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| I just recently transferred here from another top-50 university, and it was the best decision I've made yet. |
I'm currently undecided, but I came here in hopes of majoring in Critical Studies (School of Cinematic Arts) or Communication (Annenberg). So far, I've dabbled in both, and let me tell you, the classes are phenomenal. I was fortunate to sign up for a class on Popular Music and American Culture with Josh Kuhn, and it's incredibly eye-opening and the material literally stays with you after every lecture. The film professor, Drew Casper, is INTENSE. He serves no mercy, especially to aspiring film students. But this kind of brutally honest attitude does everyone a favor and gives them a big reality check on making it big in the film industry. Something I've been yearning for in an academic environment.
I'm also taking a Science Slavic Fiction course and the professor is brilliant. I've heard of horror stories with GE classes, but Brad Damar? is great! Not only am I enjoying the material my professors are covering, but it's actually challenging me to step out of my comfort zone and tap into a whole new territory. Another thing I love about this school is how laid back most students are - not lazy! Almost everyone I've met here has ambition to thrive and achieve their dream(s). This means I can find more career-oriented people among the student population than at my previous university. There's definitely competition, but it's nothing cutthroat-worthy to mention. As far as class sizes go, they're moderate. I'm used to attending and thriving in a 800 lecture class from my prev university, so the downgrade wasn't a big shocker; it's nice actually because discussions are way more in-depth and intense.
People really seem to complain about the surrounding environment of the campus...honestly, how sheltered are these people?! I'm from a not-so-wealthy neighborhood north of Seattle with a huge Mexican population, and people complain about this place?! First off, it's just common sense that one would not walk around the perimeters of the campus at late night...you wouldn't do that in Seattle, NYC, and you certainly don't do that in LA. You have to have some form of street smarts if you're living here. It's LA...the city where people do whatever they want, and it's pretty obvious once you live here.
Apart from that, the campus is gorgeous! The best times to check out the campus are sunrise and sunset. There's constant renovations going around and about, which can be a nuisance since it can get loud, but the finishing results are always worth it. Parking isn't too bad and if you're willing to the extra mile and park along the neighborhoods, then it's likely free. Parking permits are so expensive, though, it's not worth getting one. To sum things up, I love the location despite its seedy area. USC is really not that far from really cool areas like WeHo, Hollywood, Silverlake, downtown LA, West LA, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, etc. It's literally the perfect location in my opinion.
One thing I just want to boast about is the connections you make here and how far you can go with it. I love this school just for that. I met a professor who worked at NPR and gave me his business card because he wanted me to voice for some broadcast shows. I also landed my very first internship (as a freshman) at a indie film studio called LD Entertainment (The Grey, Silent House, Albert Nobbs). It's just absolutely amazing how far you can get if you network and take advantage of everything SC offers. The name carries a lot of weight, especially in LA, and if you want to work here, then this is THE perfect place to go.
Another wonderful thing about USC is how generous financial aid has been with me. I am so thankful of the opportunities this school has given me. Coming from a working-class background and wanting to go into the film industry, everyone looks down on me. After all, I don't have any connections to the industry whatsoever, so I'm starting from scratch. USC made it possible for me to attend without making me spend a cent on tuition. Granted, I do pay for additional fees and etc., but it's still an amazing deal I couldn't pass up on.I see the education here more on the vocational side, teaching you skills to get to work immediately post-grad with a perfect balance of humanities and liberal arts to keep you thinking hard. Everything here just suits my lifestyle and endeavors. Oh, and the stereotypes here - obviously not true. There are lots of the frat-type guys, but they're not that bad, honestly. A lot of them are laid-back and actually care to get work done and succeed in life. Those who don't will obviously either flunk out or wont find a job and blame the university for it. Otherwise, this is a great value for a university. I can't wait for the future years here at SC!
|Sep 11 2012|| 1st Year Male --
Class 2016 |
|Not so bright|
Attending USC as an undergrad is more complex than simply getting a degree: it's getting life experience. I might have been academically challenged with more consistency at a smaller school like Amherst or Pomona, but the courses I took at USC, coupled with living in LA, made me feel ready to take on anything by the time I graduated. And my time at the school has already paid off, professionally and personally. You'll face so many existential challenges while attending SC that by the time you've received your diploma, post-college life may seem...well, a trifle dull.|
That being said, let's get to the pros and cons.
Excellent professors and teaching staff, particularly in the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, and the School of Cinematic Arts - where I received a film studies minor.
Part-time campus jobs are easy to come by if you're like me and want to make some extra cash for weekly/weekend expenses.
The campus is absolutely gorgeous, and wonderful for strolling. Despite the surrounding neighborhoods, I felt quite safe most of the time.
The diversity of the student body is unprecedented. True, the majority of students come from privileged backgrounds, but the variety of thought and background here still surpasses most other schools. You're guaranteed to make friends at some point or another.
The work-party balance here feels perfect. It's always easy to cut loose on the weekends, but you don't have to worry about being kept up by your neighbors' kegger on a Wednesday night.
USC's financial aid program is very generous, and basically made it possible for me to attend, thanks to a scholarship.
The student housing situation is pretty lousy. After freshman year, you're basically on your own, and thanks to less than stellar intervention from the university, area housing is abhorrently expensive.
Some of the students here are painfully idiotic and/or arrogant, coming from very insulated, affluent communities. Thankfully, they're mostly concentrated to the Greek System.
That said, the Greek System has engulfed much of the social life at USC, which is unfortunate. But hey: there's a great reason to leave the neighborhood and discover all that LA has to offer!
You have to pay a lot of money for your graduation robes. That might sound like a pithy complaint, but I found it pretty unreasonable, seeing as UCLA - our rival - doesn't charge its students for similar items.
To borrow a cliched line, what you get from your USC experience depends upon how much you put into it. You can coast by if you wish. No one is going to hold your hand and lead you down the path to academic accomplishment. But if you put yourself out there and take an active interest in your education, chances are you'll graduate with high honors and higher confidence.
|Jul 12 2012|| 4th Year Male --
Class 2011 |