When I received the news of my spring admission, I was overwhelmed with feelings of excitement and uncertainty. While I had just been admitted to one of the most prestigious universities in the country, I could not foresee how my late start would impact my academic and social life at USC as I would be missing out on a semester’s worth of activities and interactions.
However, I was determined to not let myself fall behind! During the Fall semester, I took 21 units worth of credits at my local community college. I continued my summer research at the Long Beach Veterans Affairs hospital and any spare time I had left over was dedicated to keeping an eye on everything that was going on at USC. By tuning in weekly to the Viterbi Voices Podcast, I was able to make note of the student organizations and activities that captivated me. I conducted further research before I arrived on campus to learn about their initiatives so that I would be prepared to make a good first impression on the talented students and faculty who were deeply engaged in impacting USC’s campus and the surrounding community.
Despite my meticulous planning, there was no way I could predict the amount of love and support I would receive during the very first day of classes (which also happened to be my birthday) and onwards! As a Spring Admit, I was placed in Troy East, university apartment housing reserved for upperclassmen. While I didn’t have the traditional dorm experience, living with four other sophomores provided its benefits. I was able to pick their brains about classes, professors, and involvements as they had already accumulated over a year’s worth of experiences. By doing so, I skipped many of the struggles that fall freshmen face.
That first week of classes set the tone for the rest of my semester. I attended both the USC and Viterbi Involvement Fairs and talked to the accomplished student leaders who I had been reading about for the past few months. By the end of my first semester, I had been part of the team that put on Spark SC’s biannual Startup Career Fair (which I became the lead of the following semester), was an active member of the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering, and joined the Undergraduate Student Government. I had surrounded myself with motivated students who challenged me and pushed me to become better both technically and as an individual.
During the Spring of 2017, I was a Freshman Academy Coach alongside Shana for all the Spring Admit Viterbi Freshmen. I am inspired to serve as their resource and share my triumphs and struggles with them in hope that they will learn from my experiences and carve their own path in the land of endless opportunity that is Viterbi and USC. Had I not been a Spring Admit, I might have never had the passion to make the most of my time here. What seemed like a major disadvantage, ended up being one of my greatest strengths.