May 1st is approaching quickly. For most of us, that’s probably an irrelevant date. But let’s take a moment and revisit our senior year of high school, when May 1st was more than just another day.
In fact, it was the BIG day: The deadline to decide which big letters would adorn our crewneck sweaters until the end of time.
But for some seniors, it’s not as clear cut as it is for all and decision might be tough. For some, their dream school may have thrown them a little curveball.
“At first I was confused,” said freshman Rachel Kohn, a broadcast journalism major. “I had an acceptance letter sitting in front of me to the school I dreamed of going to, but it wasn’t that simple because I had to wait a whole semester.”
For Rachel Kohn and several other spring admits, it was time to figure out what to do with the five months they now had off. But that wasn’t going to be easy for everyone.
Initially, freshman Mckenna Aiello, a print and digital journalism major, felt disappointed grappling with the road ahead of her.
“It took some time for it to sink in that I would be missing out on the best semester of the school year with football games and everything,” said Aiello.
Although the university hosts some information sessions for this unique class of students, many criticize the lack of communication between the administration and spring admits during the fall semester.
“We had a Facebook group of confused young adults,” admits freshman Jessica Cohen, an active member of the online USC Spring Admit page. “So we suggested having the administration send a monthly newsletter to all spring admits reminding them of important dates and informing them of the documents or deadlines to meet.”
Indeed, the options were endless for spring admits, even if the administration did not make them explicit.
There was the opportunity to take the entire fall semester off to travel, as some did. You could study abroad, roam the Swiss Alps or row through the Amazon if daddy’s checkbook permitted. Or if you’re craving a taste of adult-life, you could work 40 hour weeks at retail stores or take on a paid internship.
Alternatively, you could study at another four year university: ra-ra’ing in the colors of a different college for a few months in order to receive a complete fall college experience — dorm life, sporting events, parties, and all.
The most commonly taken path (also the most encouraged one) is to attend a local community college in order to accrue general education credits. But frankly, it’s difficult to ask high-achieving students with stellar grades and extracurricular activities to go to a junior college while everyone else revels in the greatness of a four-year university.
But whatever route you take, be sure to keep in touch with your USC counselor, who will be at your service during times of confusion. Furthermore, keep Ma and Pa happy by finishing all paperwork on time (e.g. housing deposit and your acceptance of spring admission). For those taking classes, fill out your articulation agreements in order for your courses to carry over from your other school during the fall. And if you have any other worries, ask another Trojan! There are plenty of other spring admits eager to share their experiences.
So, my dear seniors, May 1st is not the end of the world. As you consider the large crimson and gold packet sitting on your desk, don’t make any hasty decisions, weigh your options, and like that poster in your kindergarten classroom told you: Follow your heart.
And if you do see yourself walking through the dreamy McCarthy Quad or cruising Trousdale on your bike, take it from Aiello: “It will be worth the wait.”