Let me be honest, I did not want to go to college in Southern California. All throughout high school, I was very intent on moving away from Los Angeles, so much that I almost did not apply to USC. Although I had my doubts, I’m here now, and I’m totally fine with my decision. Here are some observations I’ve made about going to school close to home.

  • I’m able to rediscover the place I grew up in.

I think this observation is pretty dependent on me being from LA. Los Angeles is a huge city with a lot to do from amusement parks, stores, concerts, beaches, restaurants, and so much more. Even though I’ve lived here my whole life, there are still so many experiences I still want to have and new opportunities that pop up all the time. I have also found that I often learn about new places from people who didn’t grow up here.

Plus, I find it fun to go to old places with new people. I have many new friends here who are not from the Southern California area, and it’s a different and enjoyable experience for me to take them places that I’ve loved going to.

  • I enjoy being close to my family.

Most of my family also lives in Southern California, so I am able to see them to celebrate birthdays or just for an impromptu trip. My cousin often drops food off at my dorm or takes me to a restaurant around campus. Even though I definitely don’t see my family as much as I used to, it’s nice to know that they’re around. It’s also easy to go home for some of the small breaks throughout the school year!

Also, I severely under-packed when I first moved in, so it was nice to be able to go home and grab stuff instead of buying new items.

  • I am still able to be independent.

Even though I still live near my parents, I no longer live with them. Thus, I still am able to have the freedom that comes from moving away from home in college. I also made it a point to not go home that often during the semester.

I wrote earlier that I was against going to college close to home. What changed my mind was visiting USC and talking to current students. I was able to see how kind and supportive the Trojan Family was, and all the personal and professional opportunities I would have at USC. I could really see that USC would be a place where I was able to thrive, which is why I ultimately applied, and committed, to USC. My advice for any college student thinking about where to apply or commit to would be to look at colleges holistically and really think about what you want out of your college experience.

Victoria Pinkett

Victoria Pinkett

MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2024 HOMETOWN: Inglewood, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @victorriaimani I'm a member of Regional Executive Board for the National Society of Black Engineer's Region VI. On campus, I am also involved in USC Makers.