Q: I transferred here this semester as a junior and I feel like it’s very difficult to integrate into USC’s culture. Any advice?
Over the last four years that I’ve been at USC, I can’t say that I understand USC’s culture. Therefore, it’s hard for me to touch upon how you can integrate into it. The culture here can be so different depending on the circle of people and it’s a beast with so many different personalities. But… that’s a good thing!
I know coming in as a transfer student is definitely not easy. USC has a terrible transfer orientation program (from what I know of it). However, this school does have great students and I’m positive you will find your place. There are over 18,000 undergraduate students here with different personalities so I’m 100% certain you’ll find where you belong.
In terms of advice, I would go out and try things because you never know what you’ll fall in love with. What you did at your old school doesn’t have to define what you do here at USC. What you did in high school doesn’t have to define what you do here at USC either. If there’s one thing I regret about my USC experience, it’s that I didn’t try more things. I wish I tried taking language courses, a Maymester, etc. You’ll meet people from vastly different walks of life than you and that’ll help you understand where you belong.
Also, remember that you never have to stay. You never have to stay in a club you don’t want to be in. You never have to stay in your major. You never have to stay in a toxic relationship (a friendship or a romantic relationship). So try and meet new people. I know it’s not as easy as freshman year when you live in dorms but you can do it! Make new friends in class, go visit a club’s general meeting, rush if you want, etc. You’ll learn to surround yourself with people that challenge you and push you to be a better version of you. So go out and meet them. True friends don’t come by often and as you begin to meet new people, you’ll learn who you vibe well with and who you truly want to stay friends with.
It may sound scary (especially if you’ve never done it before or if you feel you’re more shy), but putting yourself out there is worth it. Trust.