This week the Viterbi Student Ambassadors have been blogging about what we do in our free time — because, believe it or not, life as an engineering student is about far more than our favorite equations and chemical processes.

Much of my free time is taken up by student groups. I’m involved with Engineering World Health, which works to improve access to medical equipment for hospitals in the developing world. We work on designing new equipment that better suits the constraints of developing countries (i.e. power, sanitation, the ability to receive shipments of replacement cartridges) and we also use basic engineering skills like soldering to build small testers that we can send to hospitals, allowing them to check whether or not their equipment is in working order. I’m also involved in Engineers Without Borders. Right now my team is designing a rainwater catchment system for a village in Honduras. Since I hope to work in developing countries after I graduate, these two groups have been  great way to learn what that could look like for me.

Building defibrillator testers with Engineering World Health

Another huge part of my college experience has been learning what it means to follow God in every aspect of life. When I first came to USC, I got involved in Campus Crusade for Christ (or Cru). We have a weekly meeting with worship and a speaker, bible studies, football tailgates, and retreats. Some of my greatest friends are people I met in my bible study freshman year. During spring break of sophomore year I went to the Dominican Republic for a missions trip – a week that had a huge impact on my life. I hope to go back there this spring. Now that I’m a junior I lead a bible study and also “emcee” the weekly meetings by welcoming everybody, leading random games (last week we played a piñata relay), and making announcements. Cru has also been a great place to find mentors who are more than willing to invest time in my life. Every week I meet one-on-one with a senior who challenges me to keep growing and live life as it’s meant to be lived.

Riding a "gua gua" - a type of bus - in the Dominican Republic

Beyond official clubs and organizations, much of my free time I spend just hanging out with friends. Sometime we go on adventures to Yogurtland, LA Live, or Downtown Disney. This afternoon we spontaneously decided to go to the beach. If we’re feeling low-key, there’s nothing sweeter than kicking back and watching a movie, making dinner together, or enjoying good old-fashioned conversation.

Eating beignets in Downtown Disney