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DELICIOUS FOOD. HILARIOUS PEOPLE. MOVIE-GRADE PHOTOS. That’s what I thought college would be like in high school. Oh right… classes, public transportation, and all that stuff too. High school me had loads of questions about my future college life. Would I meet new close friends? Would I discover new passions? Could I work on campus jobs for some pocket money? Could I eat anything I wanted? Anything??? Spoiler: the answer to all of those questions is YES.

Though finals are coming up soon, I’ve been able to (still) have fun beyond just studying. I thought I’d share some of my most recent, favorite USC activities. * photos included free of charge *

Feel free to take inspiration from these experiences when you arrive at USC in the fall!

One thing you should know is that I absolutely LOVE bread. And no I’m not just talking about run of the mill Costco bread. Currently, I live in the USC Village. Fyi, I highly recommend living in the Village if you’re still unsure about housing right now. One of the biggest perks is that I actually live directly above a Trader Joes AND a Target. They conveniently fulfill all of my high maintenance bread needs. Earlier this week, I airfryed everything-bagel-style ciabatta rolls for a quick snack as I worked on some homework. Today, I even attempted some apple pie with leftover pie crust. I love (attempting) to make new food. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the on-campus grocery stores!

Partly because of my roommate who majors in USC’s film school, I’ve started to watch a LOT of movies lately. Last Wednesday, I popped by USC’s Galen Center to acquire a few discount movie tickets and boarded the Dash F (free bus transportation!) with some friends for a quick 10 minute ride to the Regal Live Cinema in DownTown LA. After a busy day of classes, it was great to catch up with dinner afterwards too!

Though I’m a computer science major, I’ve also spent the majority of my life as a musician. One of my favorite spots to produce music is actually on an * definitely accessible * balcony of the USC animation studio on campus. The quiet, comfortable atmosphere helps me focus and ideate as I think of catchy melodies and thrilling beats. It’s definitely a plus that the view of the sunset here is worth DYING FOR. I compose music as a hobby but I also prepare musical arrangements for bands I’m a part of or for my sound design class (a course I’m currently taking as a part of a USC Thornton’s Music Production minor).

I think the best thing about USC is that I’ve had countless opportunities to meet amazing individuals here! I’ve had classes with business, pre-med, and theater (my fav!) students besides my fellow engineers of course. My classes and their collaborative environment have helped foster my communication skills and teamwork. There are over 25 majors, 3 startup founders, 6 continents, and 5 unique doormats on my hallway alone. It feels so new, yet stimulating to interact, live life, and study with more than just engineering students.

However, the coolest people I’ve met this month have been you guys (yes class of 2027… that’s you!) Here’s a fun picture of a table I set up at a recent USC ExploreSC session 🙂

USC is great college for engineering. It’s chock full of unique opportunity whether its research or student orgs. But I chose USC for more than that. I chose USC for a tight knit engineering community in a larger campus. I chose USC to cross interdisciplinary boundaries – to live, work with, and talk to fellow students of all majors. I chose USC for its bread selection and grocery stores, for the LA weather and free transportation. College is more than just a number or a percentage. Just like I did, when you think about USC, think about the small things that exist beyond the numbers 😀

I hope to meet ALL OF YOU soon. If you visit, come say hi! I can’t wait to see you in the Fall ✌️✌️✌️

Silas John