luck to all incoming college students!

Read more about Sabrina on her AdmitSee Profile!

 



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