I remember two years ago when I had to make the most difficult decision of my life: where to commit for college. Not only was I looking at various scholarships and different financial aid packages, but I was also looking at different cities, different engineering programs, and ultimately different paths for my life. My parents and friends all had their own ideas of what I should do, but in the end I knew it was my decision to make because I was going to be the one going there for the next years, no one else. Obviously, I chose USC and it was the best decision of my life.
Whenever I tell people why I chose USC, I usually simply say “I wanted school that had everything, so that’s why I picked USC.” Sometimes I forget that I need to give my own definition of what “everything” in a college is. One thing that was extremely important to me was prestige of the university and the engineering program. I remember when I told people that I got into USC for engineering, their mouths would drop and their eyes would get wide. At the time, I had no idea how prestigious USC and Viterbi especially were! Along with a good engineering program, I wanted a program that had my major specifically, Environmental Engineering. Since it is still a less common major, not many of the universities I applied to even had a program, and if they did, I could tell that there weren’t a lot of resources put into it. USC’s Environmental Engineering program is established and the faculty are winning awards every year for the most innovative research out there, and that meant a lot to me.
Prestige and honor meant to nothing to me though if the social atmosphere wasn’t fun and lively. A lot of schools boasted to me about their academic programs, but I was also concerned with the people I would be making friends with and the things I could do outside of my classes. Walking onto USC’s campus, it was sunny and people were walking and long boarding around, smiling and laughing, and I loved the vibes that came with that. The VSAs at my Preview USC talked about Troy Camp and Greek life and exploring LA on the weekends with their friends and they all seemed so genuinely happy. Weird as it may sound, football was a huge part of this too. I wanted a school that loved football and made a big deal about game days!
Now that I’m finishing up my second year here, I can honestly say that I am in the best years of my life right now. USC was everything I expected it to be and then some. I had a list of things that I wanted and I chose USC because it had everything on that list, but what I didn’t anticipate was all of the things that weren’t on my list. Even though I didn’t choose USC for the alumni network, the research opportunities, the study abroad programs, or the internship possibilities, those are now some of my favorite things about coming here. Becoming a member of the Trojan Family has been the most amazing experience for me, and I’m so happy I chose USC!
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