USC Proverb

USC Proverb

Personal Background:

My mom works in admissions for a university. She grew up in Palos Verdes, California where her father was a dentist known throughout her entire community. She now lives in Huntington Beach with her family.


“The first year: It’s brand new. The second year: It’s tradition. The third year: We’ve always done it that way.”

My mom heard this quote from a man named Ken Taylor when she was a young professional working at a university. It meant a lot to her since she was always trying to give new ideas to the students, but they did not seem to want to change anything since everything they did seemed to follow certain “traditions.” It taught her that she had to try even harder to get her new ideas across since she would not be taken seriously the first time because she would be seen as breaking tradition. It also showed her how fast certain traditions catch on. It may not necessarily be the next year as it is in this case, but it can be a similar time scale for the fact that once it has started, the change becomes very difficult.

Ken Taylor came up with this when he was working with Greek Life at the University of Southern California. He started to break some of the old traditions by replacing them with newer ones. He was able to make a breakthrough in a sense. It made it easier to work with the other systems when they were not looking at everything as a tradition to be broken. It was a way to start new ones, and keep parts of the old ones.


This a proverb because is a fixed phrase. It is something that is meant to make someone laugh, as well as think. It is also a proverb that challenges many young professionals that they need to be able to try their hardest to make their way into a new place. New ideas do not always get recognized.

To me, this proverb says something about the school I go to. We are very fond of out traditions, and we want to keep them. It is both good and bad that we do this. We may be neglaecting new ideas without even knowing. But I am also proud to be part of my school’s pride.