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For any student and family, choosing where to continue your education for the next four years is difficult. You may come up with a bunch of “What if” questions, as well as contemplating whether you would like it there.

For me, going to college is something I am blessed to have the opportunity for, and something I looked forward to after high school. To be 100% honest, I originally wanted to go to college on the East Coast when applying to colleges, however, I do have a lot of family in California, so I decided to stay nearby. Even though USC wasn’t in the exact location I wanted to be in, Southern California weather in general is beautiful (and way warmer than the East Coast), so I was ultimately happy I ended up at USC and here is why:

The proximity to different places:

The location of USÇ is right south of downtown LA, and one Metro ride away you can end up in downtown, West Hollywood, or even Santa Monica. Since USC is located in a city, the amount of events, and places to explore are endless, and you don’t necessarily have to stay in the USC area every weekend if you don’t want to. Even without a car, grab 2-3 friends and take the bus or uber ad explore new places to eat!

The class sizes:

Aside from some lectures (science or general education classes), the class sizes are usually small (~10-25 people). With all the smaller classes, USC feels more like a community that is collaborative and allows you to ask questions in a non-judgmental space. In addition, depending on the class and your major, a lot of the classes you’ll be taking are with the same 10-50 people, so you will get close to your classmates.

The range of class options you can choose from:

USC has a lot of class options that you can register for, and for majority of them, you do not need to be in the major or need clearance to take them. There’s everything from a sailing class to a wilderness class. It’s important to note that at USC, you have the chance to explore any interests you desire. If you think music industry sounds cool and you want to learn more about it, then take the introduction class on it. If you think mindfulness is cool, take it as an elective. Having the freedom to explore new interests is one of the best things about USC. I unlocked my journalism/writing interest just by taking a 2.0 unit journalism class that looked interesting. So I think you definitely get the freedom to discover yourself while at USC.

The connections + opportunities:

The trojan network is very strong, and majority of alumni are always willing to talk to you. I once cold emailed this beauty company asking to speak with one of them about what it’s like to work in industry, and someone who went to USC Marshall emailed me back and we connected. I also knew a friend who got an internship at Apple because of a connection. In addition to the network, the career services here are amazing as well, and definitely open the door to opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise.

The social life + people:

The people at USC are very social, nice, and friendly. Everyone wants to help each other if need be, and the community/environment is so upbeat.

These are the reasons why I love USC, and I hope whoever is reading this enjoys their experience at USC.

Sydney Fiorentino

MAJOR: Chemical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2024 HOMETOWN: San Francisco, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @sfberries I have been involved in conducting research relating to nanoparticles and microfluidics. I'm a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, AICHE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers), and Gen-Zine. Outside of school I enjoy writing and have gotten into blog writing and radio reporting.