When I was a senior, I thought that going to USD would be a settlement, that I could’ve done better and that this would’ve only be the 13th grade.
After a gap year spent in Washington, D.C. working on Capitol Hill in the Senate and now completing my first year here at USD, I can say in full confession that I
To address the “13th grade” argument, that public schools are just an extension of high school, I say that it’s up to you. Yes, you can very well take the easy classes for an easy major, party every weekend and graduate.
But if you’re looking to challenge yourself, if you’re looking for ways to expand yourself intellectually and personally, USD has not just the necessary resources to do so, but some of the best.
I study mathematics and philosophy, two very large and trying subjects. I received a 4.0 in high school – these college classes aren’t easy. I spend many hours studying for exams. I have incredible amounts of stress.
USD can be trying. It can be a challenge. The only difference between here and a top-tier undergraduate program at Harvard is the people.
I also would like to address those of you who want to pursue graduate school and beyond. USD has the opportunities: it doesn’t restrict them. Many of our students compete in and win national scholarship competitions. We have graduates who plan on attending University of California at Berkeley for their graduate programs.
I’ll refrain from limiting off famous alumni, but suffice it to say we have a good amount. If you choose USD, your opportunities aren’t limited.
I won’t be audacious enough to say that USD has the same opportunities as Yale or Princeton, but they exist here for every person. It may be more difficult to find or cultivate those opportunities by meeting different professors or finding the needed resource, but they certainly are there.
And, this is my favorite part, if there isn’t something here you want, you can always create it. It seems like there’s a new organization or program popping up all the time.
In a strange way, that’s a benefit you’ll find here that you won’t find at Princeton: you can take initiative and make yourself stand out amongst your peers.
If you’re looking for a place to grow, to cultivate potential, to build a unique future, then don’t make the mistake of glossing over USD. If you’re already here, great! The above applies to you as well. One doesn’t “settle” for USD.
Any opportunity you seek has a manifestation somewhere here in Vermillion. Don’t underestimate your potential here. I once did, and I was grateful to be proven wrong.