Why did I really move to the states?

I dont know. What made me wanna move all the way from little Norway to California to study? To be honest, it could have been NYC or Miami which was other places I was looking at. But I choose California cause my Brazilian friend Diego told me California was the ultimate college state. It was as simple as that.

But why USC? I came here when I was 16 to watch a USC football game and I remember driving pass the university and the row (the street where the fraternities and sororities are located) and it looked just like the movies. The college spirit was so visible that it gave me goosebumps and I got that insticitve feeling inside me telling me that this was right.

10155575_10152336945359605_1980129340386378334_nBut couldnt I just have stayed in Norway and gotten an education there? I was tired. Tired of cold winters, a life that was just always the same, and I honestly felt a bit different from everyone else. Everyone wanted to become lawyers and psychologists, and I choose something completely different like Communication and entrepenourship.

I needed something new in my life, and I also had an urging feeling of wanting to escape a bit of the past.

When you have had the same friends for several years it becomes difficult to change because they already have you in this tiny little box, which makes changing hard cause it will disrupt their image of you. But I felt the need to meet new people to discover myself again.

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Did it help? Yes. I did find new sides to myself. By traveling and moving here I have discovered that I am honest at heart, loyal, trustworthy, nice as a person, have a big and open heart, is an excelent small talker, can recognize peoples faces easily, that I am smart (honestly I spent almost 13 years of my life thinking I was stupid cause I am terrible with math and couldnt learn to read before I was 7.. )I also discovered that I am very unpatient and that my sarcasm is not a universal type of humor.

Traveling has allowed me to rediscover myself. It has let me see myself through the eyes of another culture, I have grown strong principles that I try my best to always stand by. It has made me better, and also made me into a more complete human being. Moving to the states has allowed me to grow and opened my eyes and soul. And that is the reason why I moved to the states: Cause I wanted to spire and grow.

chris

Vegas Invite

I am sorry that I only post pictures from our sorority and fraternity events here at USC, but its always the events that I end up taking pictures as soo.

This last weekend we went to Vegas for USCs fraternity invites. I got invited almost two months ago by this random guy (lets call him Jack) over a text message. I had no idea who he was, but I met him a week later at another event and because he was really sweet I went along with the idea of going with him to Vegas.

Vegas for the fraternities happens once a year. Each of the 15 fraternities at USC take a date to Vegas where they cover everything from the hotel room to drinks for their dates. This is their most formal invite and something all sorority girls wish to go to (FREE TRIP TO VEGAS). Its kinda cute because the guys spend weeks trying to find the best date to go with cause they are gonna spend a lot of money and time on their date.

Here is a few pictures to get you guys excited for the rest of the story haha!

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CABO BY NIGHT

Cabo by night.. is maybe not equally as fun as Mango Deck during the day, BUT it can be fun if you are ready to drink questionable shots, dance with drunk teenagers, fight with taxi drivers, hook up with randoms and stand hours in line to actually get your shots..

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I recommend buying JustColleges pass for 100 dollars so that you get to cut the lines at the clubs.

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The place to be is Squid Row, but go to Mandala next door and use your JustColleges drink tickets to avoid stading hours in line at squid row (Seriously that place has 5 bars or so but the line is never ending) OR bring a flask!

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Squid Row is fun, but you do a lot of walking around. Try getting one of those balconys that you see in the picture above. It allows you to dance with your friends without having creeper guys come up to you and try to seduce you with their horrible dancemoves (seriously Americans.. Grinding is not dancing..).

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Remember to have tone of fun with your friends. Cabo go by sooo quickly and when you get back you will sit on facebook for three days straight checking everyones cabo albums and openly wish you were there.

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Check out the Nowhere bar too! Fun place with crazy songs. I went a little insane with my moves when California girls came on..

xoxox

Christine

On my way to Los Angeles

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Just spent two amazing days in Newport with my lovely friend Kendall who is leaving for Edinburg in a few days to study abroad. Can’t believe she is leaving, USC won’t be the same without her! Take good care of her Europe!

I am currently sitting on the train back to LA. I have a friend visiting from Norway and I can’t wait to show him usc!

Homecoming

Hey you! We finished homecoming week last week and it was EPIC! so much fun!

These picture is a bit reverse, but! We ended homecoming week with an Exchange with another fraternity. This year Delta Gamma had exchange with Lambda Chi. An exchange is basically one fraternity and one sorority going togehter and renting a club/resturant. We have buses to take us to the Venue and at the venue you get to mix, dance and chat with everyone. Its a great way for people to meet others since this is not like Invite, where you must take a date. Exchange is so much! And this one got a bit crazy for everyone I think..

