by Alina Tang
People always say that your college years are some of the best years of your life, so I decided to make a bucket list of all the things I wanted to do during my time at the University of Southern California. Here are 10 items I’ve accomplished so far, as well as 10 items I have still yet to complete. Enjoy!
- Find my niche in at least one student organization. √
My sophomore year, I joined Alpha Phi Omega, which is both USC and the nation’s largest co-educational service fraternity. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in college because I was able to not only make a real difference in the community, but also share my passion for service with people I otherwise never would have met (many of my fraternity “brothers” are actually my closest friends today!).
- Pick up a minor or another major. √
I recently decided to pursue Global Communications as an interdisciplinary minor because it joins two fields that I’m equally interested in and that are both related to my business major. Essentially, I get to take IR classes in the Dornsife School and learn about anything from global challenges to transnational diplomacy, but at the same time, I can also study communication technology and censorship in Communication classes from the Annenberg School. Definitely the best of both worlds!
- Participate in a campus tradition. √
One of the coolest USC traditions is Conquest, our Fall concert that usually features a famous musical artist, a Ferris wheel, fireworks, food trucks, and of course, the burning of the Bruin bear in anticipation for our rivalry game against UCLA. I’ll never forget how giddy and excited I felt at my freshman year Conquest because it was the first time I experienced USC’s overwhelming school spirit in full effect.
- Try out for a dance club. √
I have been dancing since I was a little girl, so it was no question that I would be continuing dance in college. Last semester, I tried out for USC’s Traditional Chinese Dance Club and ended up performing in their annual spring show! It was my first time performing in front of any kind of audience at USC, and I loved every second of it.
- Learn how to cook.
This is still a work-in-progress, but I am now able to whip up a few dishes in the kitchen all by myself! Some of my “specialties” include fried rice, baked salmon, and pasta salad.
- Volunteer off campus with a cause I’m passionate about. √
Thanks to Alpha Phi Omega, I’ve been able to volunteer in a variety of service organizations and outreach events. My favorite org by far is Kicks for Kids, which is dedicated to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for children with special needs in the greater Los Angeles area. Every weekend, I play soccer games with these kids, yet I feel like they are the ones helping me because their smiles and energy are so contagious.
- Go to office hours early in the semester and get to know a professor. √
Now that I’m a junior, I’ve definitely realized the importance of making strong connections with professors. One of my biggest goals this semester is to go to every single professor’s office hours before the first midterm. Currently, I have already become very close with my IR professor because she is so warm and welcoming, and I’m looking to cultivate the same kind of relationship with my other professors!
- Take advantage of the free campus gym membership and sign up for a fitness class. √
I actually have no excuse to skip the gym because I literally live 2 minutes away from USC’s Lyon Center. But so far I’m doing really well this semester—I exercise at the gym about 4-5 times a week, and I’ve taken both yoga and aerobics classes there. At some point, I also plan on trying out Zumba!
- Attend a football game (and storm the field if I’m lucky). √
Last fall, I went to the most exciting college football game ever. We were playing against Stanford University, and at the time, Stanford had beaten us for the past 4 years in a row. If they won again, they would make history with five straight victories in our 88-game series dating back to 1922. Nevertheless, Trojan spirit never falters, so when our kicker scored a 47-yard field goal with only 19 seconds left, we all started sprinting down the stands and pouring onto the field. By the time I had finally gotten on the field, I was getting pushed from every direction. But just being around my fellow Trojans, screaming, laughing, shaking, and hugging each other was the most amazing feeling ever. I’ll never forget it.
- Reach out and offer advice to an incoming freshman or nervous underclassman. √
Now that I’ve been at USC for two years, I think I’ve had my fair share of funny stories, embarrassing moments, terrible regrets, and fond memories. I I feel incredibly lucky to attend a college I’ve come to love, so now I want to pay it forward. My position as a USC Marshall Student Ambassador allows me to do just that—not only do I get to talk to prospective high school students and current freshmen about my college experience, but I also get to speak on panels, give tours, and write blogs like this one!
- Explore all the libraries on campus (and find a favorite study spot!).
- Attend a concert.
- Write for The Daily Trojan, USC’s campus newspaper.
- Re-learn the piano and/or cello.
- Attend a student-run musical event or theater production.
- Take a class in a totally unfamiliar subject.
- Run a 5K, 10K, half-marathon or marathon.
- Try all the restaurants and culinary options on campus.
- Apply to my dream internship.
- Study abroad.
Alina Tang will graduate from USC in 2016. She is majoring in business administration and plans to work in the Management Development Program at Mondelez International and gain more experience in global marketing.