Attached to admission to USC is a sense of pride, international student or otherwise.
USC Admissions is holding perspective students to higher standards and because of that, admission to USC is often the result of hard work, tenacity and courage.
It seems reasonable enough that doing a good job should be rewarded: A lot of time put into studying should produce good grades, as training hard should produce better athletes. Admission to USC should be no different, but expectation is, as they say, often the root of all heartache.
Expectation becomes an especially dangerous liability when it comes not from the result of an action, but simply from a state of
Orientation and Welcome Week both reinforce the idea of the Trojan Family for good reason. USC alumni are a formidable force, and students are integrated into the family quickly.
But placing such an emphasis on this aspect of identity isn’t particularly helpful for students who haven’t yet completed their first semester at USC.
Emphasizing the concept of family suggests a comforting sense of security, and opportunity for even a troubled student to return to loving arms.
On the other hand, it allows some students to believe after having conquered the hill of undergraduate admission they are now licensed to be lazy under the net of Trojan “family support.”
Though the concept of the Trojan Family is fantastic for students who endured similar struggles together, it also contributes to the list of deserved benefits under entitlement, that need not be earned by hard work but simply latently gained and in this case by self-definition.
This sort of entitlement can manifest itself through even the smallest items.
Anybody who has lived in a dorm is familiar with the condom bucket, or, in some cases, the ambiguous candy-condom bucket.
With this continuous supply of condoms, many students feel they deserve these contraceptives, and feel short-changed when the bucket isn’t filled in a timely manner to suit their needs, rather then appreciating the university for doing them a service by making free and conveniently placed condoms accessible.
Though the students and staff who participate in Orientation programs and Welcome Week programs deserve commendation for their active dedication to their school, and recognition for their talent and character, I cannot help but think the images of USC we present to incoming students do little to nothing to combat the label “University of Spoiled Children” given to us by our rivals.
Now of course, this can also be interpreted as a great compliment, and we can just as easily call those labeling us jealous or angry.
But the connotation of “spoiled” is often born not from envy of nice facilities, but from the attitudes of entitlement many students come to display.
Students privileged enough to attend USC should be sure to remember what they are given is not a right but a fortunate culmination of a number of events.
The privileges of being a member of the Trojan Family are not to be taken for granted.
Alan Wong is a sophomore majoring in East Asian languages and cultures.