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Wow, I feel old. It’s so strange not being the newbie or the new memb or the freshie or the lost fish in the sea anymore. (It’s also weird not eating at Parkside all day everyday.) My freshman year was a blur, to say the least, and unfortunately summer was too. But now, I’m a got-my-life-together-but-do-I-really sophomore. Considering sophomore literally means wise fool, I’d say I’m on the right track for that.

I’m having just as much fun screaming my lungs out at the football games, drinking 4 cups of coffee in the morning on *those* mornings, taking pictures of campus at those random sunset/early morning times when the lighting is perfect, crafting from Pinterest to avoid studying, and dancing my heart out the nights after midterms as I did last year. But I also managed to improve my study habits, which I’d say is a major win. (It doesn’t sound like I did, but I swear it’s true.)

So yeah, I’d say this year is going to be a killer one—it already has been! You could say I’m pretty stoked about being on campus again. If you wanted.

And what I’ve learned after a year of being at USC is that everything always works out for the best, as long as you’re giving it your all. My Trojan family (insert cat vomiting meme here from the cheesiness of it all) has got my back, as I’ve learned from experience, and the free food here is UNREAL. Fight on! :)

Emilie Random Things 2

All I can say is that there’s no other school like USC. Between classes, after classes, and on the weekends, there are always things going on.

1. Every Wednesday as I walk to chemistry, my routine has become to pass by the farmer’s market right outside my residential building and try a bunch of their fruit. I now have a new favorite fruit: persimmons. Just a little further there are sometimes people handing out free Nesquik chocolate milk. On Fridays, a comedy club puts on performances on Trousdale.

2. A week ago, Mary Lambert (the female singer in Macklemore’s Same Love) came and gave an intimate performance in Bovard Auditorium, which of course is free to all USC students.

3. Just before that, I had the honor of hearing Bill Clinton speak at Bovard.

4. Last week, the CFO of Tesla Motors came and spoke to anyone who wanted to come and listen.

5. On my way to chemistry this week, there was a small puppy adoption going on on Trousdale.

6. This Wednesday, I got to see a screening of a food documentary that changed the way I look at food companies, health corporations, food advertisements, and food companies in relation to different ethnic groups.

7. This past Thursday, on my way to my Spanish class, I got to take in the vastness of the stage being set up for Conquest, which is USC’s night to get the whole Trojan family pumped for the USC vs UCLA game on Saturday.
What other school brings a huge Ferris wheel into the quad and lets people ride for free? What other school puts on a huge fireworks show on campus to get people pumped? What other school has 5-time Grammy winners come perform for the student body?

Emilie Random Things 1


USC does this. USC makes you feel like there are no limits. Everything is possible and within reach. Want to get an internship? Talk to a professor. Done. Want to explore different classes? Talk to your advisor. Need help writing a resume, interviewing, public speaking, or looking for advice in the career field? The Student Union Center is open and there for the specific purpose of helping YOU. It’s there, and it’s free. Easy.

The bottom line is that USC is more than an institution that offers classes. It is a giant key there to unlock any door that you have the desire to open. I’ve come to realize more and more that it’s a place for me to explore and fall in love with new subjects and activities. It’s a place where you can really enjoy life while excelling in it. Every school tells you that there are no boundaries to what you want to do, but at USC you really realize and believe that you really can do the grandiose, world changing things that make an impact on this world.

About me!

Hello!Keith Intro

My name is Karan Keith Agarwal, and I am a sophomore at USC Dornsife. I studied abroad in Paris the fall of my freshman year before coming to USC in the spring of 2014.

A little about myself: I am of Indian-Irish descent, born in Northern California but raised in New Delhi, India. I speak fluent English and Hindi and conversational French, which is what led me to study abroad in my freshman fall semester.

Considering I have only been at USC for less than a year, I feel like I have gotten a lot of opportunities both in and outside the classroom. I am USC’s Model UN Secretary General as well as the Director of Training for the club. I am an active part of Greek life too: social committee for the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. While all of these are really fun and enriching extra curricular activities, I also spend an equal amount of time working hard for school.

Last semester I was on the Dornsife Dean’s List and secured a research scholarship for the summer research I undertook on nuclear non-proliferation. I am so happy and proud to be a student at USC Dornsife, and I have to admit it was the best life decision I’ve made thus far.

Please feel free to reach out to me on Facebook (Karan Keith Agarwal) if you have any questions or just want to make a new friend.

Ara IntroHi, all! My name is Ara, and I’m a sophomore here at USC. Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, I have spent a year and some change falling in love with Los Angeles, USC, and especially USC Dornsife. Although I entered my freshman year undecided, I have since committed to studying International Relations Global Business, an interdisciplinary major composed of classes in both Dornsife and the Marshall School of Business. I am also double minoring in Spanish and Psychology & Law, and I hope to one day go to law school.

