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First-year faces: Macie Miller brings her mental health advocacy to USC

Macie Miller always dreamed of going to USC. Now that she’s officially a Trojan, she plans to continue being a mental health advocate as she soaks up the new world around her.

Macie Miller
Macie Miller is a first-year psychology major and mental health advocate. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Macie Miller, a first-year psychology major and mental health advocate, came to USC from a little suburb in Texas that’s also home to the Dallas Cowboys practice stadium. She shared her story with USC News, including what brought her to USC and what she hopes to gain from her time as a Trojan.

What is one thing you brought with you that is most meaningful or representative of who you are?

One of the most important things I brought to California is my journal. As basic as it sounds, I have entries in there from every day for the past year. It’s nice to look through, see how much I’ve grown and reflect on things. It’s one thing to look through pictures, but to read back on my thoughts is even more realistic and memorable.

What are your greatest hobbies, passions and interests?

Art of any form. I am extremely unathletic, so I picked up guitar as a kid and have continued playing to this day. I’ve recently gotten into electronic music for a change in genre, and I love it. I also do digital art and video editing for fun. I hope to turn it into something more than just a hobby in the future, but for now, drawing is something I do in my free time.

What are you most excited to do or get involved in now that school has started?

I’m hoping to get more information on joining the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I meet with a therapist in Dallas and she told me that USC would most likely have a chapter to join. Hopefully, I will become a part of the organization as its purpose is very important to me. I also plan on going through rush in the spring.

Was there an impactful experience in your life that really shaped who you are today?

The first event that comes to mind is getting my dog, Jezebel. Though it may seem insignificant, raising her made me a million times more responsible and mature in a way I had never experienced before. Having a living being to care for definitely gives you a different perspective on things.

Describe yourself as a high school student.

I was not a huge fan of high school because of how limited the course selection was. That said, I was extremely eager to graduate come my junior year and planned to graduate a semester early. I probably bit off more than I could chew, but I was able to pull it off and I don’t regret doing so.

What do you think is the greatest achievement or highest point of your life so far — personal, professional or academic?

I truly think my biggest accomplishment thus far is getting into USC. I had no expectation of getting in while going through the application process, but I’m so glad I did. This school is such a dream for so many people, including myself, so to get in was a big deal and I was extremely proud of myself.

Why did you choose USC, and what did you do when you found out you got in?

As I said, USC has been my dream school since I found out about it in middle school. I grew doubtful as I realized how difficult it was to get in, so once I got my acceptance letter, I was shocked. Funny story: I was getting my hair dyed, and opened the email while my stylist was putting foils in. I said to her, “I think I got in?” and then I turned my phone off and opened the email again to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. They weren’t. It was a very surreal moment.

How do you think you will change or grow by the time you graduate?

I hope by graduation I will be more knowledgeable about the world. I’ve lived in one tiny bubble my whole life, so I think California will give me a broader realm of different ideas and understandings within life as a whole.

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First-year faces: Macie Miller brings her mental health advocacy to USC

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