Balance The Bubble And The World
Editor's Note: "Balance the Bubble and the World" is part of Kristy Plaza's new series, Kristy’s Corner.
Already, I have become immersed in the culture of ‘SC. How can a college campus have a culture? Well, that depends on how you define culture. Culture: the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellence in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc. (Dictionary.com). Taking this definition into account, how can this campus not have its own culture?
In fact, I would say that ‘SC lives in a bubble: the people that work or go to school here are completely dedicated to the lifestyle of ‘SC. Be it a scholarly pursuit like going to class, reading or writing an essay, or a “fun” pursuit like clubs, parties, movies or football games, we are living every day consciously defining ourselves as “USC Students.” Think about it: what’s wrong with that?
We are paying thousands of dollars to go here, live in residence halls/apartments and spend the vast majority of our time on campus. I’m completely invested in ‘SC. Here’s how much: full-time student, work-study, special interest floor (of my residence hall), writer for Neon Tommy, etc. The point being that we all chose ‘SC for a reason, so, obviously, we want to make the most of our stay here. After all, it’s the “college experience.”
However, it seems to be incredibly easy to get lost in this bubble. I have stayed on campus for days without stepping foot into the outside world! How can I spend so much time on campus that I forget to even check the national news? For a solid week, I took what the Daily Trojan said as “world news.” Thankfully, this didn’t last long. However, this doesn’t negate the fact that I was lost in my self-perpetuated ‘SC world.
Surprisingly enough, there is a world beyond the gates of ‘SC. The trick is to remember that being a college student doesn’t define me; it is merely a part of my life. There is more to being a student that football games, eating in the fast-food joints surrounding the campus or visiting home (if you can).
I live in one of the largest metropolises in the nation! There are museums to visit - there's one right across Exposition. There are plays to see at the Pantages Theatre; right now, "The Book of Mormon." There are conventions happening all the time - of course, you would have to search for the dates. And the piece de résistance: all of the wonderfully good restaurants to eat at throughout L.A. and beyond. I am lucky that I already lived in L.A. before coming to ‘SC, so I am already familiar with L.A culture. And for those of you that came from the Bay area or out of state, Google is your new best friend.
The solution to this dilemma is balance. I need to change my perspective so that ‘SC is only a part - a huge part, but not the whole - of who I am; this is where I will achieve my professional and social goals. But the world out there is open and I am ready to be thrown in. My bubble in here and the world out there need to collide so that I can finally live what I have modestly dubbed "Kristy’s life"!
Reach Columnist Kristy Plaza here.