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Every Exchange has a theme. This events theme was pyjamas theme so we all dressed up in our morning robes and other sleepwear. 1441287_652741371445359_411421617_n 1459105_652741368112026_756812997_n

On monday Delta Gamma and Lambda new members was given the assignment to deocrate a “float”, or in this case: a golfcart.. Every team is given a theme. Ours was Under the Sea! And we actually won! DG and Lambda never win these things so we were very shocked.. 1395894_650852968300866_94029593_n 1395876_650852588300904_552269642_n

Here is the amazing team!

On the saturday after homecoming we had our game against Standford and we WON!! Best week at USC so far! Heres a picture from when everyone stormed the field in excitement!

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My favorite places in LA

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La Conversation in West Hollywood: After a long night out there is nothing better than spending the morning eating an salmon Philadelphia omelet with an Americano at La Conversation. It looks like a little Parisian café with rude and unorganized waiters that forgets your order and barley speaks English: Its my little Paris in LA. While you are waiting for the food that takes forever (seriously, 40 min for an omelet?) you can enjoy the mini croissants, mini muffins and buns in cute little baskets. Terrible service, amazing food, great location and calm environment: Success!

Café Audrey in Hollywood: Amazing salads, ice coffees and bakeries. Eaten here a few times at its so nice and cozy and the coffee tastes more European than the regular too sweet American starbucks latte. It has great food, environment and service, however the location in the middle of Hollywood is not exactly ideal.

XIV: Its the perfect place to spend your Sunday if you are not ready for Monday. Its a summer party club that spurs hysteria every time it opens. Lots of champagne, costume events, and good music.

Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills: To work here you have to be a model.. and to get a table you should always reserve. Its a great restaurant with beautiful waiters, good food and amazing white overindulged interior.

Four Seasons Rodeo Dr: I love this hotel! It has a very posh atmosphere but the service is good. Enjoy a drink at the many bars or eat dinner in their nice restaurant. If you are lucky you might get invited into one of the weddings being held at the huge ballroom there.

Apartment and Roommate Finder in LA

Hey again,

I got a few emails recently, all asking about the same thing: Apartment and roommates.

So let me start with the apartment.

First of: Where to live?

Live wherever you want, but stay away from east LA, preferably downtown (even though you can find great places there too), and North LA. However, in these “bad areas” things are cheaper, so in desperat search of a cheap apartment and not so afraid of rape and murder, sure! Go ahead! 

Consider where you are going to spend most of your time. Student? try to live close to school, however if you only go to school two days a week as I did one semester then living close to school is a little waste. Go out a lot? Live in N hollywood or Hollywood. Work? Downtown, or somewhere central close to work. Getting a car? try not to live near a freeway the you HAVE to go on everywhere you go. Traffic is hell in LA. Not getting a car? Make sure you live close to the Metro (the train in LA). That way you can get around more easily. Busses also work, but they are slow and always smell terrible with a lot of sketchy people. 

In addition, if you are not getting a car, make sure you live close to a grocery store (no, CVS does not count as a grocery store..)

On more specific locations just google “safe places in LA” or “good places to live in LA”.You can also look at a crime map (google that to), to see what kind of crimes happens in your area. Dont just look at how much crime, but what KIND of crime. There is a difference between murder and robbery.. 

Here is a forum to check out: http://www.city-data.com/forum/los-angeles/142218-top-10-best-places-live-la.html

How to find an apartment?

So, I know a lot of you have asked me about craigslist and how you dont like using it. I dident like using it before either, but when you get the hang of it you see that there is a lot of good apartments and places to rent up there. So just try it a little. 

Also Apartmentfinder is good.

Another tip is to spend first week at a motel in the area to test out the neighborhood, if you like it then go around and look for signs saying:”LEASING NOW”. This means that there is apartments available  and in LA there as tons of places that lease out. People move so much in this city that there is always something available some where. When seeing a sign, note the place and number and go on to find other places. Then go on the internet and find the places on Yelp.com. Yelp is website that gives you information about EVERYTHING in LA, and its based on reviews from people who has actually experiences the place. Great place for everything, just be critical to some of the reviews, and remember people like to rather say what they dont like than what they actually like. 

A personal tip from me on where to live is to check out the Redwood Urban website, they have nice apartments all over LA, so check it out. 

Second question: Roommates:

How to find roommates?

