Coming from a small high school in a small town, I dreamed of going to largely stimulating college environment.  When I visited USC, I was almost overwhelmed by all of the great opportunities that were available to students.  I noticed the challenging academics, wide range of student activities, amazing research and awesome undergrad programs, all which clearly stimulated the undergrad’s knowledge, worldliness, critical thinking and teamwork.  With these opportunities I knew I could grow into the person I wanted to become a few years down the road.

Lovely downtown LA backdrop, with USC in front.


In high school I was very interested in challenging myself, and I knew USC offered the opportunity to continue to do so.  USC’s academics are world class; super challenging yet highly rewarding and stimulating at the same time.  My professors give my classes the tools to succeed, but it’s up to us to apply them and really put work and effort into the homework, projects and exams in order to excel.  I’ve no doubt improved my problem solving skills and stimulated the engineering side of my brain!

Ferris wheel during Conquest, a festival/concert at USC

Ferris wheel during Conquest, a festival/concert at USC

To be honest, I was never an avid fan of group projects in high school.  It seemed the work was always unevenly distributed, and I never walked away from a group project thinking I gained a lot from it.  However, since coming to USC and having fellow Trojans as group members, I’ve noticed a considerable difference.  The caliber of my classmates’ work ethic is just unparalleled, and working and conversing with them has stimulated my own critical thinking and problem solving skills.  I always feel so blessed to have such great classmates and friends that help push me to the next level.

Beautiful sunset over the Lyon Center’s pool.

Compared to my high school, the student life presence here is INSANE; we only had a small fraction of the student organizations that USC has.  I remember walking down Trousdale on the day of the student involvement fair and being super impressed with the amount of passionate students representing their orgs to interested passersby.  I’ve taken on leadership roles in the orgs I found the greatest passion for, which has stimulated my leadership, teamwork, and creativity.  I’m always thinking of additional programs to start, ways to attract higher attendance at events, and innovative ways to make the org more of a community.  Definitely half of my learning has been stimulated by my student org involvement.

New fountain in center of campus!

And of course, what could be more stimulating than the weather??  It’s almost impossible to remain stagnant and indoors when the sun is shining and there isn’t a cloud in the sky.  I’ve taken advantage of the awesome climate here and took up running, even training for the LA Marathon (which is in 3 days – ahhh!), in addition to fun trips to the beach which is just 20 minutes away.

griffith and LA

Griffith Observatory (one of the best free things to do in LA).

The stimulating environment of USC attracted me like a magnet.  I am positive that my 2.5 years here played a direct role in shaping myself to become the person I am today.  I have loved watching myself mature and grow with everything USC offers, and I am so grateful to have had the foresight to choose the best college option ever!!