Passing the Torch


Gold outlines of USC torches on red backdrop

Each year, a group of USC Thornton undergraduates serve as Student Ambassadors, sharing their experiences and knowledge of life at Thornton with new and prospective students. Many of our stellar Ambassadors graduated this past Spring and are now taking on the next stages of their education and careers. Before they went, five of those new graduates were sure to pass on words of wisdom for our newest students as they begin their Thornton journey.

Photo of Shelby Wong with her name and "senior quote": "Shelby Wong, BM '20, Piano Performance. Quote: "Everything you want to be, you already are. You're simply on the path to discovering it." by Alicia Keys

What do you wish you had known when you were a freshman at Thornton?

Your college journey is going to be uniquely your own. There’s no need to compare your experience with others – not one of you will have the same exact path, and you’ll all branch out in countless directions which will all be incredibly rewarding in different ways. Embrace it!

Photo of Haley Perkins with her "senior quote." Description of text: "Haley Perkins, BM '20, Popular Music. Quote: "I've learned that people will forget what you've said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." by Maya Angelou

Any advice for new students?

Speak your truth to power, do things that scare you (but not too much), and never be ashamed to ask for help. You are stronger than you know. 

Photo of Tehillah Alphonso with her "senior quote." Description of text: "Tehillah Alphonso, BM '20, Popular Music. Quote: "Plan your work, and work your plan." by Patrice Rushen

What’s something you learned in your time at Thornton?

Throughout my four years, I’ve proven to myself time and time again that I have gotten out of Thornton what I put into it. Make goals, work hard, and never give up on the things you want to accomplish and the dreams you want to achieve.

Photo of Tiffany Chen with her "senior quote." Description of text: Tiffany Chen, BM '20, Piano Performance. Quote: "Don't be afraid of making a mistake, and go with your intuition." by Tiffany.

Any advice for new students?

If you have a goal, take initiative and talk to your colleagues and professors. Everyone is willing to guide you to manifest your goals, so long as you put in the work and demonstrate your passion.

Photo of Alexa Rumberg with her "senior quote." Description of text: Alexa Rumberg, BM '20, Music Industry. Quote: "No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind." by Taylor Swift

What do you wish you had known when you were a freshman at Thornton?

I wish I knew how fast college really went, they always tell you it flies, but you take it for granted in the moment.

TAGS: Alumni, Classical Division, Classical Performance and Composition, Contemporary Music, Contemporary Music Division, Keyboard Studies, Music Industry, Popular Music, Student Ambassadors,

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