For my first two years at USC (pre-pandemic times), whenever I would go back home for breaks, people would always ask me “Gus, what’s there to do in LA? Any tips?”. That question would always throw me off so badly, because it would always make me realize that I hadn’t even taken the time to explore LA, and even though I had already been living here for two years, I most definitely did not feel like a local. When you live in the USC area, it is so easy to get caught up in the USC bubble; most of what you need can be found within the borders of our campus: ranging from gyms, amazing restaurants, and a few grocery stores, next thing you know, it’s been a few weeks and you don’t even remember the last time you set foot off campus.

Coming back for my last year at USC, I knew I was going to prioritize making the most of it in every possible sense. My best friends and I made a list of LA plans, containing all the things we want to do before we graduate. You can’t even say you went to SC if you are not hitting all the USC, LA, and California staples.

With that being said, I decided to make the most of my Fall Break (long Thursday-Sunday weekend that we have in the middle of the Fall Semester) and take a trip to San Francisco. I went there with a high school friend and a few friends from USC as well, and it was such an amazing trip! We hit all the staples: Pier 39, Golden Gate Bridge, and Lombard Street, as well as some amazing restaurants all around the city. This was such an amazing way to destress and make memories with some of my best friends. This was definitely the booster that I needed to be able to finish the semester strong.

Take this post as a friendly reminder not to isolate yourself in the USC bubble; take some time, explore your surroundings, connect with the community. Step outside of your comfort zone and take a trip if you have the means to do so. My senior year has definitely been my favorite year at USC so far, and getting to explore LA and California has definitely been a big part of it!

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.