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When first coming to USC, it was very intimidating living away from home and my parents, and having to gradually gain some kind of independence. However, throughout college as I met new people and experienced living on my own, I gained a new confidence in learning to take care of myself. However, as I was getting used to it, that experience was taken out of my hands during March of last year when classes were moved to the virtual setting.

Don’t get me wrong, it was nice going home to see my family, and the endless home-cooked meals didn’t hurt either. But it cut my gradual gain towards maturity short and throughout quarantine I really started to miss my apartment lifestyle. When I had the opportunity to come back for the fall semester I took it immediately.

Despite being virtual, it is still great to experience what I can of USC culture being near campus. For example, being able to study for a midterm, grab lunch on South Figueroa Street, or take classes on my back patio during a sunny day, have been great ways to dilute the monotony being stuck in a singular room and participating in Zoom classes.

Overall, enjoying the off-campus life around USC has been a great way to stay connected to my student community and be involved despite the virtual setting. I am very excited to spend the weekend in Tahoe snowboarding with fellow Viterbi students!

Timothy Harrington