As the May 1st deadline draws closer, you may be scrambling to compare schools and decide which one will be your home for the next year. I know this time can be scary, it sure was for me, but take confidence in this amazing opportunity. You worked hard in school and extracurriculars to get these acceptances (let’s hope one is from USC!), and now you get to just follow your heart to choose the one you like. Be excited! The ball is in your court now.

When I was choosing colleges, I felt very confused. My parents and I would often get bogged down in the statistics of the schools, but these really didn’t help us. Statistics tell you parts of a school, but not the part you are going to fall in love with. For me, the deciding factor was meeting current students.

To say it simply, when I met other USC students on panels or luncheons, I wanted to either become them in the future or be their best friend. USC students stuck out to me as incredibly involved in extracurriculars and social scenes, engaged in their community, and intelligent students as well. It was clear USC students, especially those in engineering, loved their studies, but also had a rich life outside of engineering. As a multifaceted student, this really attracted me.

The rest of the reasons were just icing on the cake. For example, I was unsure if engineering was the right path for me, but USC offered extreme flexibility and guidance to help me decide. It was clear to me that if I decided to switch majors or schools, USC would support me and I would not have to extend my years in college to compensate.

Additionally, Los Angeles itself has incredible weather and amazing access to outdoor locations like Big Bear, Joshua Tree, and all the incredible beaches. I knew I wanted to get outside during my time in college, and the variety of environments surrounding USC would challenge me in new ways.

I could go on and on about USC, from my enriching experience in research to the wonderful friends I have made along the way. I am so grateful that my heart told me to choose USC. All in all, I would suggest you go with your gut. I know you’re an aspiring engineer, and probably want to create venn diagrams to compare all of your schools, but this probably won’t help you much. You really need to get to know the students at each school and follow where you’re most drawn to.

College is an incredible experience and it has been a privilege to spend my time at USC. This decision is important, but no matter what I am sure you will choose a wonderful school for you because college really is what YOU make of it.

Good luck and fight on!

Emily Powis

Emily Powis

MAJOR: Biomedical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Denver, Colorado PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @emilyspowis Within Viterbi I conduct research in 3D ultrasound development. Outside of engineering, I am co-captain of the SC Climbing Team, guide outdoor trips with SC Outfitters, work as an Emergency Medical Technician, and help provide mentorship for K-12 students as a counselor in Troy Camp.

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