Student Life: Student Stories

Spelman Spring

Student Stories

Brean Derrett - University of Southern California

November 2015

Brean DerrettMy experience at USC has had its ups and downs, but I will start with the good things about my experience as a Trojan because there are so many to list! First, USC is a really social school, and I have had an easy time meeting new people because everyone has been really nice. I even met a girl from my hometown, so the fact that I can be around a lot more of my fellow Californians in an academic setting again has been fun.

Second, there are always events off and on campus, so it is pretty hard to get bored here. In the apartment where I live, they  always have events for students. Within a month's time since I have been here, I have already gone to an LA Dodgers game, a USC  football game, and a horseback riding excursion.

USC spares no expense when it comes to football games and it shows. At the game, they had fireworks, free Chick-fil-A sandwiches, and a man who rode out on a white horse every time USC scored a touchdown. I have to say the game has been one of my favorite moments since I became a Trojan, and I definitely plan to attend more games. 

I have also had the opportunity to get involved in research here, and it has been such an interesting learning experience. This past summer, I did research for the first time abroad in Scotland. The research I am conducting here is different because to some degree, I  know how things work, and I am more comfortable performing the work. Because USC is so large, there are times where I feel a little overwhelmed by all of the buildings and people. It is definitely different being the “first year” student again in a new academic space.

I am behind in some of my classes because I had to learn the procedures here, whereas all of the other students know exactly what is going on already. I stay busy all the time, and my course load is hectic this semester. I was not able to register for some classes that I initially signed up for when I applied for the program, so I ended up taking four science classes. It was a very difficult and arduous process signing up for my classes in the registrar’s office because I am not a traditional student. However, once I got in my classes, it was not bad at all.

The office that I am doing the exchange through here at USC is the Center for Black Student and Cultural Affairs. Although the women who are running the program have been very nice, I feel as if  they could be more supportive of my endeavors here -- at least I think they could check up on me every now and then; but I assume because USC is such a big school, it is easy for students to get lost in the system sometimes.

Although I have had some struggles with my classes, and getting used to things here has been a slight challenge, I am getting more acclimated to my schedule and the environment at USC. I hope the next month continues to be full of new adventures and fun times!