University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Student Blog | Noelle


Course Catalogue Queen
Posted , by Noelle
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During my first advisement meeting of college, I was told that the credits I brought in from high school allowed me to double major, double minor, or potentially do both!  As an eager freshman, I took that statement as suggestion and immediately threw myself into the USC catalogue, frantically scribbling lists of interesting classes, minor and major unit requirements etc.  Two hours, about 80 tabs, and 3 existential crises later, I paused to survey my lists hoping to see a clear path.  What I ended up with was the opposite—one or two classes in a whole bunch of schools/studies.  It was then when I asked myself, “Why am I doing this? Do I actually want to minor in something, or do I just want to be able to say I did?” It was an important question and I’m glad I checked myself.  I had spent the previous four years doing everything I thought I had to do to get into a good school, including a lot of things I didn’t really want to do.  I don’t regret that at all because it got me where I am, but as I contemplated what I wanted out of the next four years, I realized that it would be dangerous to continue to do things just “for the resume”.  After all, I was at USC and there are endless things to engage in that are both personally and professionally fulfilling.  I recognized that college was a rare time in life to take risks and explore new subjects and it would be a waste of time and opportunity to be bound to what other people see as prestigious and how they measure success.  So, I took my lists of classes and ran. I was introduced to new occupations like ballroom dance, drums, and ceramics. I challenged myself and took financial and managerial accounting and web design.  And I looked for opportunities to expand my perspective on health in eastern medicine, bionics, gerontology, and health promotion classes.

I was spoiled in undergrad and I know it.  And I am grateful that my hodgepodge of interests is an asset to my future practice as an OT. I’ve noticed a similar trend in my classmates in the division.  I am surrounded by people who studied philosophy, marketing, biology, who teach yoga classes, build puzzles, served in the military, and had multiple careers before coming to OT school.  We are an interesting bunch her at Chan, and we all share the value of meaningful engagement for the clients we serve and ourselves.

Check out Visions and Voices, Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, and the Ahmanson Lab for some interdisciplinary activities available to undergrad/grad students and alumni. 

This week’s song pick: “Back Pocket” by Vulfpeck

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