As a southern girl looking to expand her horizons, I entered my freshman year certain that I wanted to do everything from Medieval Literature to Political Science – maybe with a computer science minor thrown in. The beauty of USC Dornsife is that I had the opportunity to try all of these things. At the end of the day, with a passion for human rights and international affairs, I settled on IRGB.

However, my studies aren’t the only gift USC Dornsife has given me. This summer I had the privilege of studying nuclear nonproliferation and international security in Washington, D.C. through a Dornsife program called Problems Without Passports. I watched diplomats debate Iranian sanctions at The Atlantic Council, had coffee with the former US Ambassador to Pakistan, and even watched Hilary Clinton deliver a speech at the Kennedy Center on women’s empowerment. In the future, I hope to study abroad in Spain, conduct research with a professor, and take full advantage of the plethora of opportunities USC Dornsife has to offer. Though not a Trojan by blood, I have truly been converted to the unique, vibrant, and absolutely captivating world of USC. Fight on!

Erin Mills

Erin IntroHi, everyone! My name is Erin Mills, and I am a USC Dornsife sophomore majoring in Applied Math and minoring in Spanish. Coming to USC last year was a huge change from my hometown, Jefferson City, Missouri. However, the change could not have been better for me. In just one year here I have been able to become involved in a wide array of activities ranging from a professional leadership fraternity to data science research. Opportunities such as these have allowed me to explore my interests and become more self-aware at the same time.

I feel so lucky to be able to go to a school with so many opportunities both in and out of the classroom and share them with you. I even studied abroad in Madrid through the Spanish department this summer! Dornsife has provided me the opportunity to work hard but also to enjoy the work I do. I am looking forward to seeing more of the world and hope to spend a semester at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Traveling is one of my greatest interests, and I aim to incorporate it in both my personal and professional life.

My USC experience has just begun, and I am excited to see what the future brings. From what I can imagine, each year will just provide more opportunity than the next.

Hello world!Yasmeen Intro

My name is Yasmeen Serhan, and I’m one of the newest additions to USC’s Dornsife Ambassador family. I’m currently a junior studying international relations with a minor in French at the happiest place on Earth.

No, Disneyland doesn’t give out diplomas.

Sure USC doesn’t have rides and by no means is it anything close to the magic kingdom (though the clock in Hahn Plaza sure makes it seem like it is), it’s still one of my favorite places on Earth. As my home away from home for the past two years, USC has served as a place of unparalleled learning, discovery and opportunity. I joined the Trojan Family as an international relations major because of my inherent interest in all things related to the Middle East — North Africa region, specifically regarding Israel-Palestine. It is my hope that my concentrations in the Middle East and foreign policy, as well as my studies in French and Arabic, will give me the tools necessary to immerse myself in the political and policy world of the region. After my studies, I’m hoping to pursue a career in either journalism or foreign policy — or both! We’ll see where it goes.

At USC, the learning experience isn’t confined to the classroom. In fact, when I’m not in class, I can usually be found running throughout the urban oasis that is USC’s beautiful campus. I’m currently the Special Projects Editor of USC’s student-run paper, the Daily Trojan, and have previously served as the News Editor, Online Editor and Editorial Director. I’ve also spent the last two semesters co-writing the column Point/Counterpoint (it runs Tuesdays — give it a read)! I recently co-founded J Street U USC, a political organization advocating for peace, security and social justice in Israel-Palestine. I’m also a proud member of the Political Student Assembly, the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity and Society 53, the student ambassadors to the USC Alumni Association for which I am currently serving as Director of Networking Night.

Though I’ve been lucky to have had so many experiences at USC, there’s still so much I want to do! For instance, I’m hoping to study abroad this upcoming spring semester in France through the USC Paris program. I’m also hoping to pursue an honors thesis my senior year, likely focusing on the ways certain diasporic communities maintain a strong sense of national identity. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I really want to achieve my undergraduate dream of trying every Ground Zero milkshake at least once.

If you have any questions about all things USC and Dornsife, don’t hesitate to connect with me on Twitter! Summarizing how much I love USC in 140 characters won’t be easy, but I’m up for the challenge.

Fight on!

Jocelyn IntroHiiiiii everyone, this is Jocelyn, one of the newbies of Dornsife Ambassadors! I come from Shandong, China (Ya, there are other places in China besides Beijing and Shanghai). USC is the first place where I have stayed abroad for more than a normal vacation length, so LA is my second hometown!

I am a sophomore studying Economics and International Relations. I added IR as a second major last semester. I did not take any ECON course last year; instead, I was freely taking many GEs and electives in different subjects. I accidentally took an IR 210 course, and guess what, I found my hidden interest! I had a completely inspiring experience, and the professor is super duper universal-incomparably amazing! (You IR students know who I am talking about if you also got a IR 210 T-shirt.) International Relations had never been an option on my potential college major list. So this was big!

