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Imagine this: a pure, cloudless sky stretches overhead with the distant skyline of downtown LA providing a picturesque backdrop. You leisurely wander through the USC Village with your ears being teased by the faint melodies of a jazz band. You make a quick stop at Trader Joe’s for groceries, followed by an unplanned detour to Dulce for an iced blueberry matcha latte — the perfect companion as you produce the finishing touches on your latest original song. Sounds like the ideal Friday, doesn’t it? Yet, this scene is simply a routine Friday for me here at USC.

Upon arriving on campus, I never anticipated the level of vibrancy and opportunity that awaited me. I was a Los Angeles native eager to explore beyond the confines of my hometown (and frankly, the state of California). Still, I made the decision to visit USC before making any finalized decisions. Little did I know that this visit would completely change my perspective on leaving LA. 

Despite being nestled in the heart of LA, USC felt like its own world: a lively place buzzing with energy and possibilities. I was curious to explore what USC and the Viterbi School of Engineering had to offer. When I heard about CURVE (a research program for freshmen … no experience needed), I was hooked. As someone who loves trying new things, the idea of jumping into something daunting – like research – without any pressure was really exciting. Thanks to CURVE, I felt confident diving into topics I used to find intimidating, learn new things, and make my own research-based impact. 

USC’s flexibility also allowed me to pursue my passion for music production alongside my engineering studies. Here, I didn’t have to sacrifice one interest for another; I could explore diverse avenues, from joining the Ultimate Frisbee team to immersing myself in music production.

But what really made me choose USC was its proximity to downtown and other parts of LA. With so many food spots, coffee shops, and events nearby, the city always feels like an extension of campus life. This past month, I’ve leveraged USC’s free public transportation to check out the Riot Games Headquarters, catch a double-feature at the LA Opera, and wander around Universal Studios in Hollywood! 

Ultimately, USC offers more than just a top-tier engineering education; it’s a gateway to a diverse array of experiences, connections, and opportunities. After three years of growth and exploration, I can confidently say that USC has been the perfect launchpad for my journey. 

Come to campus. Say Hi! Welcome to the Trojan family 🙂

Silas John