There’s much to say about the transition from high school to college. One thing that is perhaps less talked about is the feeling of letting go of your hometown and creating the sense of home somewhere else. A lot of USC students come from places all over the country and even the world (myself included: it took me over 30 hours to get back to Los Angeles after winter break); this is a fact that brings a lot of us together as we are finding ourselves creating emotional ties with LA and calling a new city home.


This was always a concept that felt extremely strange to me. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved LA and USC from the second I got here, but calling it home always felt beyond weird to me. I always kept things very separate: LA is where I go to school, Brazil is home. I would always count down the days to the breaks, looking forward to going back to my family and friends in my hometown, returning to a sense of normalcy. I even tried to see the time we had to spend at home from March 2020-August 2021 as a silver lining, as I got to be closer to my parents and little brothers. I was home for so long (and for such a big chunk of my college career) and didn’t even think much of it. Until this past break.


As I said, a good amount of my college years were spent a home due to COVID, but since being back for my senior year, I have gotten the chance to reflect on that concept of homecoming. This past 2021-2022 winter break made me realize that even though I was extremely excited to be back in Brazil and was having the time of my life with my childhood best friends, I also couldn’t wait to come back to LA, be with my friends, tell them all about my break, and get started on a whole new semester of fun.

All in all, this felt very coming-of-age-y to me. I have grown into my young adulthood and have conquered a city that now I get to call my own. I don’t simply exist in Los Angeles but have found a new place to call home.

Gus Lanser

Gus Lanser

MAJOR: Chemical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Florianópolis, Brazil PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @guslanser I am involved in community outreach through USC's American Institute of Chemical Engineer's K-12 Outreach initiative and the Engineers Without Borders international project in Bolivia. Beyond Viterbi, I am the President of the Brazilian Student Association, a Supplemental Instructor for MATH 226, and a Resident Assistant @ McCarthy Honors College.