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Mid-March 2022 I found out I got accepted into USC; it feels like a lifetime ago but it is only two short years prior to right now. Why USC? What made me traverse the continent from my humble abode in Scranton, Pennsylvania to the City of Angels? Let me simply walk you through my reasons why I am here in South Central L.A. writing this right now @USC.

The People.

This school’s greatest asset is the individuals it attracts. Talented, determined, charismatic geniuses, athletes, actors, and all the likes of future leaders of this world come here. It is a hub of grit and innovation. Everyone here has a dream and a passion to pursue it. It truly is quite a unique essence imbued within this establishment. Every school likes to flaunt their famous and accomplished alumni, but here it truly is apparent that the people here want to and will succeed: even in my short time here, I have actively watched my friends and peers create opportunities and achieve at all levels.

(Just this past week my good friend, Anthony Bottino, got to cover the PGA tour here in L.A. at the Genesis Invitational; He is a great example of people here creating amazing opportunities. Here’s a quick shoutout to him and his article. Go check him out on USC Annenberg Media: )

The Balance.

That same essence of this school which I mentioned is best articulated in the complexity of our student body. The people here balance their life to both work hard and to live the life they want, whether that means with social events, extracurriculars, exploring L.A., etc. People here know what they want and know how to get it done. It is something that is admirable and contagious. In my own experience, living in this atmosphere you learn more about yourself and what you personally want in your own life.

The Resources.

This school is big with just under 50,000 students (graduate and undergraduate considered), but physically it is a small campus and that makes it feel like a close knit community where you can see all of the people you know everyday going to and from their classes, eating lunch at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, or studying in Doheny Library. This aura of a close community transpires across the university and into each of the academic departments, recreational facilities, and student groups to create a hub of resources at your disposal. The togetherness of this large school blended with the intimate nature of small communities inherently allows everyone access to a breadth of resources literally and figuratively: whether that means research opportunities, on-campus jobs, industry connections, talent exchanges between schools, or anything that enables a coherent collective of individuals striving to achieve their goals.

Between all of these reasons, the theme remains the same: the individuals here are driven towards success with the greater community and world in mind.

I hope my insight and reasoning here sheds some light for you to understand truly what the nature of this school is really like.

Thank you for reading and as always: Fight on!

Mitchell Kirby

MAJOR: Civil Engineering YEAR: Class of 2026 HOMETOWN: Scranton, Pennsylvania I am currently involved in Viterbi Makers as a Project Manager where I create a project idea for my team and I to assemble and build throughout the year for our project showcase to our sponsors in the spring to promote innovation in electronics.