I am a junior from Chapin, South Carolina (a small suburb of Columbia). I am double majoring in Psychology and Russian, with a minor in Linguistics and cognate in Criminal Justice. I came to college with only the vaguest ideas of what I wanted to do, but since joining the Honors College I’ve had the flexibility to modify and specify my major/minor path every semester during my first two years, which has helped me to gain invaluable experiences and cultivate my interest in a more interdisciplinary research goal. I am taking steps to better understanding the specific threat that an individual can pose in their social system by using computer science methods. I also am looking into studying abroad in Russia to gain hands-on experience with the language and culture that is becoming so important to our political sphere. I definitely don’t have all the answers, but with guidance from my Honors advisors and peers, I have a comprehensive plan for success.
I love: random trivia (mostly linguistics-themed), psychedelic and classic rock, cats (large and domestic), and every body of water I’ve come in contact with so far. Beaches over mountains for sure!
My favorite short story: Henry James’s The Beast in the Jungle. I had to read it in my first semester freshman year and fell in love with the writing style and psychological symbolism hidden throughout. If you are interested, definitely read it through the lens of Jung’s archetypes of the self.
My weakness: Predictable romance novels…. I got hooked on these in middle school and can’t seem to quit them. I tend to reach for a new one when things are really stressful because they’re relaxing, one-hour reads that are practically guaranteed to end in happily ever after.
Something I will always do: Clean my room before beginning a new project. A tidy house lends itself to a tidy mind, and I tend to combat my spastic train of thought with hyper-organization. I surround myself with aesthetic things that stimulate creativity and plenty of places I can jot down my ideas and reorganize information to better understand it.
My advice to prospective students: Do your research and make sure that your goals line up with the college you’re applying for. Whether it’s SCHC or another school entirely, you should want to be in a place that supports your goals the best. While the Honors College offers exactly what I needed, that doesn’t mean the same thing everyone. Contact advisors, current students, and professors in the fields you’re interested in. The best indicator I had in choosing a school was how well I got along with the faculty I would be learning from and working under.
My advice to current students: It’s okay to say no, but don’t be afraid to try new things. It seems like two opposing ideas, but it’s been my biggest lesson so far. Do things that stretch your comfort zone, forcing you to grow and refine yourself as a student person. But you also need to strike a dynamic equilibrium that allows you to give attention to your physical and mental health as well as your changing priorities.
My favorite thing about the Honors College: The responsiveness! One thing I was worried about coming to USC was that my voice would get lost in the massive student body. As a member of the Honors College, I have never felt that. Between our world-class advisors, small class size, and high-achieving peers, the Honors College really is a community built to raise everyone to their greatest potential.
My reason for choosing the SCHC: The small college feel with big university opportunities. I was devoted to going out of state until I toured the Honors College the summer before my senior year. The Honors College was the only place I toured that valued research opportunities, studying abroad, and critical thinking within the classroom the same way I did. When I reached out to psychology professors to talk about research, I felt like they were interested in both teaching me and working with me.