“(USC) was my first admittance and it was to a school I didn’t really expect to get into, let alone to get a scholarship from, and it was really overwhelming in the best way.”

Jaya Hinton (USC Photo)

What did you do when you first found out you got in to USC?

I was actually in Chicago with my dad visiting Chicago and Northwestern at the time. I had decided to apply to USC sort of on a whim when I realized it was a QuestBridge school, and I hadn’t realized that I had applied by the merit scholarship deadline. My mom Facetimed me when my dad and I were driving back to our hotel and said that I’d gotten a package from USC, and assuming it was a t-shirt or poster like it always was from every other school, I told her to go ahead and open it. When she realized what is was she started crying, I started crying, and then my dad started crying which made both my mother and I cry even harder. It was my first admittance and it was to a school I didn’t really expect to get into, let alone to get a scholarship from, and it was really overwhelming in the best way.

What are you most excited to learn/do/experience/etc. while at USC?

I’m really excited for a lot of things. Football games, exploring LA, and really getting the chance to immerse myself in the Trojan Family. I tend to be a people person and love meeting new people. Going to football games, joining different orgs, and going to different events to meet alumni who are still excited about ‘SC even after graduating is a testament to how deep the Family runs, which is one of the reasons I came to SC in the first place.

What is one thing you brought with you to USC that means the most to you?

I have a bunch of photo canvases on my wall with pictures of my best friends and family members. I’m from Maryland and most of my family is still on the east coast, and the memory of the people I know love me and are still supporting me from across the country keeps me motivated.

What piece of advice you were given about starting college that you’ll follow?

Finding a balance between personal time and work is essential. At a breakfast I went to during welcome week an alumni, John Mork, recommended treating our week schedules like work schedules and trying to put in at least 40 hours a week, 8 hours a day Monday through Friday. While it sounds like a lot, I’m here to develop into the most successful person I can be, and that starts with schoolwork. It also leaves me weekends stress-free so I can go to football games which I am also really excited for, and to take time for myself to relax and enjoy my college experience.

What do you think/hope you’ll be like four years from now?

I hope to be fully confident in myself and in the skills I develop for my career field. As a business major, self-confidence is going to be key in exercising leadership, interacting with people, and (hopefully) running organizations one day. I know that Marshall will give me the tools I need to become as successful as I can be, and I plan on working toward making sure my confidence and positive mentality match it.

Jaya Hinton, a Mork Scholar from Maryland, is passionate about social justice, medicine and the sciences. The American Studies and Ethnicity major says she is very eager to get involved in community service in the surrounding USC community.