As we’re about to head into the last month before the December 1st scholarship deadline for USC applications, I’ve been thinking a lot back on my own senior year of high school fall application season. Being three years on from then, the stress and nerves of that period have lost the sharp vividness they once had but I do still remember how anxious, tired, and simply overwhelmed I was then. So with all that in mind and sympathizing with all of you out there in the depths of college applications, I came up with some of the wonderful memories and opportunities I’ve been fortunate to have at college so far as a little inspiration for what you’re working towards and to look forward to. 
  • Getting to hear from an actual astronaut (and current Viterbi faculty member), Garret Reisman, who shared his experience on the ISS and advice on the important things during our college years
  • Making my own website after only 6 weeks of instructions on web development languages
  • Banding together with my CS friends to make it through our algorithms quizzes and going to get boba tea or ice cream after
  • Sitting nestled in the book cubbies of Mudd Philosophy Library and getting distracted from my essay by the light streaming in the stained glass windows
  • Learning the fancy-named algorithm theories that I heard mentioned as “academic talk” in movies and realizing I actually understand them now
  • Coming back to my roommate and dorm at the end of the day, always having someone to chat about the day with and laugh as we fall asleep
  • Going to great concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, like the Black Panther showing with live music
  • Driving along PCH at night with my friends, watching the moon on the water
  • Getting to learn about animation software or the life of an Imagineer at Disneyland or how to have confidence as a woman in professional settings or basics for backpacking trips
  • Dining hall feasts after a long day of lectures (and maybe finding a friend to eat with too!)
  • Weeknight movie nights with my friends in the dorm room down the hall as a study break (just the fact that I have
  • Exploring LA food spots on a Friday night or taking a page out of the tourists books and visiting Hollywood, Griffith Observatory, the Getty, or any other iconic LA spots
  • Getting to explore some random interests in my general education classes, like women in medieval Catholicism, the detailed composition and production of classical films, how to write a compelling screenplay from a Disney animation legend, childhood development patterns and psychological disorders, or sailing fundamentals
  • Applying to lead hiking trips around LA with different USC professors
  • Small things about living on your own: decorating a dorm room, biking around campus at sunset, making my schedule just how I want it, going to career talks in areas I didn’t know existed, Trader Joes hauls for dinner, having LA at my fingertips, talking with roommates for hours
  • Finally taking classes in and learning about the things you specifically love and are passionate about!!  How you spend your time is truly your own and there’s a huge pool of USC resources to help you! And you get to have helpful, genuine, fun friends to do it all by your side with!
Gianna Beck

Gianna Beck

MAJOR: Computer Science (Games) YEAR: Class of 2023 HOMETOWN: Phoenix, Arizona PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @gianna__b I'm involved with computer science research investigating affective gesturing in robots in the Interaction Lab along with being a Freshman Engineering Academy Coach. Outside of Viterbi, I'm a part of Greek Life, SC Climbing, the Student Alumni Society leadership board, and I am a volunteer at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.