“Four years from now I hope to have never stopped growing and learning from the people and community”

USC freshman Cynthia Aceves (USC Photo)
USC freshman Cynthia Aceves (USC Photo)

What did you do when you first found out you got into USC?

I was on spring break in Mexico when my mom received an envelope in the mail from USC. I hadn’t even told my mom I applied to a school in California, so she texted me a picture of the corner of the envelope with USC’s return address asking what it was for. Since she had sent such a small picture of the envelope, I couldn’t tell if it was a small rejection letter or a big acceptance letter envelope. I called and texted her, but of course, my service was terrible and couldn’t reach her all day!! Eventually, she texted me asking if I wanted her to open it and send a picture of what was inside. She sent me a picture of the certificate of admission, and my mom doesn’t speak very good English, so she followed up by asking what the certificate meant.

At this moment I was at dinner with my friends, when I saw the picture, I dropped my phone on top of my dinner out of surprise, and my friends picked up my phone and yelled to the restaurant I had been accepted to USC. Our server and tables around us cheered, and I ate a biiiigg ‘congratulations’ dessert.

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

While at USC I am most excited to explore the opportunities offered through such a vibrant and dynamic city. I’m almost impatient to discover the countless ways I can get involved in the community and learn about the programs abroad. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been so eager to learn from my surroundings and experience the diversity USC has to offer.

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

Upon leaving for college, I knew I was going to miss my family’s cooking the most. Knowing this, my parents bottled up the salsas they always make at home so I could bring some along. Anyone who knows me knows I can’t have a meal without hot sauce. This meant a lot to me because it’s a small part of my family and home I can always have here with me.

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

When I left for college, my parents emphasized the importance of embracing and never forgetting my roots. They had done this my entire life, but during this transition, I think it’s especially significant because my background has made me who I am today. My parents and family greatly contribute to my drive and character; it’s important for me to always recognize this.

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

Four years from now I hope to have never stopped growing and learning from the people and community
I surround myself with. I hope to be someone I can continue to be proud of.

Cynthia Aceves, international relations & global economy major, is the first in her family to go to college. She’s passionate about social justice and service. She mentored children while their parents learned English at a local community center, was camp counselor for undocumented children at a non-profit, and worked 16 hours a week, all while maintaining strong grades in her rigorous high school academic curriculum.