I have answered it before, but I will answer it again: 

Facebook: search for: USC students starting fall 13 etc. That way you may find groups that others have created to discuses their admission and some may even be asking for roommates. If you find a group you can also post:”hey looking for roommates. I am nice, clean girl/boy etc who is starting school this fall etcetc.”

Ask the school: Email the school you are attending and say you are looking for roommates and need some help. 

also check forums by googling: SMC student starting fall 13 needs roommates etc.

Craigslist: a little sketchy maybe, but make sure to meet the person in public before any further arrangements are made. 

Its easy! google it, facebook it etc and you will find someone. You are not the only one starting school remember. Everyone is freaking out just like you, so calm down. 

I hope this helps!

Also check out this link :http://www.ehow.com/how-to_4845453_apartment-la.html

Lånekassen og det å være student på et av verdens dyreste skoler

Jeg mottar max stipend og lån fra lånekassen, noe som kommer på totalt 287 620 kr. Dessverre koster skolen ca 253 000 kr i året noe som gir meg en spinkel sum på 17 000 kr å rutte med i halvåret. Legger vi til flybillett, som varier i alt fra 6000 kr til 12000 kr så begynner man å se at 17000 kr er i det minste laget selv for gjerrige meg.

Om sommeren går jeg på sommer skole (som jeg dekker selv) og har bare en måned fri som jeg tilbringer ved å jobbe hos moren min og det gir meg ca 15 000 kr. Dessverre jobber jeg ikke til jul fordi jeg bare er hjemme i tre uker og det meste av dagene er hellig dager.

Det vil si at etter flybillett og betalt leie, mobil og mat er jeg tom etter 2 månender etter jul. Resten av tiden må mine foreldre dekke for meg. Jeg er så uendelig heldig at jeg får være norsk og motta såppas mye støtte som jeg gjør, men dessverre så rekker det ikke til. For mens prisene konstant øker både på flybilletter, mat og ikke minst skolen min som øker med nesten 1000 dollar i året, har Lånekassen ikke fulgt samme pris og lønnings kurve som resten av landet siden 70 tallet… 

Det er kjipt å måtte ringe hjem til foreldre å spørre om penger i en alder av 21 år… men det strekker rett og slett ikke til. Jeg er oppgitt og lei, og har flere ganger skrevet om dette. 

Jeg kunne sikkert valgt en annen skole, men jeg fulgte drømmen og setter pris på hver eneste dag jeg tilbringer på USC. Skolen har et fantastisk nettverk, flinke lærere og spennende klasser. Hadde jeg valgt en annen skole hadde jeg absolutt ikke vært like motivert som jeg er i dag. Jeg var aldri opptatt av skole før jeg satte meg som mål å komme inn på USC. Jeg gikk fra stusselig 4.2(Norsk karakter gjennomsnitt) til 3.9 (GPA) på et år. Jeg syntes Lånekassen burde ta det til betraktning jeg når jeg kommenterer på for lite støtte og får beskjed om at jeg da burde valgt en annen skole. “For det skal jo ikke handle om penger i verdens rikeste land, det skal være like muligheter for alle”. Men selv om lånekassen er der så har de ikke gitt meg samme muligheter på USC, som om jeg skulle gått på en billigere skole. At lånekassen ikke vil gi mer støtte til de som søker seg litt høyere og mot dyrere skoler syntes jeg er latterlig.

Jeg kommer til å tilbringe resten av mitt liv på å nedbetale mitt studielån som i disse dager ligger på  nesten 400 000 kr, men det er et valg jeg har selv tatt fordi det for meg handlet om motivasjon for en ellers så vilter lite skole flink jente. Det at lånekassen ikke vil hjelpe meg, og alle andre som hatt samme studieprogresjon som meg, mer er det samme som å si:”HIT, men ikke lenger”. 

Det går mot varmere dager…

i dag er det 27 deilige grader her i LA, merker det på humøret at alt blir så mye lettere når det er litt sol ute. Har vært skikkelig sliten i det siste og tror det kommer av at det er veldig mye som har skjedd, pluss at jeg var hjemme ca en måned i mørke kalde Norge. Uansett hvor flott det er å se venner så merker jeg at mangel på lys og det at det er så kaldt virkelig tærer på kropp og sin. Derfor er det ufattelig godt å være tilbake igjen og kjenne at dagene er lengere og varmere, pluss at neglene mine begynner å vokse igjen (de bare sprekker og brekker i kulden og av mangel på dvitamin!).

Men shitt, hvordan skal jeg noen gang klare å flytte tilbake til norge?

Chris

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sweet ashley with her new bike