It’s been a very busy weekend here on campus. Friday kicked off bright and early with Crescent Classic, my sorority’s fundraiser. We organize a handball game to support Troy Camp, USC’s undergraduate-run philanthropy that uses tutoring, after-school programming, adventures in LA, and a week-long summer camp to inspire local elementary school students to pursue higher education. I ran straight from my 9 AM math class to help set up and cheer my team to victory. It was such a fun way to raise money for a cause I really care about. So many of my friends are Troy Camp counselors, so I get to hear through their stories how much good the organization does and how much the kids love camp.
That night, I went to Chabad for dinner. Along with Hillel, USC Chabad is one of our Jewish Student Centers. We made the blessings on the challah and grape juice. It’s so nice to hear the familiar songs I know my family is singing back home around the dinner table. At dinner, I also got the chance to hear USC professor Dr. Steven Windmueller speak on the research he’s done on Jewish communities in America. Afterwards, Professor Windmueller spoke to me about a political science course he teaches where they visit powerful, successful Jewish leaders in their workplace and ask them questions about their relationship to the religion and how it effects their position in power. I’m hoping to fit it into my schedule for next year!
Saturday was all about Women and Youth Supporting Each Other (WYSE). With the organization, 50 other USC women and I visit local middle schools and talk about topics like body image, healthy relationships, sexism, and racism. We are each paired with a mentee, an 8th grade girl who we text and write messages to in a shared journal. On Saturday morning, I went to see Thor: The Dark World with my fellow WYSE mentor Samantha and our mentees. Before this double date, I was having difficulties getting close to my mentee because we are both a little shy. I definitely feel like we got closer by spending time together outside of the classroom, and having another mentor-mentee pair helped break the ice. I don’t usually love action movies, but we all bonded over how attractive we find Chris Hemsworth.
WYSE held a fundraiser concert series that night. Every hour, a different DJ or band would take the stage. Each performer was a USC student. I sold tickets at the door. Not only did we raise money to take our mentees on an awesome LA adventure, but I was reminded of how musically talented my fellow Trojans are.
Sunday morning I met so many prospective students and their parents at Discover USC! I loved catching up with other Dornsife Ambassadors and answering questions about the happiest place on earth (That’d be ‘SC). One mother asked me to talk to her son because he always loved Psychology, but thought Computer Science would be more practical of a major. I happen to be taking both a Psychology and Computer Science class this semester for my Cognitive Science major, so we had a lot of interests in common. I hope he’s a little closer to choosing a major; it took me a year, and I remember how stressful it was not knowing!
Afterwards, I went to the Grove to see the Christmas tree all lit up and meet Santa. I brought Giuseppe, the teaching assistant I practice English with through the undergraduate Student Consultant program. We meet once a week and work on pronunciation, American slang, and pop-culture. The tree was taller than the 8-level parking lot, and we got a blurry selfie standing next to it. There was too long of a line, and I didn’t get to go inside Santa’s house. But the Grove is so beautiful all lit up for the holidays, it was still worth the drive!
Back on campus at 5 PM, I headed over to Chabad to cook latkes (hash-browns) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts) in preparation for Hanukkah on Wednesday! It took us a while to figure out how to fry the donuts without burning them but they came out sooo good.
I love being busy, but I have to say I am definitely looking forward to Thanksgiving so I can sleep for 5 straight days.
That’s all for now! More soon.