Back in high school, I did not have a clue what I wanted to study in college. I’d bounce back and forth from so many different ideas, from biology to political science to economics, that I simply had no idea where I would end up. After taking one economics class in high school and doing a bit poor on my first exam, I realized that I could cut that one from the list. The panic of choosing a major and what I want to do with the rest of my life set in my freshman year of high school, leading to a few years of stress over deciding what would be my college major. I never understood those people who seemed to know exactly what they wanted to do so early in life. I could never be that decisive!

My junior year of high school is when I started to have an idea of what I wanted to study in college. After taking AP Environmental Science, I realized that I really enjoy learning about our planet, and I started to become very passionate about issues like climate change and wanting to do something about it. I thought about an environmental studies major, but I felt like I wanted to do something a little more specialized. I thought about how I’m good at math and like science, and then engineering popped into my head. I wondered if there was a way to combine environmental studies with math and science, and I could with environmental engineering!

When I started my college application process, I started to realize that environmental engineering is a lot less popular than other engineering majors, and many schools didn’t even have it as an option. Thankfully though, USC does! I’ve been able to take classes about energy and climate change, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. While having to take physics, chemistry, and calculus all at the same time one semester made me question my decision to be an engineer, my other major classes remind me why I’m here!

If you’re still struggling to decide what you want to study in college, try to not panic! While it can be stressful, there’s always time to change your mind, or explore your options once you start college. I know so many people that have changed their major multiple times, and they eventually found one that they love and are excited about.

Olivia Morse

Olivia Morse

MAJOR: Environmental Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Danville, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @livv_morse I'm on the E-Board of USC's chapter of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, and I'm also involved in the Society of Women in Engineering and American Society of Civil Engineering. I am also a member of Greek life.