The Daily Gamecock

Second-Year Students Suggest...

Tips for this year’s first-years from last-year’s freshmen

Be adventurous and try out new things, clubs

The upcoming school year is one that is sure to be filled with new experiences, challenges, friendships and opportunities for returning students and incoming freshmen alike.
USC and the city of Columbia provide so many unique opportunities, and give students so many ways to gain experience in different areas. Just stroll down Greene Street during the organization fair and you will begin to get a sense of all the clubs, teams, and organizations there are at USC.
The best advice I can give incoming freshmen is to get involved. Join a club, get an internship or do some community service. Some of my best friends are people I met through the various student organizations I joined my freshman year, — not to mention, being involved looks very good on your résumé. Also, certain experiences in student organizations have the potential to make you want to change your major, or pursue new interests.
Take advantage of the many opportunities that living in Columbia provides to a college student. Go out to the local bars with friends (if you’re of age), get involved in the community, grab some local grub and go to a concert or two. In addition to doing all those things make sure you take attend plenty of sporting events at USC, and of course don’t miss any football games.
College is an exciting time, and it is a time to make life long friendships, try new things, and learn about things that you never thought you would be interested in. Whether you are a freshman or a senior, make it your goal to be adventurous this year. But most importantly, don’t forget to study!

—Matthew DeMarco, second-year exercise science student

Know why you’re here before you leave in tears

Besides the potential for higher-paying jobs later on in life, some of this year’s incoming class came to college to throw off the highly regimented reins that constituted high school learning. They’re under the impression that they’ll get to learn what they want — and to a certain extent, that is true. You get to pick your major along with a few electives, but the more you think about it, college isn’t as cracked up to be as some of you freshman might think.
One myth that really bothered me when I was a freshman is that I couldn’t really study what I wanted. You get to “discover” what you wanted to learn but that’s it, and that is true for every major offered, at USC and college campus around the country.
After we pick our major, we’re allowed to pick a few credit hours of electives, but the rest of our academic careers is strictly regimented by the curriculum based on our major. It makes sense when you think about it, but it leads me to believe that college isn’t really necessary depending on your goals in life.
If you’re only in college because you want to earn a better paying job or simply just to learn for the sake of learning, then I have some bad news for you. There’s a lot of jobs that don’t really require previous experience or knowledge that you can only obtain at college, even if they ask for a undergraduate degree as a job qualification. Most of the time, skills for a job are learned during on site training.
Overall college is an institution that will only give you as much as you put in. It’s fun, can be very educational and even a life-changing experience for some, but make sure you examine exactly why you’re here before paying for it.

—Rohan Rajeev, second-year international business student