It’s crazy to think that three years ago I was sitting in my high school classes, back in my hometown, constantly thinking about where I would commit myself to in the fall to spend the next four years of my life. I never would have imagined the following three years to pan out as they have. There have been so many highs, some lows, and a pandemic that have made these years wilder and more unexpected than I would have ever thought. Even sitting here, in my college apartment, after taking classes from my computer for over a year, I wouldn’t trade my USC experience for anything. I still remember so vividly my shock and excitement opening my mailbox to the white box, knowing that an acceptance letter was inside. I had a gut feeling that day that USC would be the school for me, and after more research and visiting campus, here are some of my main reasons why I chose USC, and why I still love it today.

The People

Immediately upon visiting campus, I could feel the sense of community, that “Trojan Family” that so many emails and letters in the mail kept mentioning. There are people here from all over the world, bringing so many unique perspectives and interesting stories from their lives. I’ve met so many incredible people in so many different ways, and I’m so grateful for everyone that has come into my life at this school. From my best friends that I’ve known since the first day of freshman year, to my current roommates that I barely knew until this past fall, to everyone in my major that I’ve been working with since the first day of classes freshman year, they’ve all impacted my life for the better in so many ways. This school truly is a family, with everyone always wanting to help each other out and be there for you.

The Collaborative Environment

One of the biggest things I was concerned about when starting college was that my major would be cut throat, and everyone would be constantly competing against each other, and I wouldn’t have the tools to succeed. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. USC wants you to succeed, and they want you to do well in your classes, and there are so many resources to help you with this. I’m constantly collaborating with people in my classes, whether it be for homework help or studying for a midterm. Students are encouraged to work together in their classes, rather than compete with each other for a higher grade. Through all the late night study groups for midterms and hours spent on homework assignments, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of those in my classes, and I’m so thankful that Viterbi helps foster this environment.

The Location

As cliche as it sounds, LA really does have it all. Even after I’m wrapping up my third year here, I feel like I still have so many places to explore before I graduate! Being within close proximity to the beach, the desert, and the mountains truly is a one of a kind experience. One of my favorite weekends here so far was when my roommates and I booked a spontaneous trip to Joshua Tree, and spent a weekend in a super cute AirBNB exploring the desert! It was such a beautiful place, and I definitely want to plan another trip back someday. There are also so many fun places close to campus, from fun restaurants to Santa Monica to hiking trails in the Hollywood Hills, you will never run out of fun things to do during your time at USC.

I’m so grateful for my experience here at USC, and although the thought of graduating in a year makes me a little sad, I cannot wait to make the most of my final year here!

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.