The following is taken from a guest post by Kirsten, a senior at USC (and former pupil) which appears on the USC undergraduate admission blog.
I’d been meaning to write this all semester, but once on campus there was always so much going on I never got the chance! Now one semester into college-life in the States, perhaps I’m better placed to tell all anyway.
There’s no need to be nervous about being so far from home, you’ll be kept so busy with rigorous academics, activities and clubs and a wild social life that there’s no time left for home-sickness.
Yes, the Americans will LOVE your accent and your small idioms…so don’t be afraid to use that to your advantage! Order lots of ‘tomatoes’ at meal times, if it gets chilly say you’ll put on a ‘jumper’ and before you know it you’re the famous British kid…I was know as ‘British Rachael’ by the end of the first week!
Be prepared, the US colleges go big for sports! Look forward to the tailgates, the unbelievable school spirit and at Duke, the tenting! Next semester I will voluntarily spend 2 months living in a tent in order to gain basketball tickets for the biggest match of the season! At Duke, the Cameron Crazies paint themselves blue and scream their support courtside. Wherever you go in America, school pride will be intense and you’ll embrace this culture as much as any native! And if you don’t know the (American) football rules before you go – as I didn’t – don’t worry because you’ll be surrounded by Americans eager to explain every touchdown, field goal and play…and if all else fails, just cheer when your friends do and no-one will be the wiser!
It’s still amazing for me to think that, sitting here on my sofa, I’ve already finished my first semester at the University of Southern California and am going to board a plane to fly across the Atlantic from London to LA in just two days to complete my second. Going to university across the world from your friends, family and hometown is a huge decision to make, but I can honestly say that I couldn’t be more excited to be going back to USC (it’s definitely a new sensation to look forward to going back to school)! Applying to go to university in America was initially a little overwhelming. I had to take the SAT’s (three times), attend numerous interviews and try to navigate the common app and UC application all while taking my A levels here in England. Still, all the work was totally worth it because the last semester was undoubtedly the best four months of my life and studying in the USA has given me opportunities I could never have imagined.
The alarm clock went off at 5 a.m. last Wednesday, about 12 hours since Tuesday night’s football practice ended in the McClain Center. In less than two hours, Derek Watt would be back inside McClain for an early morning practice, the first of its kind this season.
He’s used to getting up early, but not quite this early. The morning practice was abnormal, but the morning meetings he has each week never let him sleep past 7 a.m. The altered schedule left him just 4.5 hours of sleep to function on, a few less than his normal goal of six. On this day, though, early morning practice was a necessity.