University of Southern California

Student Life Blog

Rini Goes Global


By Rini Sampath Friday, June 28, 2013

My mom gave me a name that made substitute teachers pause and stutter while calling roll. At 26 letters long, my full name, Vidhyarini Karikalan Sampath, never fit on scantron sheets or ID cards. So now, I go by Rini. But my name isn’t the only thing that has changed since I left India at the age of three.

Once upon a time, I wanted to be everything from an astronaut to a children’s doctor. But good thing I didn’t follow through with both of those ideas because blood and heights make me queasy.

It’s 2013, I’m 18 years old, and I’m on track for law school. Law doesn’t require me to shoot into outer space or administer shots to five-year-olds. Rather, I have the opportunity to explore the world with my words and with my speech. As an international relations (global business) major at USC, I’m so happy with my academic choices that the only complaint I have thus far is that the global business part of my major has to go in parentheses.

Right now, I’m blogging from a rural Indian village, where I am for a good chunk of my summer. I’ll try my best to describe my experiences without sounding like a Danny Boyle screenplay, but I can’t guarantee anything. So far, apart from the mosquito bites and sticky weather, it’s been nice.  My foundation brush hasn’t touched my face in days. My flat iron is lost in my luggage. No text messages, Snapchats, or Facebook alerts to interrupt my conversations with family. I’m experiencing things for my own memories, rather than for  Instagram or Twitter.

But as interesting as India is, once I’m back to the city of Irvine, Calif., I’ll still have a lot to say. Because when I’m not at my marketing internship, I’m always out and about in the surrounding cities.

Overall, I’m excited to make the most out of this summer, especially with a busy semester coming up. In the fall, you can find me cranking out opinion pieces in the newsroom as the Daily Trojan‘s editorial director. I’ll be proudly competing for the USC Mock Trial team at tournaments across the country. And as the assistant director of external relations in the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), I’m looking forward to helping shape a better campus community.

But all lengthy titles aside, this summer, I’m just Rini. And even if it takes an eternity for my blogs to upload with this spotty dial-up connection and sporadic electricity outages, I can’t wait to share my musings with you.

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