This past weekend was a crazy one for me. In addition to prepping my senior design presentation, the Viterbi EXPO for Discover USC, I ran a half marathon with my friend and fellow VSA, Bethany!

I’m from Camarillo, CA which is a small-ish farming based town just an hour north west of LA. I’ve been around and in and out of this city my whole life, and I’ve now lived directly in the city for three years and through out all these things I’ve gone back and forth with loving it, hating it, accepting it, but this weekend I fell in love with this beautiful, weird, and crazy city again. The route for the half marathon started at LA Live, ran past USC, around the Coliseum, back up Fig to Wilshire to the Wiltern theater and back to LA Live. (That felt a lot like that SNL skit about californians…). For non LA natives, it coved a lot of LA and a lot of different areas of LA.

Running this race reminded me of how crazy diverse this city is, but yet how forward thinking and accepting everyone here is. People of all shapes, sizes, genders and colors were running but everyone supported everyone. And honestly, that’s exactly how I’ve felt being here. There are so many cultures in this melting pot of a city that there’s always someone that will have a similar background as you to find and confide with, and there are men, women, and people of color among every socioeconomic class. I honestly can say, that’s an amazing thing that’s incredibly hard to find.

My Halloween costume took a bit longer to finish this year, but it was worth it! #rockandrollhalfmarathon

A photo posted by bettystearns (@bettystearns) on

While running 13.1 miles destroyed my legs (RIP inner thigh chafing), it took me to communities in LA that I’d never been to, yet people just made signs to support others for the heck of it, and seeing that for 13.1 miles reminded me that this is one of the best cities in the world.

I ran the 13.1 miles so you don’t have to. If you’re considering if LA is for you. Don’t think twice, just do it. Because it most likely is.

Fight on!


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Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2017, Learn more on her profile here!