Hi everyone! I assume if you’re reading this, you’re considering going to USC. With that – congrats on your acceptance! Your hard work has paid off and now you’re spending more money just to do even more work! Yay! My incredibly witty and dry humor aside, this is an important decision of course, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t the end all be all decision. 

These are some of the things I wish knew when I made my decision.

#1: There is no wrong decision

I know that might be hard to believe because people in college seem to value their college experience so much, but college is four years of your life. You have plenty more life to live after it. I also know that this decision can be truly stressful because, as I said before, it is an important decision. When I was applying, I was so stressed out. That’s the one aspect of this whole process that can suck – you’re always stressed. You’re stressed when you take these placement tests, you’re stressed when you’re writing these essays and applications, and then there are decisions and commitments to be made too. 

The one thing that stressed me out the most was the idea that I might choose the wrong college, that I would make the wrong decision. What you have to realize is there is no wrong decision. You’ll either choose a college and stay there or you’ll transfer to another one and stay there. Transferring is an option for a reason; one college might just be a better fit.

And if you transfer, you will not have wasted anytime. It’ll be a learning experience and hopefully you’ll grow to realize what kind of environment you want to be successful in.

#2: You not knowing anyone at a college is a good thing, not a bad thing.

I was terrified to go to USC. Excited sure, but terror was the primary feeling. I live on the East Coast and I’d only visited California once before. Additionally, I had no family on the West Coast and I didn’t know anyone who went to USC. For a lot of my friends in high school, this was a con. Originally, I thought it was too. But once I got to USC, I realized it was really great that I didn’t know anyone. It forced me to meet new people and grow as a person.

#3: There is no perfect college. There are colleges that work for you.

When I was applying to schools, I did have that one dream school. The one that I thought was perfect for me in every single way. I do not attend that school, and I know that USC was a good choice. I will never know if USC was the best choice or the right choice, but it works for me. Everyday, as you continue to grow and contribute to the school, you’ll realize you are the reason the college feels like the best fit. It’s not the other way around; your experience in college is completely in your hands.

#4: You might have that “feeling.” You might not.

The day I visited USC was the day I committed. And I feel extremely fortunate that I was able to visit campus before I made the decision and I know for those of you graduating high school this year, you won’t have that same opportunity.

When I visited campus, I finally got that feeling I’d been waiting for. I just knew that USC was for me. I also know some Trojans who never got that feeling. The important thing is that I felt like I could see myself having an engaging and valuable experience at USC. I know that visits to a campus can be incredibly reassuring when choosing a college, and I am sorry you don’t have that opportunity. We have plenty of 360 video tours of campus and you are always free to reach out to us!

I hope this was helpful to you in some way. I hope you at least realize that your feelings and worries are completely normal. If I can say one last thing – you will be great at any college you go to. A lot of the experience is dependent on you. That being said, please be safe and good luck with your decision!

Mahima Varanasi

Mahima Varanasi

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @mahima On campus I am part of OWN IT, a women's leadership team who plans an annual summit based on amazing women helping each other out. Outside of Viterbi, I am involved in political campaigns.