Beyond These Walls

By: Lilian “Whac-a-mole” Aluri

For all of my life, I have existed in some kind of a bubble.  Leaving my home in Columbia, South Carolina, I thought I was escaping the bubble of that “old provincial town.”  Little did I know then, I was only exchanging one walled-in community for another, this time one literally surrounded by gates.  As different as the world of USC was from my upbringing, I quickly began to understand that the student community I lived in was not necessarily closer to the “real world” than my hometown.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with immersing yourself within a single community, I have found that relationships, faith, and ambition all become more meaningful when taken out of comfortable contexts.  It is natural for us to find what’s comfortable and make a home there.  Yet, there is something incredibly rewarding and cultivating about leaving our comfort zones and challenging ourselves to level up.  

Troy Camp has provided me with a door to the world outside USC and broadened my perspective on issues of family, culture, and economics.  Oddly, the older I get and the more I see of the world, the more I realize that I have yet to learn and understand.  I have grown to love our city and the people in it.

This fall, we are inviting you to join us in our commitment to friendship through becoming a Troy Camp counselor.  Whether or not Troy Camp is for you, I encourage you to seek out ways to leave the bubble of USC and become involved in the community just surrounding Los Angeles.  There are so many wonderful programs at USC that will challenge you and stretch your understanding of the world.  So, travel, teach, explore, design, create, write, and read your way into the world outside your comfort zone.