I’ve been lucky to spend the past three years at my happiest place on earth, USC. And even through it seems like forever ago, that means it’s only been three short years since I was staring at a pile of acceptance packages from schools all over the country, completely unsure of how I was expected to decide. I was 17, and had spent the past year focusing all of my efforts on my college applications. But I hadn’t stopped to think about what I was going to do once I actually got accepted to those places. Luckily for me, I chose the perfect school for me, but it definitely wasn’t easy.
Almost all of my friends were staying in Florida, simply applying to all of the larger, public in-state schools, and then picking the top-ranked one that accepted them. For a while, that had been my plan as well, because I couldn’t imagine myself leaving my friends that I had been with since preschool. I applied to all of the in-state schools, getting into my top choice, but decided I would apply to some of my out-of-state dream schools too, because it couldn’t hurt. I applied to top engineering schools all across the country, figuring that at worst I would at least get a cool trip out of visiting. But when I started receiving acceptances to these schools, it seemed like a dream. My parents were so excited for me, and asked if I wanted to visit anywhere. I picked my top schools, and we flew out.
The second I set foot on USC’s campus, I knew it was for me. It was the last school I visited before making a decision. It was a perfect California day, just like every other day here: sunny and 70 degrees. Campus was busy and exciting, with groups of students walking by and laughing, riding by on beach cruisers and longboards, or just reading outside. Everyone seemed so happy to be here, it was infectious. I hadn’t signed up for any tours or programs, but a tour guide saw me and my mom and invited us to crash her tour. I told her I had just been accepted here, and her face lit up as she hugged me. The next few days were a blur, wandering the campus and exploring LA for the first time, and I was hooked by the time I left.
Of every college I have ever seen, nowhere has the same spirit as USC. The second any USC student realized that I was a high school student who had been accepted, they got the biggest smile on their face and immediately started telling me about where to live, what gamedays are like, and what I should see on campus while I visited. I didn’t even have to ask any questions, because everyone was so eager to tell me everything they possibly could! It seemed surreal, but now as a current student I do the exact same thing to potential students. I’ll be introduced to a potential student who wants to apply or who has been accepted, and I have to stop myself from going on a 30-minute speech about why USC is the best place on earth and why being in Viterbi has been such an amazing opportunity for me. If you ever see me and ask me about why I chose USC, be prepared to cut me off, because I could go on forever about why I love this place!Meet Molly