There’s an abundance of reasons as to why thousands of high school seniors apply to USC every year: Ivy League-caliber academics, a sports program that could hold its own with any of the professional leagues and a sunny location that’s hard to beat.
But then there’s that other thing, something that might lie subconsciously in every Trojan’s decision: We’re pretty darn good looking.
And not just, “Eh, she’s cute for a Yalie” — which is an actual saying back East — but USC students can look like reincarnations of Greek gods: I’ve even met a student named Adonis.
Many Trojans work out every day. Girls wear make-up to class and dress themselves in the newest and hottest styles. They get their hair and nails done. Guys and girls even take time to look attractive when they’re going to the gym.
That being said, this is no average campus, and the dating scene at USC is complicated and confusing — but no doubt rewarding.
Toto, we’re not in high school anymore.
Once you accept that fact, life here can be a breeze. In high school, there were probably one or two cute kids whom everyone had crushes on.
Not so here.
USC is like the world’s best candy store: No matter if you like chocolate, vanilla or a little bit of both, you will find someone here who could be considered your ideal counterpart.
If a student chooses, they can be anonymous at this school. They can start their freshman year with a blank slate, able to reinvent and recreate themselves into the people that they were always meant to be.
But how do you start? How do you know which party to go to or how to act? How do you navigate these tumultuous waters known as the USC dating scene? After all, these first few weeks are very important: You start to make the friends you’ll be closest with for the rest of your life, and your reputation will begin to form.
By following these four tips, you’re sure to make an impression during your first few days as a USC college student.
Show Your True Colors
It’s hackneyed, yes, but it’s true: You shouldn’t have to pretend to be anything you’re not. At this point in our lives, we can smell B.S. from a mile away, and there’s nothing that’s a larger turnoff than someone being fake.
Think about it: Let’s say there’s a cute girl in your Spanish II class and you want to impress her, so you might let it slip that you were part of a band and have been playing guitar for eight years. Problem is, you don’t. For the next four years, you’re going to have to keep up the facade that you’re Kurt Cobain reincarnated. Lying is exhausting.
Even though our school is large, word travels quickly and it seems like everyone knows everyone. Don’t take a chance and fib something that you can’t get out of. The end result is just plain messy.
Just Say No
Yes, people are attractive. Yes, you may want to do things with your classmates that would be considered illegal in 1950. But, for the love of your reputation, don’t. There are plenty of people who are still remembered as the freshman-year hussies because they decided that the Welcome Back Foam Party was the place to hook up with five guys.
And it’s a well-known fact that older boys go to freshman events during Welcome Week just to pick up 18-year-old girls. It might sound exciting to receive advances from a 24-year-old grad student, but when you think about it you realize that this person is obviously not cool if he has nothing better to do than hang out with kids six years younger than him.
You have four years — keep everything in your pants for a couple weeks. If you must, next week The Row opens, and random hook-ups become more socially acceptable. Just wait.
Bye Bye Birdie
For those who come into college already in a long distance relationship, good luck with that. It’s always nice to have those first few naïve days, believing that it’ll somehow work when we all know that you’ll break up in a few months. It’ll start with missed Skype calls and mysterious drunk texts. Soon you’ll be crying on the phone to each other talking about an accident “that didn’t mean anything.”
As much as it might pain you, it’s much better to split up with your significant other on good terms now than to see it drag out in the mud later. If you’re truly meant to be together, you’ll get together when you’re older, wiser and living in the same city. College is a time of growth and learning, not a time of being chained down by someone you only see on FaceTime.
Get Out There!
The best recommendation I can give you is to go to the events that interest you most so that you can meet people that share said interests. Plenty of people here have friends in a multitude of majors, but there is always some sort of similarity that they share.
Reverting to idea number one, don’t try and push yourself in a direction that you don’t want to go in. Sure, college is the perfect place to try new things, but if you really hate the outdoors, don’t sign up for the outdoors club. No one wins if you’re miserable.
But if you’re the kind of kid that’s into Open Mic Night, then hit up the Ground Zero Performance Cafe. If you want to get involved in the LGBTQ scene, go to the LGBTQ and Ally Welcome Back Barbeque. Are you into film? Then check out all of the screenings the School of Cinematic Arts hosts almost every single night.
Everything will be awkward at first. Everything. But if you go to places where you actually want to be, then you’ll meet people who you can actually connect with.
College is a scary place, and times can get tough. All you need to know is that there are always Trojans here to help you out.
Seriously though, they’re in the bucket outside your RA’s room.