My sister is about to start her descent into the college application process as a rising high school senior, so now, most of my phone calls home are about picking schools, majors, essay topics, and everything else college related. It got me thinking about my own experience with picking schools and how on earth I ended up at USC, a school I didn’t know existed until my junior year of high school. I didn’t know I even wanted to be an engineer until sometime during my junior year, so looking back it feels as if that time in my life was pure chaos and I am lucky I made it to college at all. Upon recalling all of this with my parents, they couldn’t stop laughing at me. To them, it was so obvious I was going to end up an engineer even though I was so involved in the arts.
They went on to talk about how when I was little, I would spend hours making palaces for my barbies out of whatever I could find, be it books, computer parts, old clothes, or hot glue. They knew that my life was going to be shaped around using my imagination. Now, as a semi-adult in college, my tool box is no longer made of picture books and hard drives (well maybe hard drives) but math and science and their ability to create the impossible. I know how discouraging it can be to see engineers as this one track kind of person, only good at being anti-social and algorithms. Fortunately, USC actively defies this by pushing engineers to be well rounded creative people, proved by the varied curriculum and the flexibility engineer’s have when choosing classes between schools. Here I get to minor in dance, learn about art history, vampires and sailing, all while being at a world class engineering school. I honestly never thought that a place like that could exist let alone be filled with some awesome people. The institutions here are fantastic, but it wouldn’t be the incredible place it is today without the people. Everyone is so collaborative and lifts each other up because we all have such varied interests, I got so hung up on the engineering stereotype that I was shocked when all the engineers I met are social and easy to talk. I could go on forever about why the faculty, programs, classes, clubs, resources, etc. are all amazing here, but that would be longer than would fit in a blog post, so just know that I chose USC because I couldn’t see myself anywhere else.