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South Carolina Honors College

Benno Sauermann

Ask me about … coming in from out of state, changing majors, law school, getting involved on campus and English classics/classes!

I’m from Philadelphia, PA, so my pets and parents were twelve hours away when I first stepped foot in Columbia. I missed my cat every day freshman year, but he’s here with me this year, so now I don’t miss a thing at my new home at USC. I’m the first in my family to attend college, so when I had to choose where to go, I knew I wanted a college that showed itself to be both first timer friendly and assertive in helping me through the college process, and the Honors College fit my vision, so here I am! I plan to go to law school after my undergraduate years, hopefully enrolling in J.D./M.A. program, and eventually getting employment with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

My hero: My sister. Anytime I say I can’t do something, she’ll say, “Benno, stop whining and shut up. You can do it.” While we argue a good deal, she’s always had my back, and I don’t know what I’d be doing without her.

Something I would change about myself: I can’t reach the top shelf of my bookcase, so adding a few inches would save me from the dangers of standing on my swivel chair.

Favorite novel: Wuthering Heights. The 1978 record of the same name by Kath Bush (whom everyone should check out) is in my top five favorite songs, and I heard the song before reading the novel. Once I read the novel, everything that confused me made sense, from the lyrics to the way she sang her words and to the actual way Emily Bronte wrote her characters. It added new depth to my understanding of the novel, and I love when everything comes full circle, so the experience of reading Wuthering Heights really stuck with me, and is the reason I’m an English major.

An honors class I recommend: Storytelling in the Law. I’m taking this class this semester, and so far, it’s one of my favorites. It’s all about telling a convincing story in your arguments, whether it’s to an entire room of people, or to just a couple of colleagues. Hopefully, this class will allow me to actually win the next argument I have with my sister (probably tomorrow).

What I’m currently reading: The Golden Ass by Apuleius. I never thought I would be reading a classical Latin novel, but one of my history professors assigned parts of it as reading material, and I enjoyed it so much that I bought the book. It’s really interesting reading second century comic novel, and even more surprising that their humor aligns with ours. If anyone desires reading something that the Romans enjoyed, I recommend this novel. 

My secret: Sometimes, I think Katherine Farrell is funny.

My advice to prospective students: Stand out. The Honors College loves nothing more than a student who makes an impact. Start a club, win an award, or save the president — do whatever you can to make the admissions committee see that you are a dedicated and unique student who will leave their mark.

My advice to current students: Keep on going; you’re doing a great job! Whether you have four or one years left, check out all the Honors College can offer.

My reason for choosing the SCHC: I really wanted a college that allowed me to choose my own path for what I wanted to do, even if I don’t always know how I want to get there. The Honors College is extremely flexible and understanding with the classes I want to take, and there’s no one pre-determined path I have to take to obtain the skills I need to succeed. I hate making decisions, but choosing USC was a no brainer.