Undergraduate Admission Blog

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April 28, 2017

GUEST BLOG: Dornsife Admission’s Decision Time

The National Candidate Reply Date of May 1st is coming up fast and students are making their final decisions. We know that choosing a college is rarely an individual decision, and one you’ll make with your family, friends, and teachers. For this blog, Lily shares her thoughts and advice with her younger brother as he goes through the decision-making process.

Decision Time – Lily Dyre

(A letter to my little brother and all other high school seniors)


First of all, I just want to say how extremely proud I am of you. You are incredible and have worked so hard to get here. And now – fortunately or unfortunately – the reward for your hard work is an equally hard decision. Mine was the hardest decision I have ever made. I remember the feeling of uncertainty, the realization that this choice would quite literally change my life. And it will. But it will change it in the very best, most positive ways. So try to avoid my mistakes and feel excitement instead of trepidation.

You have so many incredible options, each of them unique. And although in this process you have to say “no” more than you get to say “yes,” just focus on the “yes” because it is what really matters. I think what makes the choice so hard is that there are so many competing factors to consider: financial decisions, prestige, location, other people’s opinions, and the advice of your lovingly bossy older sister. I wish I had realized last year that most of those things don’t matter (except my advice, that still matters).

Once you’re actually in college, you realize that the most important thing is choosing a place that you really want to attend for four years. A college that you love and are excited to be a part of. A university that will challenge you to grow as a person. That’s why I’m sitting on my bed at USC writing you this letter. I walked onto campus for the first time, and it felt electric, alive. And while the promise of challenges that I felt in that electricity scared me, I knew that if I was brave enough to choose USC, it would help me grow in unimaginable ways. It was that feeling that I couldn’t forget even as I received other admissions decisions. It was that feeling that made me choose USC.

If I have any real advice to give you, it’s this: choose the campus that you want to see when you drive up in your rent-a-car full of stuff. Choose the place where you want to say those last tearful goodbyes and those first awkward hellos. Choose the place that has the first lecture hall you want to sit in and the first midterm you will ever take. Because the place that you’re imagining right now is the college you really want to attend.

I selfishly hope that you choose USC because I love it here more than I can ever begin to express. But more importantly, I hope that you choose a place that you will love the way I love USC. Good luck and know I’m always here for you.



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