A lot of decisions can feel permanent. 

 

Like what major you apply to, what clubs you join, who you are friends with…. 

 

If you’re anything like me, these decisions can feel overwhelming. If you don’t choose the right thing now, you’re stuck. 

 

Through my experience, I’ve learned that this mindset cannot be further from reality – particularly at Viterbi. 

 

I have friends that have changed their majors multiple times. It can be as simple as a 5 minute appointment with an academic advisor. 

 

I was a part of around 5 clubs my freshman year, and that was a lot for me. I realized that I wasn’t passionate about all of them, and I felt stressed by how busy I was. Thankfully, I wasn’t stuck as I dreaded before. It’s quite common for USC students to join many clubs during their time as underclassmen and leave some clubs as they realize they aren’t for them. Since then, I’ve become involved in leadership in the clubs I was passionate about. Those other clubs were great learning experiences about different areas of engineering and taught me some things I won’t pursue in the future. 

 

Another worry of mine was friends. My freshman year was virtual, so it was difficult for me to meet people and make friends at the start of college. If I didn’t hit it off with the few people I knew, I was worried that I wouldn’t have close friends. I’ve learned that not everyone meets their best friends their freshman year. I have some friends from freshman year, but I’ve met some of my best friends this year. There is no “one way” to meet your best friends, and you’ll meet cool people each year at USC. 

 

College is a time to try out new things, a time to figure out what you love and what you do not. There are built-in systems and opportunities at USC that make it a safe place to do so.

Maya Neuenschwander

Maya Neuenschwander

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering YEAR: Class of 2024 HOMETOWN: Hudson, Wisconsin PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @schwanders I host the Viterbi Voices podcast, and I am involved in Lava Lab, a student-run start-up incubator at USC. Outside of school, I have my own photography business and enjoy hiking and the outdoors.