If you’re reading this, you probably go to USC. If you go to USC, you’ve had the concept of the Trojan Family drilled into your head since stepping foot on University Park Campus.
The Trojan Family is comprised of every USC student, past and present. In a lot of ways this is great – you’re kind of “related” to like likes of Will Ferrell, Forest Whitaker, Kyra Sedgwick, Allyson Felix, and George Lucas. Plus Frank Gehry, Larry Flax (the co-founder of California Pizza Kitchen), Neil Armstrong, Susan Downey (as in Robert’s wife/film producer), and John Wayne. I’m going to stop bragging about our family because that’s tacky, but there are a lot of Trojan Family members we should be proud of.
I wish people like OJ Simpson were excommunicated from the family, but alas, families always have a couple bad seeds. Rob Kardashian has done a whole lot with his degree from USC, as has Joe Francis (founder of Girls Gone Wild). I’m sure there are several other humiliating USC alumni, but I’m getting embarrassed doing research on this.
Here’s the thing I’ve learned about the Trojan Family during my time at USC: it has the potential to be amazing. It’s a huge alumni network that will afford many of us incredible opportunities. Fight On, etc., etc.
Here’s the other thing I’ve learned about the Trojan Family during my time at USC: like any huge, extended family, there are people you are related to… but don’t actually like.
Being at USC is kind of like being on a four-year family reunion. You love hanging out with 80% of the family members you interact with. Then there’s that great-aunt who always ends up with underwear on her head or the cousin who brags about how much cocaine he does (neither of those scenarios have ever happened to me, but I’m using creative license).
On a weekly basis, I pass by people having conversations that make me want to bang my head against Trousdale’s renovated cement. I do not understand how some people in my Trojan Family got into the family. What strings did they pull? What calls did their parents make? Are they actually insanely book smart and just sound like they have third-grade level intelligence? Last week I heard a senior ask someone “what’s Doheny?” … in front of Doheny. Another time someone asked me if I spoke Korean from growing up in China. Why.
Like any place that is home to tens of thousands of people, there’s also the personalities you can’t handle. The future Joe Francises. The future Real Housewives: I Went to USC and Married Rich cast. They’re in your dorm halls. They’re cutting you in the Seeds line. They’re walking in the bike lanes on Trousdale. But they’re still family.
Despite a (very loud) minority population that makes me want to commit metaphorical seppuku on Tommy’s sword (NOT A EUPHENISM), the one thing that makes tolerating the annoying Trojan Family members a little bit sweeter is this: they probably won’t pull an OJ. The other redeeming quality of these bad seed Trojan Family members — the fact that they stand out so much indicates how awesome the majority of the Family is. For every Joe Francis there are ninety-nine Robert Zemeckises, Sol Prices, or Lisa Lings. And those are the people (perhaps not literally those three people, but you get what I mean) that will continually make you proud to be a Trojan/grant you opportunities for being part of the Family.