Choosing which college to attend is a daunting decision and one that requires a lot of self-reflection. When I was deciding where to attend, I made a list of what was important to me in college, and I still think USC checks all those boxes for me.
Opportunities to Apply What I’ve Learned in Class
Since most engineering course plans at the schools I was looking at were similar, I paid attention to the extracurricular activities available at each institution, including research and organizations.
I knew that I was interested in conducting research during college to get hands-on experience and explore a topic in-depth. I became involved in research my first semester on campus, and it was a simple and quick process for me; all I needed to do was showcase my interest and willingness to learn!
My research experience has been a great learning and leadership experience where I’ve gotten to work on a long-term project encompassing many different engineering disciplines. Check out this blog to learn more about my research!
One of the things I wanted in college was a collaborative spirit, even outside of class. Viterbi has many different design teams that work on projects from cars to rockets to concrete canoes. Even though I’m studying mechanical engineering, I’m still very interested in electronics. That’s why I decided to apply for Viterbi Makers, an electronics design team.
In Makers, I’ve worked on projects such as a heat press, a robotic drummer, and an electronic water art installation. I’ve been able to apply things I’ve learned in class, work with other engineers, and learn new skills. Check out this blog to learn more about my experience in Makers!
I went to a relatively small high school and I’ve always enjoyed watching sports games with my family. When choosing a college, I wanted to go to a place with a lot of school spirit and D1 sports. I’ve gotten really lucky that USC football has improved during my time here. I love going to the free basketball games with my friends; the USC vs. UCLA game is always a huge event where we show up a few hours early to get in. At this year’s game, I got to sit in the front row!
I also just wanted to go to a school where I felt like people were happy and excited to be there. Sure, college is challenging, but I’m still very passionate about and grateful for my community.
A strong support system
Like I said earlier, college is hard. The most important thing for me when choosing a college was feeling supported in the community. Before I even enrolled at USC, I knew that the Trojan Family was special. When I spoke to students and faculty, I was surprised by how welcoming, kind, and passionate they were.
During my time at USC, I’ve had other students recommend scholarships and leadership positions to me, help me with classes, and so much more. Additionally, my smaller class sizes in engineering classes have allowed me to engage with professors in class and during office hours. Places like the Center for Engineering Diversity also provide community (and a lot of free food).
Out of all my options, USC was the one for me. I don’t regret my decision at all. I’ve had incredible opportunities that I’ve taken advantage of and met amazing people! Fight on!