The College Profiles are a series where each week I feature an interview with a college student about the college they attend. I thought this would be a great way to help high school students learn about colleges they possibly want to attend from the students that actually attend them. So often the information you get about a school as a prospective student is influenced by the school (websites, tours, pamphlets). These profiles will be an honest view of the school and talk about the things a prospective student wants to know about. I hope this series will be fun for non-prospective students as well since I think it’s kind of fun to see what life is like at other colleges and how yours compares. This week the lovely Abigail of Living the Gray Life is talking about her experience at the University of South Carolina (AKA the wannabe USC because we all know that the University of Southern California is the real USC – in case you can’t tell I go to the University of Southern California). If you want to see past posts you can see them here.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT Abigail
Year: Rising sophomore
Major: Computer Information Systems (aka. computer science and a minor in business)
Bio: So I’m not your typical, living the party lifestyle college student. I like to say that I’m an 80 year old in a 19 year old’s body. I’m introverted, I love cats, I crochet, I watch documentaries, I enjoy a nice cup of steaming tea before bed, and I’m asleep by 10:30. I absolutely love the mountains, going hiking, and just spending time outside. I’m from east Tennessee so the mountains are literally in my backyard. I also love blogging (insert shameless self promo here lol), photography, hand lettering, graphic design, music, writing music, DIY projects, and just anything creative. For this upcoming school year (Fall 2016) I’m going to be a Resident Mentor (same thing as an RA just with a different name). I’m a part of the Capstone program (a program for high-achieving students that offers activities, scholarships, and other opportunities not available to other students), and I’m looking to get involved in the Women in Computing society.
ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF South Carolina
Classes: I love going to class! Yes, I am that nerd who goes to every single class and enjoys doing homework. So class size really depends on which class you’re taking. If you’re taking gen ed requirements, you may be in a lecture with 300 other people. Speaking from my experience with my major, by sophomore year, my class size is down to roughly about 60, and it just gets smaller from then on. The larger lecture classes are going to be strictly lecture because it’s hard to have discussions when 300 people are trying to participate. The smaller English classes and foreign language are going to be more discussion based because there are only about 20-30 people in a class. My favorite class I’ve taken would have to be University 101 (it’s also a unique class just to Carolina!). U101, as we call it, is an “extended orientation” where you meet other freshman, learn about the university, and do fun things like take a tour of WillyB (the football stadium), go to the state fair, and have dinner with your professor. Of course you can take classes from other majors! My schedule is booked all the way until I graduate so I don’t have a lot of freedom when it comes to what I can optionally take. I do recommend taking any class that you find interesting!
Surrounding Area: USC is located in the heart of downtown Columbia, SC. It’s both a college town and in a city! That’s what I love about it. Because 75% of the campus is not accessible by car, it’s like you’re in a whole other world when you’re walking around campus, and then if walk off campus, you’re right in the middle of the city! It’s in the heart of the south so there’s that good ‘ole Southern culture. Everyone’s nice. What is there to do? Hmm well I didn’t branch out much my freshman year (which I totally regret) but there’s a Target and a Starbucks within a 5 minute drive so that’s where I’d spend my weekends. There’s also this place called the Vista which is about a 10 minute walk from the south side of campus. It’s got really cool shops and restaurants and I really hope to explore it this upcoming year!
Food Options: Overall food selection is decent. You’ve got your typical buffet style dining halls and then the fast-food restaurants like Einstein’s Bagels, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-a, and Pizza Hut. At the beginning of the year they’re great, but by the time November rolls around, you’re craving a nice, home-cooked meal. But that’s really the same with all colleges. There are a ton of options in the Vista if you’re looking for something other than dining hall food. There’s a Moe’s right next to campus as well.
Things to Do: What isn’t there to do on campus? Because the school is so big, there’s so many options when it comes to finding groups and stuff to be a part of. Football is huge in the fall. USC is in the heart of the SEC so of course football consumes our lives from August to November. There are free movies to go to, free paint nights, free bowling nights. Really all you have to do is look, and there’s something to do almost every night of the week! Our gym is amazing. Storm (our gym) is like a resort. It’s gorgeous, has so many amenities, and is where I spent a lot of my time freshman year.
Social/Party Scene: Like I said before, the party scene is HUGE. Campus is right near this place called 5 Points which has all of the bars. It’s more or a bar party atmosphere. There are plenty of things to do on the weekends beside party! You just have to really find them. People like me who don’t drink are really rare so it takes a bit of work to find things to do at night on the weekends. But you know a movie night or craft night is always a great option!
Housing: Freshman are required to live on campus unless you live in the Columbia area. Then you can apply to be a commuter student. Housing is decent. I mean dorms are dorms. They’re not some super fancy hotel room where everything’s updated and nice. They’re not bad by any means but they’re also not the most luxurious things in the world.
Fun Fact:Darius Rucker went to USC and he comes back all the time to perform concerts!
THOUGHTS ON THE SCHOOL
Favorite thing about the school: My favorite things about my school are the school spirit, any sporting event (football and soccer especially), and the GORGEOUS campus.
Least favorite thing: My least favorite thing is the party culture. I’m sure this is prominent at a lot of colleges. My floor was the floor that went out EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and would come back screaming at 2 AM. I’m sure if I was completely surrounded by the drinking culture my freshman year, I’d have a different opinion on it.
What Makes the School Unique: USC has an extremely old campus! Founded in 1801, the original building still stand on the historic horseshoe. The history is what drew me in, and I love walking around campus just thinking about how old the bricks are that I’m walking on.
Let me know if you want to work with me to do a college profile post on your school!