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This is a guest blog entry written by Miranda Jernberg. If you want to read more stories, visit

Hi! My name is Miranda Jernberg and I graduated from USC with a degree in Chemical Engineering with an emphasis in Sustainable Energy. During my time at USC, I was involved with a variety of different clubs and organizations. I served as Chief Administrative Officer for my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and one of my favorite involvements was USC’s Latin fusion dance team called Break on 2.

When I was deciding where to go to university, I thought I was going to leave the state of Colorado and be far away from home. Being far away from home also meant being far away from family, a thought that was almost too strange for me to wrap my head around. Then something even more strange happened–I found out my family was moving to San Diego and I got accepted to USC. I think we know how this ends up, but I left my “home” of Colorado to come to USC. However, I stayed closer to my family and they are what home really means to me now.

I will say, it was nice being close to home. What’s different is that in my Hispanic family, there was always an expectation that I would come home or that they would come to me. As a college freshman, this was a tough decision. Did I leave my new friends for an entire weekend to go to San Diego? Did I bring my mom, dad, brother and sister to my two-person dorm? It became normal for me to take the Pacific Surfliner train home on Friday evenings, or to expect a visit from my parents for the day because they wanted to go eat at King Taco. Learning how to balance family with college became another part of my experience, and as I got “better” at doing college, it got easier to find time for family.

At the end of the day, my college experience and eventually my degree is as much mine as it is the rest of my family’s. Sharing this with them has been a defining moment of pride in my life thus far, and I am really excited for my baby sister to start college at Cal Poly SLO so that we can do the same thing for her!

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