Making it through the Application, and the Semester

Jacob Toney College Applications, Home Life, Housing, Involvement, Jacob, Trojan Spirit, Viterbi Life, Viterbi Plus, Why USC Leave a Comment

Hey everyone! Well, it’s Week 13, and the semester is coming to an end. Before I know it, I’ll be back home, enjoying the time off with family, and getting excited for the new year. This semester sure was a crazy one; at times it felt like the days flew by, and other times, the weeks just wouldn’t end. Even though it’s been tough, I’ve learned a lot over the course of the past months, and not just in the classroom. Living more on my own than before, and having to cook my own meals and take care of myself has helped me build some skills I didn’t event think about in the past, and made me more independent. Because at the end of the day, what good are engineering models and differential equations if you can’t make yourself dinner?

Yes, I ate them all by myself.

Even though it’s been the busiest yet, this semester has also been my most productive. I’ve moved past many of the intro science and engineering courses and am getting a taste for what upper-division classes in my major are like. I’ve gotten more involved in the student community through clubs and mentor relationships that have given me a great chance to learn from others, and also pass on everything I learned last year to the freshmen. So even though the past 13 weeks have been rough, they’ve also made me more involved, wiser, and just an overall more balanced person. They’ve made me think about why I applied to USC in the first place, and everything I wanted out of a university. But first, let’s take a step back from the decision process, and think about what comes first – the application.

When I was choosing what schools to apply to, there were a lot of different factors I was considering. First off, I wanted to be able to come home whenever I needed or wanted to. I don’t mean that I only looked at schools in my backyard, but I narrowed my search only to California, since the state has some of the best universities in the nation, and I’d still be able to visit my family for birthdays, special occasions, or just when things get tough.

I needed a hug.

I also wanted a school that didn’t make me give up everything else I loved besides STEM. History, the arts, and humanities have always been subjects I really enjoyed in school, so I didn’t want to have to give that side of me up just because I was an engineering major. Because of this, I researched schools that gave their students a well-rounded education and experience.

The whole applying process was tough, but at the end of the day, all you can really do is be yourself. Don’t be afraid to let your personality show in your writing – in fact, try to make sure it does shine through! Be honest, candid, and let the admissions staff know why it is you’re so interested in their school, and why you belong there. I know it feels overwhelming, but you’ll make it through it! Everyone does.

In my case, I was fortunate enough to have many very, very attractive choices. While it was a blessing, it also made the decision process that much harder! Though you all already know where I ended up (*spoilers*), the reason I chose USC was because of out of all the options, it was the one that not only had everything I was looking for in a school, but it also made me feel at home, and truly part of a community. And you can’t put a price on that.

Some father-son time at the game against Cal. Can you tell we’re related?

About the Author

Jacob is a sophomore studying Chemical Engineering. Click above to find out more!


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