Current USD First Year Answering Questions!!!

Hi everyone, I am currently a first-year at USD and am about to finish the semester. I am a Psychology major still looking to explore minors. I am absolutely loving it here and know that I made the right choice for me. If anyone has questions about student life, dining, housing, or anything, feel free to post down below and I will try to reply to every question possible. Congratulations on getting into USD, Class of 2024!!!

Thanks for offering to answer questions. More information would really be helpful as staff don’t seem to be available due to COVID response.

  1. Is there anything that you wish you had known when you started?
  2. Which meal plan is most appropriate for someone living on campus?
  3. Are you familiar with the honors program? It appears that honors students are required to live together in Valley B. Do honors students still get opportunities to mix/make friends with other groups? How are honors students perceived by others on campus?
  4. Do students select classes based on the professor? Are there many tough weeder classes or professors to avoid?

Hi! Great questions, I’m going to answer them as best as I can, if you need any clarification, feel free to reach out again.

  1. I wish that I put myself out there more and got to know the people on my actual floor and how crucial it is to make friends during orientation weekend. During orientation weekend, you're assigned a group that you go with to everything. REACH OUT AND GET TO KNOW PEOPLE. You don't wanna be that person that doesn't really talk to anyone because then you won't have any friends to socialize with at events during the weekend, especially the sports games. It just also sets you up well because then during the school year, you'll keep in touch with those friends and then make more connections, allowing yourself to meet more people and have fun! If you were looking for more of a question about the school, let me know... I can answer more.
  2. So I had the lowest meal plan and for me, it was more than enough. I had leftover swipes at the end of the semester. If you're not familiar with how the meal plans work, you have swipes and dining dollars. Swipes are used for dinner every night and then for brunch on the weekends. You can only use swipes for these times and you can't exchange them for dining dollars. The lowest plan gives you 105. Along with the swipes, you get dining dollars. These dining dollars are used for breakfast and lunch on weekdays and you can also use them to get snacks in the grocery store on campus as well as coffee in the coffee shop or other dining places. I found myself cutting close on the dining dollars, but you can always add more, that's the best part. Dining dollars transfer at the end of semester onto Spring, but SWIPES DO NOT.
  3. Yes, so I actually lived in Camino Hall this year (closed for renovation in 2020) and we lived with the Honors kids. This allowed us to mingle with them as well. In the Valley, it may be different because since there are multiple floors, they might have all the honors kids on one floor possibly, but if they don't, you will be living with non-honors. Honestly though, honors kids hangout with non-honors kids because you meet people in other core classes. Honors kids are perceived as normal students by others, no one treats them specially or badly, we're all Toreros here!
  4. Unfortunately, students do not get to pick their professors for the Fall. However, you do get the chance to change your schedule during orientation weekend, but by this time many of the classes are all filled up so you won't really have much of a choice with what professor you have for what class. I know the Bio and Chem classes are usually pretty difficult, but it depends on which professor you have. The best part is that most professors will still want their students to pass so as long your student is putting in the work to do well, professors will be more than willing to help out. If you have any questions about specific department/ professors feel free to message me privately and I can answer those.

Hope this was helpful, please don’t hesitate to reach out again!

This is so nice of you! I have a couple things we’re wondering about.

  1. Were you happy with how the school dealt with everything this spring? Did they keep students up to date with all the changes? Did you get any credit for room and dining?
  2. Do students bring bikes to campus? Are there trails and places to bike to from campus? My daughter won’t have a car.
    Thanks so much!

Hi, @mn1344 and congratulations on your daughter’s acceptance!

  1. Yes, honestly. Even though we were the last school in the SD area to receive the notice that we were going remote, the situation was handled very calmly and allowed students to make the transition smoothly. Classes were canceled for a week to allow students to pack up and move back home. If you weren't able to, you were allowed to make requests and stay. RA's, Professors and everyone else was super supportive and made sure we had everything we needed, along with putting low stress on us. We did receive a 60% credit for housing and dining and this can be used for next fall or petition for a refund.
  2. Yes, students do bring bikes, but honestly, I find them unnecessary. No one rides them around campus because it is so small and you can literally walk everywhere which is great. But, if you enjoy riding bikes off-campus, it's great! Mission Beach is about 15 mins away with driving and you can bike around the beaches and parks there. All freshmen are not allowed to have a car next semester so she will not be alone.

Let me know if you have any more questions, I hope I answered them well :slight_smile:

Thank you so much for the great info! We are super excited to see campus in the fall, we were never able to visit and I have so many questions - you have helped a lot. Thanks!

@kh8501 Hi I’m an accepted student and I was wondering is the campus crowded on the weekends? are there things to do on campus? do students really attend games?

@moundalay Hi! Congratulations :slight_smile: I’m going to be really honest with you, campus is pretty dead on the weekends, everyone is off doing their own thing and it is pretty quiet. There are things off campus, but on campus, super quiet. Students attend games here and there, depending on the sport and who we are playing.

@kh8501 thanks! Are you still happy with your decision of USD? What are some negative things about the school?

@moundalay, ABSOLUTELY! USD was the right choice for me and I did not even realize it until I was about a week in and was just walking around campus. I just took everything in and was like, yeah this just feels right. I absolutely love everything about my professors and the campus. Everyone just CARES about you and you will find a place on campus, no matter what. Some negative things I would have to say that since it is such a small school, it is going to be a little less lively on the weekends. Also, everyone is going to know each other so if something bad happens, you’re bound to run into them again somehow in the future. You can’t really avoid anyone lol. Another thing is the school is mainly white, which can be intimidating to students of color, but most people are pretty accepting and kind to each other. If you have any more questions, please feel free to private message me, I can go into more depth!