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When I checked my phone and saw my admissions decision for USC, I was overjoyed. Even four years later, I viscerally remember jumping up and down and screaming at my physics club bake sale. Even now, the echoes of that memory still make me smile as I write this blog. Despite its strength, that feeling was cold comfort in the face of the real decision I had to make. Up to this point in my life, I had never been in control of any element of my life, and now I was choosing where I wanted to be for the next four years, a decision that would certainly lead to radically different outcomes. And, shockingly, admission into a school is not the pinnacle of personal achievement. I realized that I was only at the beginning of what was sure to be a long and arduous journey.

So why USC? I have been at this university for four years now, and, though there have certainly been hard times, I have never regretted my decision to come here. To be honest, although I hemmed and hawed, I knew I would choose USC after my first visit. There was just a gut feeling I had when I first caught sight of campus. Perhaps that gut feeling owes its credit to the way the sun gleamed at golden hour on the red-brick buildings more than any meaningful connection, but I thought I felt something special.

Whether a trick of the light or not, I certainly did find something special here. USC Viterbi is a place that I’ve always found treats you as a person first and a student second. No matter how overwhelmed I have felt, I’ve never doubted that the school has my back. I’ve never actually worried that I was going to fail out of engineering and have found myself achieving more than I ever thought I would.

Throughout my four years of college, I have met some of the most amazing and important people in my life, and I have had the opportunity to engage in all aspects of a college experience. I’ve tried making a start-up,  done research, been president of a club, I’ve won hackathons, done internships, had a vibrant social life, and the list goes on. Despite all this, I know none of those accomplishments are truly my own. I’ve had upperclassmen mentors who pointed me in the right direction, spent sleepless nights with my teammates for projects, and just had emotional support from my friends. All of these experiences are elements of the Vitebri experience, and most of my peers feel the same way I do.

I am incredibly grateful for the four years I have spent at USC Viterbi. I have grown so much as an engineer and as a person in ways I couldn’t fathom. To those of you still deciding what college you want to go to, I wish you the best of luck.

Emily London