Outside the classroom, I am in USC Oriana Women’s Choir, Remedy Through Music, and USC Swipes for the Homeless. I also intern at a Chinese foodie media company. Basically I just eat and write — so… when you want authentic Chinese food, Yelp doesn’t help, I do!

Now I am adding Dornsife Ambassador as a new role, and I love it! I can’t wait to start my amabassador-ing journey!

Fight on!

Hey all! My name is Alec Gallego! I am currently majoring in Biological Sciences and am on the Pre-Dental track. My career goal is to own my private practice as a General Dentist and later teach at the university level. I’m from  Hacienda Heights, Alec IntroCalifornia, only a couple miles away from campus. I’m currently involved in the Chemistry Club, the Pre-Dental Honor society and Dornsife Ambassadors. When I’m not hitting the books, you can find me playing guitar, watching SportsCenter about 3 times a day or reveling over how much I love superheroes (Batman all the way!). I love all things sports from football to basketball from darts to bowling.

My experience so far at USC Dornsife has provided me with numerous opportunities to get involved whether that be through volunteer experience or engaging with my peers. As a little 10-year-old kid who only liked to play Playstation, I always dreamed of going to USC. I would play my NCAA 2007 PS2 game and hear the Fight Song every time I scored a touchdown. That dream came true because USC Dornsife provided me the opportunity to attend this beautiful, academic driven and innovative university. USC Dornsife continues to support and encourage me throughout my academic career in my journey to fulfill my dreams and aspirations.

Another interesting thing about me is that I love, and I mean absolutely LOVE, everything science related. I’m the type of guy who googles EVERYTHING and wants to know how everything works. My favorite science, for obvious reasons, is biology  — especially anatomy and physiology. I take great interest in learning about the intricate and complex nature of the vast amount of organisms that live in our world. Yes, I am a nerd, and I am proud!  I have so many fond memories of USC and it’s only been a year. The past year of my life has been the absolute best because of this incredible school and all the wonderful people that populate it. I look forward to making many, many more memories at this wonderful school that cares about each and every individual student. Thanks for taking the time to read about me, and remember to always Fight On!

EmilieHey Dornsifers! My name is Emilie Skoog. I am a freshman here at USC from Los Angeles, California — 20 minutes down the road near Venice Beach. I come from an interesting background in which my mom is from France and my dad is from Sweden, making me a first generation American and a newbie to anything and everything ‘college.’ Despite being lost in the application process, I managed to stumble upon and land in the #1 University to be at — USC. I am a Human Biology major which of course places me in the best college within USC — Dornsife! I am planning to minor in Business and Kinesiology as well. As of now, I am interested in working in Orthopedics. Whether that leads me to becoming a doctor or head physician for an athletic team, I am not yet sure.

A little bit about myself: I’m one of those people who loves conversation, meeting new people, and becoming involved in everything that appears interesting to me. Since arriving at campus, I have joined the Judo Club, French Club, Kicks for Kids, Alpha Epsilon Delta, and most proudly, Dornsife Ambassadors.

Fun fact: I eat all foods (including fries, burgers, pizza, and soup) with a fork and a knife. On that note, if you can’t find me eating at EVK, I’m most likely hidden in Birnkrant’s music room playing the piano or slack-lining with my buddies in McCarthy Quad. Oh, and if you see a blonde girl rip-sticking to class, that is most likely me.

If I may impart to you one thing I’ve learned while here at USC: No matter how long the car/plane ride to get here, everyone fights on just as hard. So, fight on!

Greetings! My name is Kyle Nam Pham (Yes, my middle name and last name rhyme.), and I’m a freshman hailing from the wonderfully suburban Tustin, California. It’s crazy to think that just a year ago, I had no idea where I’d be going to college.Kyle Intro Fortunately, I’ve ended up at USC, which is honestly the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

I’m majoring in cognitive science, which explores the facilitation of thought and the processes of the mind. In simpler terms, it’s thinking about thinking. Throughout high school, I was always fascinated by the human mind and human behavior. I found myself continually questioning the reasons behind the actions of the people around me. This curiosity, coupled with an affinity for messing with people, led me to create a club dedicated toward conducting social experiments. I quickly found that my interest in psychology and sociology had become a true passion. With an interdisciplinary approach that really appealed to me, cognitive science stood out to me as the perfect major. While I am keeping an open mind, I’m currently in a pre-law career path.

Out of all of USC’s amazing qualities, I think that what I appreciate the most so far is the staggering multitude of opportunities offered on campus. There’s legitimately something for everyone. Every interest and hobby you can possibly think of is accommodated here. I’m currently getting involved with research in social psychology. In addition, I’m serving as a freshman representative on the Trojan Scholars Society executive board. I can proudly say that USC isn’t just giving me an education; it’s giving me an experience. It’s only been two months, but this experience has already been so incredible. So much has happened and so much more has yet to happen. As my mind contemplates the prospects of going abroad or being an intern, I have to remind myself to slow down and appreciate each day. After all…the wise Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around for a while, you could miss it.”

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