Anna Walker / The Daily Gamecock

Column: Growing up Gamecock: A USC family tradition

“GAME ... COCKS ... GAME ... COCKS.” The roar of the stadium, the bright lights, the tailgating foods galore and watching the team fight for the win at Willy B: This is a Saturday in South Carolina during the fall.  

My dad was born and raised in Columbia and my mom is from Virginia. They met during their time at USC when my mom was a junior and my dad was a senior. Their story is the classic love story of meeting in a bar called Dan's which just so happens to have been located where Breakers Bar and Grill is now. 

I also have four cousins that attended USC in the past years. They are all quite a few years older than I am, so I got to talk to them about what it was like to go here. After graduating they hung around and stayed in the southeast, two of them living in the Columbia area, one in Greenville, South Carolina, and one in Florence, South Carolina. So of course, they make the short trip back for the home games for some SEC tailgating. 

Being from a family where so many of us went to this school, it seems like there would be a lot of pressure for me to pick USC. But it was really quite the opposite. My parents and family were very supportive of me in high school when I began looking at schools. Although I do vividly remember my brother and cousin’s skepticism when I started my application for Clemson. 

They said, “There is no way you’ll go there, how could you?” Personally, I don’t have anything against Clemson, though they obviously do. 

I also got a little bit of pressure from my dad, who came with me on the campus tour. I remember he was really laying it on thick, telling me stories about the “good ol' days.” 

I guess looking back on it now, there was always a little bit of incentive for me to follow in the rest of my family’s footsteps, but I think that even if none of them went here I still would have chosen USC above my other choices.

Even though I grew up in Columbia, I never had a reason to go on campus. However, after I went on that first accepted students tour in 2016, I fell in love with the campus. The unique buildings, the beauty of the Horseshoe in autumn and the lively atmosphere of events happening all the time drew me in. 

When I look back on my decision to go here, I look back with no regret. I love all of the people I have met through the university and the clubs and organizations I have joined that pushed me outside of my comfort zone. The campus is urban, so there is always something happening, and it is very diverse as well. Although I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life before coming here, I feel like I have learned so much in just three years with an experience that is unique to USC. 

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