Ambassador Tiana's Advice: How to Find Your Community at USC

My high school class was comprised of 88 students, and I saw the same 20 to 30 people every day. So naturally, coming to a large school like USC felt a bit daunting at first. However, I quickly learned that USC is a welcoming community, and joining organizations can make this huge school feel a lot smaller.

Over half of the undergraduate students at USC are from out-of-state. This makes the first few weeks of school incredibly exciting. A lot of students are in the same boat of not knowing a lot of people, so everyone is eager to make new friends. I lived in New North my freshman year and got the traditional college dorm experience. Choosing to live in an on-campus dorm was one of the best decisions I could have made before coming to college. Everyone in my hall left their doors wide open in the hopes of meeting new people. People were constantly stopping by at random rooms to introduce themselves until it became the routine for our entire floor. As the year went on, we continued to get to know each other in our communal spaces such as the lounges, study rooms, and bathrooms. It was typical to bond over midterm stress with other girls in the bathroom as we were brushing our teeth at the same time.

I met some of my best friends through my experience living in this freshman dorm. On a daily basis, my friends and I could be found in the study rooms talking and distracting one another from our actual work. No matter where any of us had been during the day, we always came back to these study rooms to tell each other at least one story from our day. This began early in the year and continued on until it was time for us to move out. Although we had our study room regulars, other students would occasionally join in on the fun - the study room became the central place to hang out and meet people.

I urge you to step outside of your comfort zone and talk to as many people as you possibly can at USC. Go study outside in McCarthy Quad and meet someone new! USC is a huge school, but you’d be surprised at how often you’ll have a mutual friend with someone you’ve just met for the first time, and it’s truly a great experience getting to know everyone and growing your network.

Tiana Lyew