Find your network of people

In a world of stress and uncertainty, hold onto the people that add love, support and inspiration to your life.


Anjali Patel, the Daily Trojan’s current editor-in-chief, reflects on her four years in university, the connections she is grateful to have made and urges others to do the same.  (Henry Kofman / Daily Trojan)

With the end of the semester looming, I continuously hear the same question every day: “How do you feel about graduating soon?”

The question warrants the same answer every time: “I’m excited! But I’m sad to leave college …” 

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It’s a short response, easy to mindlessly spit out, however, it’s hardly a summary of everything I’m truly feeling.

The reality is that these four years were bound to come to an end eventually, and as with the end of any life chapter, it is natural for some sadness to follow. I won’t miss the stress of midterms or the despair of waking up for an 8 a.m. — and I believe I speak for all my peers when I say that. But I will miss gameday tailgates, studying around campus with my friends and roomie dinner nights. 

While my list of things I will miss might seem arbitrary, I promise there is some reason to my rhyme. All of those things involved people. People who helped create fun memories. People who supported me. People who — unlike my soon-to-be deactivated student ID — will be in my life past these four years.

Taking on the role of editor-in-chief this semester has, by far, been the most testing task in my 21 years of being. While battling the typical senioritis that accompanies being a second-semester senior, I also had to juggle a massive responsibility unlike any I’ve had before.

Within the first week on the job, I felt the pressure and stress pile on, and it persisted all semester. I got a ridiculous number of Slack notifications every day, dealt with one too many crises and broke a personal record the night I stayed in the newsroom until 4:30 a.m. 

Still, I confidently tell people this has been the most rewarding opportunity in college, and it’s because I’ve had the best people around me. My family and friends sent numerous texts of encouragement, brought sweet treats to me during shifts and participated in more than just a few rant sessions.

And this isn’t just about my current semester; I’ve been blessed with this support throughout college. So post-May 10, I won’t be thinking about how many units I took or which clubs I was in. I’ll be thinking about all the memories made and my immense gratitude for my people. 

Thank you Meera — my sister — for being my biggest supporter, thank you Mom for always picking up my calls and thank you Dad for always telling me to dream big. Thank you to my three roomies for being the most fun people I got to live with. Thank you to the best masthead of editors I could ask for, all of my study buddies and all the friends I’ve made here at USC. 

To all my fellow graduates, hold onto your people, the ones you got through this with. And to all those students still here, I implore you to find your network. Not just the network of professional contacts you’re hoping will offer you a job, but the network of support that will last longer than any career. Talk to the kids sitting next to you in your classes or join a club that speaks to you; you never know where you might find your people. 

Regardless of whether you are a glass half-full or glass half-empty kind of person, part of being a good human being is adding what you can to each other’s glasses. After all, it might just make a world of difference to someone’s four years. 

“Editors’ Epilogue” is a rotating column featuring a different Daily Trojan editor in each installment writing about their personal experiences. Anjali Patel is a senior majoring in journalism and the editor-in-chief at the Daily Trojan.

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