Even though living on campus last year was cut short by a few months, it was truly as exciting and memorable a time as people often describe it as. With the hope of returning in person in the fall, here’s a little description of what my daily life looked like in the dorms.



  • Wake up, try to piece together a somewhat matching outfit, and head to breakfast at McCarthy Dining Hall
  • Grab a plate of whatever I’m feeling that day: bacon and egg whites, French toast and fruit, oatmeal, yogurt and berries
  • If I’m running late for class I’d typically grab a blueberry or chocolate muffin to eat as I wait at the crosswalk to campus

Morning to Mid-Afternoon

  • Go to class (I typically prefer morning classes so I can have the afternoon/evening to unwind) or work on assignments in my room until I need to head to my first class 
  • Meet up with my PhD student supervisor to go over my research tasks for the week
  • Hang out on campus between classes, head to a library to knock out part of an essay, or sneak in a quick nap in the comfy chairs in Ronal Tutor Campus Center
  • Bike to the different building around campus for each class, typically having around 3 subjects a day except for slower Fridays
  • Meet up with a friend at Parkside Dining Hall to see what the featured “meal bar” menu was for that day (my favorites were the fajita bowl and sushi bowl)
  • Grab a mini red velvet cupcake or an ice cream cone on the way out
  • More class or library study moments
  • Stop at the farmers market on Wednesdays!

Mid-Afternoon to Evening

  • Get my workout in going up the stairs to my fourth floor dorm room with a heavy backpack
  • Catch up with my roommate about her day and plans for the evening
  • Try to get a workout or run in
  • Run down to McCarthy Dining Hall for a quick but filling dinner, possibly running into a friend and making it into an hour and a half long meal/catch-up session
  • Try to focus on some work in a common room upstairs, having some CS buds meet up with me
  • Head back to campus for whatever club meeting I had that night (Monday night chapter at my sorority house, Society of Women Engineers on Wednesdays, SIGGRAPH on Tuesdays, Lean In on Thursdays, …) or for one of the special events going on (speakers like Zane and Heath from the Vlog Squad, catching a showing of a new movie through the film school)


  • Sneak in a short workout in the Village Gym if I didn’t fit one in after my afternoon classes
  • Clean up back in my dorm room and have a late night grind session with my pre-med roommate
  • Crawling into my overly-blanketed bed hopefully not too much after midnight (but sometimes much later than I’d like)
  • Get excited for tomorrow!


My weekend plans varied so much during my first year on campus so I don’t think I could make a definitive list of everything I did, but it was always fun!

  • Go see my brother up at UCLA (and wear my USC sweatshirt with pride)
  • Take a Lyft down to El Porto to go surfing with the Surf Club or a group of pals
  • Find a hike in the area
  • Go to Disneyland! (Okay this didn’t happen nearly as much as I would’ve liked but the couple times I did go made my year!)
  • Take my parents around campus or my favorite spots in downtown LA when they visited me occasionally
  • Studious weekend spent in the book stacks of Doheny or the nooks of Mudd Hall
  • Enjoy a concert at the Hollywood Bowl
  • Grab lunch in the Village with a friend and then buying a little too many snacks from Trader Joes
  • Find a new dinner spot down at Venice beach
  • Go shopping at Third Street Promenade then spend some time lounging on the sand down in Santa Monica
  • Head to LA Live for dinner, ice skating, a movie, whatever event they have going on!
  • A trip to the Getty to admire the art and the views
  • Go look at the fountain that someone has once again poured laundry soap into and caused to bubble into a mountain
  • Clean my dorm room, do laundry, change my sheets, all those things
  • Do as much work as I can before the craziness of the week starts up again, knowing that I have a bright and cozy dorm room to come home to!
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.