If you’re indecisive, finding yourself in a position where you are only given a few weeks to choose a college—a decision that will seemingly change the trajectory of your life—can often be incredibly difficult and stressful. It’s so easy to get bogged down into the details—to oscillate between your options and wonder if you will have regrets whichever decision you make. For some people, it’s easy; they know right away what the best choice for them is. For others, it’s a lot harder to make a decision. Personally, I fell into the latter category.

When I was deciding which college to go to, I tried to think about all of the factors that were important to me in a college experience. For me, those were being able to take classes and learn things outside of engineering; joining organizations and participating in activities related to social justice and making an impact; having good on-campus housing; and, most importantly, liking the people at my school. After all, it’s ultimately the people you meet and the wonderful friendships you make that shape your college experience the most. 

Like many of you, I attended Admitted Students’ Day. In the Viterbi presentation, I learned about Engineering+ and the flexibility and diversity of experience that Viterbi students are encouraged to pursue, as well as the impact-oriented classes offered at USC such as the Innovation in Engineering and Design for Global Challenges (CE 499) class. It was really after that presentation that I truly started to imagine being a student at USC. I remember being so excited about taking the CE 499 class and participating in one of USC’s social impact-focused entrepreneurship challenges. Funnily enough, the very next year, I participated in the Min Family Challenge, an engineering social entrepreneurship competition, and ended up winning first place! I still haven’t been able to take the CE 499 class, though, which I am hoping to do before I leave.

Throughout Admitted Students’ Day, I was struck by the overwhelmingly positive and welcoming attitudes of everyone on campus. All of the students in the panels and events I attended—many of them engineers—were doing so many things and really allowed me to see that the Engineering+ mentality is very much something that most Viterbi students have. I also learned about various organizations on campus that I was super excited about, such as Engineers Without Borders, which I love and have been involved in throughout my time here. 

My biggest hang-up in terms of committing to USC was not being able to get to know many current students or admitted students who were considering committing. Although everyone I had interacted with, albeit briefly, during Admitted Students’ Day seemed genuine and kind, I was worried that I would not be able to find my community. I still ended up committing, though, and I am eternally grateful for that. Literally the first day I came to campus, I met so many amazing people, some of whom remain my closest friends today. My roommates now are people I met within the first week of being at USC, which is so crazy to me. 

I have no regrets about committing to this school. I know that now can be an extremely stressful time, but just know that wherever you go, you will have a super fun and transformative experience. The only question is where you think you will be happiest. For me, that was USC.

Taken right after I committed to USC!

Neha Yadav

Neha Yadav

MAJOR: Biomedical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2023 HOMETOWN: Benicia, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @nehaha.838 On campus, I'm a project manager for Engineers Without Borders, on the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering Executive Board, and a researcher at the USC Biomedical Microsystems Laboratory. I have some experience in entrepreneurship—I won the Min Family Social Entrepreneurship Challenge in 2020 and interned at two startups last summer. In my free time, I love reading, hiking, and road-tripping!

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