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On Sunday, I went to Universal Studios Hollywood with my fellow Viterbi Student Ambassadors—over 20 of us donned in cardinal and gold taking the park by storm.

The trip was a much-needed reprieve from this busy semester and was a great way for me to get to know and have fun with people in engineering disciplines different from my own!

I had never realized this before, but Universal Studios is only a 15-20 minute drive from USC! For those without a car, it’s also accessible via bus (though it takes a while longer). With Universal so close by, it’s 100% worth it to visit at least once during your time here, whether you decide to brave Halloween Horror Nights in the fall or to stop by Super Nintendo World when it opens this spring.

This was my third time at Universal, yet there were so many things I had not yet done! I tried my first butter beer from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, went on the studio tour for the first time (and saw a bunch of cool cars from various films), and met Frankenstein!

Universal is always a fun time—especially if you’re on the Jurassic Park or mummy rides! The other amusement parks in the vicinity of USC are also definitely worth a visit—Knott’s Berry Farm for its boysenberry icee (and the rides, of course); Disneyland only for its red velvet funnel cake (unpopular opinion but the rides are not great); and Six Flags Magic Mountain for the thrill (the most fun imo). I’d definitely encourage you to check out the amusement parks around USC in your time here—they’re definitely a great way to check out from school for a day and have fun!

Neha Yadav