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When I started applying for colleges, I had very little idea what to expect or what I was getting myself into. Neither of my parents attended college, so I didn’t really have any expectations or standards for how to apply to college, and what exactly to expect. Getting into USC (nearly two years ago exactly!) was one of the most exciting days of my life, but also a little intimidating. I was ready to commit to four years at an institution without a ton of real guidance or mentorship. The time leading up to arriving on campus in August was filled with so much excitement, but also a lot of stress and concern about what these next four years would hold.

Sitting here as a junior, it’s crazy to think about how stressed I was. I’m not saying the transition from high school to college was easy, however the resources and community I had available to me at USC helped make the transition go very smooth. There are so many resources available specifically to first generation students to make sure they don’t feel left behind or like they don’t have the tools needed to succeed in college. And apart from these, there are tons of programs and events from the first week of freshman year that helped me meet so many people, and also helped acclimate me to the USC environment. Viterbi also hosts so many events, in the beginning of the semester and also throughout the year where I was able to meet so many students in engineering, and many I’m still friends with today!

While the thought of going away to college seems very scary and intimidating, I’m very lucky to be in such an inclusive and welcoming environment that made the transition so fun! I’ll forever remember the day when I opened my mailbox and saw the big white box with my acceptance letter in it.

Timothy Harrington