One of the biggest myths people think about engineering students is that they spend all of their time with their faces in a textbook, which could not be farther from the truth! While I do spend a lot of time working on school work, I still have plenty of free time to explore my other interests, from student organizations to fun weekend and day trips.

One of my favorite places to visit on the weekends is Malibu. The coastal city is about an hour to an hour and a half from campus (depending on how bad traffic is that day). Usually, my friends and I will start our day at the classic Malibu Farm, which is located on the Malibu pier, providing the perfect weekend brunch view. Fun fact: if you walk all the way to the end of the pier there is another restaurant, which is the Malibu Farm Cafe! I prefer to go to the cafe because it tends to be a bit less crowded, the food is very similar, and they have rooftop seating, which makes for great views of the Pacific Ocean. Who doesn’t love a good rooftop brunch?

Our next Malibu destination is the beach! My favorite one is El Matador State Beach. It’s a little smaller and right underneath a cliff, giving a beautiful backdrop as my friends and I relax in the sand. There’s also lots of rocks and natural caves within them, so there’s lots to explore. It’s a nice change in scenery, going from the hustle and bustle of the USC campus to a relaxing and serene setting. There are plenty more beaches in Malibu to go to, many of which are great surfing spots. I keep convincing myself that I’ll try surfing, but so far I haven’t gotten myself to do it. Maybe next time.

We usually leave the beach around sunset, so we can catch the sunset on the drive back. Driving down Pacfic Coast Highway as the sun is setting is something I will never get tired of, even as a California native.

Malibu is one of the many places that I’ve been able to visit during my time at USC, but there are still so many places I want to go. I feel like the more places I go to, the more I hear about and want to visit. As cliche as it sounds, LA truly has it all. From beaches to mountains and deserts nearby, from concert venues to museums, there is always something new to do for everyone. And even as an engineering major, you’ll still have plenty of time to explore as much as LA as you want. I’m thinking I want my next big weekend trip to be somewhere like Joshua Tree or Big Bear, time to start planning!

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.