When I was choosing my major, one thing that I was concerned about was if it would consume my entire life and college career. Engineering + at Viterbi was what really helped me realize that the school wants you to be more than just an engineer. At first, I thought it was just a play to get more students to come to USC but after being here, it’s obvious that activities outside of engineering are very encouraged to keep you from being burnt out and make your college experience the best it can be.

When they say engineering+, it just means anything you enjoy doing outside of engineering. Your + can really be anything that you want it to be. Many of my friends love music, climbing, hiking, and incorporate that into their life through taking a minor in the Thornton School of Music or joining clubs that go climbing/hiking every week. This semester, I made my + surfing! Growing up in California, I had always wanted to learn how to surf but never really found the time or had the dedication to learn. I had friends in high school that went, but whenever I would go with them it was more getting clobbered by waves than learning how to surf them. This semester I decided to sign up for the surf class at USC which was my best decision yet.

With this class, USC provides a wetsuit, surfboard, and car rack and all you have to do is make it to the beach for class (which is super doable with carpooling or taking the metro)! I never thought I could wake up and be in Santa Monica by 8:00am every Friday but being in the water is so refreshing and watching yourself progress week in and week out is very rewarding. After being in the class a few weeks, my carpooling group decided to go on Wednesdays before class and over the weekends. It’s also awesome that we are so close to a ton of surfing beaches so going before class in the mornings is almost preferred to get an early start to my day. This class was everything that I needed, from teaching me surf etiquette to learning how to surf.

I’m just happy to have found something relaxing to take my mind off engineering that I can spend with my friends. I’m also thankful that my + was a weekly commitment, because without it this semester would have been very stressful. Next semester I’m also taking the sailing class which is very popular among USC students, and I can’t wait for what’s in store!

Mark Parent

Mark Parent

MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Diamond Bar, California PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @mvparent On campus, I am part of the National Society of Black Engineers and was a Resident Assistant for the McCarthy Honors College. I have also conducted research in the Immersive Audio Lab and have a Sports Business & Management Minor!

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