USC is magical place

Avi Kaye

Volleyball player Emily Young is finished with her spohomore year at USC.

I am very lucky. I have been at a magical, beautiful, place for the past two years. This place has allowed me to grow as a person and has taken me on countless adventures. That place is the University of Southern California. As my sophomore year comes to a close, it has left me to wonder: Where has the time gone? It still seems like there is so much that I want to do and now, I have less time to get it all done. Studying and playing volleyball at USC has afforded me a lot of unique opportunities over the last two years. So in recapping my first two years here, I wanted to share some of the cool things I have accomplished that are special to USC, and where I hope to go in the next two years.

Volleyball has taken me to a lot of places. Literally. In season, we travel to Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Northern California. For our preseason matches, we have been as far east as Pennsylvania, and have gone to Florida and Texas as well. In the past two years, our team has been to two NCAA regional championships: one in Hawaii, and one in Texas, along with a trip to the Final Four.

Our team has also played out of the country. Last summer, we went to Europe to play in Slovenia, Serbia, and Italy. Beyond the chance to travel to new places, playing at USC has also allowed me to forge unforgettable bonds and memories with my teammates that I will cherish for the rest of my life. These teammates are some of the most caring, fun, individuals that I have ever met. They’ve invited me into their homes and into their families. I’ve had to send off six amazing seniors, and have welcomed 10 great freshmen, six of which are arriving, this summer.

In my next two years at USC, I want to go to two more final fours and win national championships. It’s every player’s aspiration to win a national championship, but I know at USC it is a goal that we work for everyday.

Playing volleyball at USC also gave me the unique opportunity to play the first season of collegiate sand volleyball in the history of the sport. By learning how to play on the sand, my love for the game has grown. I hope to compete with the sand team in a USC jersey once more after I am done with my indoor career. I am sure to be found playing some sand volleyball this summer somewhere at the beach.

Outside of playing volleyball, I’ve been on countless adventures in Southern California. I have gone surfing, rock climbing, skied at Mammoth and jumped off a waterfall. At USC, I’ve participated in a salsa dancing class and in a sailing class where we sailed to Catalina and spent the night aboard. This summer, I intend to have more adventures. In fact, my roommates and I already have a list of things we want to do. We’re kind of adrenaline junkies.

Since USC is in the heart of Los Angeles, I have also had the opportunity to attend some really cool events from the Teen Choice Awards, to American Idol tapings, Lakers games, Kings games, Dodgers games, concerts at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Disneyland. This summer, I will be in L.A., interning, taking summer school and training for the upcoming volleyball season. I look forward to exploring L.A. more by going to museums and visiting the beach often. I also hope to finally attend a concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

USC is a really special place. I’ve met a lot of great people and accomplished a lot of great things. Although time will continue to fly, I hope to make the most of my next two years here on campus. Ready, set, go! See you all, again, this preseason. Fight on!