Admitted student season is in full swing for graduating seniors and universities across the country! I know that for many of the people potentially reading this, the decision of where to go to college is on the forefront of many minds. It isn’t a decision to be made a lightly; a choice you make as a high schooler will define upwards of four years of your life, affecting the people you’ll encounter, the things you learn, and the experiences you’ll have that may define your young adulthood. But, no pressure, right? I wrote up this blog in the hopes that my experience in the college decision process will give some insight on how I went about making that decision and how I ended up at USC!
As a Californian, born and raised, a lot of my applications and top choices ended up being places that weren’t terribly far from home, a definite plus. I focused a lot of my energy on state schools, both in the UC (University of California) and Cal State (California State) system, and a couple of private schools in the California area. After spending the majority of senior year waiting, admissions season came with a slew of refreshing application portals and bated breath. At the end of the day, when all the admissions decisions were out and all the financial aid packages had come in, my choices were narrowed down to three: USC, UC Santa Barbara, and UC San Diego. Since all these schools were within two hours of travel from my hometown, I had the wonderful opportunity to be able to visit all of these campuses before making any sort of decision.
Even though I visited each campus at least once, it took two visits to USC before I made to the decision to walk into the campus bookstore, buy a USC sweatshirt, and then rush home to accept my admissions decision. The first time I visited was during an explore USC, where I got to meet with admissions staff who answered all my questions around the engineering school before I went to lunch to get some personal time with a current USC student. Being able to get the student perspective on the university was something that was truly invaluable to me; getting to see someone talk so passionately about their classes and their school really left an impression on me. The next time I went to USC, it was for admitted student day! This was the day that I well I truly knew that I belonged at USC. I got to meet even more students and professors and felt comfortable enough to share how nervous I was about entering an engineering program. I little to no experience with engineering in general in high school, much less computer engineering, the discipline that I was admitted into. But time and time I was reassured that not having this exposure was perfectly okay! I wasn’t expected to know everything about what engineering was or that the discipline I chose was perfect for me. The ability to change majors easily and the resources that USC had available to have students be successful in their classes, in addition to the general pride in the school that I saw the student body carry, was ultimately what got me to sign on to be a trojan in the first place.
Two years later, here I am writing this blog as a full-fledged engineering student at USC where I am happy to report that I think I made the right decision when it came to choosing where to go to college. Ultimately, choosing where to go to college is a uniquely personal decision and I hope this blog shed some light on what made USC such a great option for me as someone who was making that same decision not too long ago. Best of luck and fight on!