“I think that, at USC, I will be able to do all the work that I’ve been dreaming of throughout high school”

My USC Story: first-year student

USC Dornsife College political science Freshman Muhammed Aly photographed outside next to tree is smiling and looking into the camera.
Freshman Muhammed Aly August 30, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Gus Ruelas)

Freshman Muhammed Aly is a political science major at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and L.A. native, who volunteers hundreds of hours at a nonprofit that aids domestic violence survivors

Why did you choose USC?

I chose USC because I knew that there isn’t any other school that can both provide amazing resources to help students learn while also providing equally amazing opportunities for students to succeed outside of the classroom. I’ve lived in Los Angeles my whole life and I knew that I wanted to stay in this city and make the most of all the open doors it provides young and ambitious students with, and there’s no better school than USC for that. 

What did you do when you first found out you got into USC?

The first thing I did was throw away all the UCLA merchandise we had in the house. Subsequently, my mother and I called my grandfather, who’s a chicken farmer in Egypt. We called him to tell him the great news and also to thank him for all the hard work he’s been willing to do to help my mom when she’s needed it, and for always believing in me. 

What are you most excited to learn/do/experience/etc. while at USC?

I’m very excited to represent the Trojan spirit here at USC. In high school, I always thought it was a waste of time to care or participate in any of the school events or games, but I want to try it at USC. Growing up in Los Angeles, the allure of the Trojan culture from the marching band and football games to cultural events had always captured my interests and I can’t wait to attend those events.

What is one thing you brought (or will bring) with you to USC that means the most to you?

I will have pictures of my friends on my wall and it’s one of the most important things to me. My friends and I have always been one big family and the memories we have had will last a long time and seeing them fly across the country for college is not going to be easy, and the pictures will always keep their memories with me.

What piece of advice about starting college do you think you’ll follow?

I was advised to always stay organized and to not let the media’s representation of college and the excitement of the fun that college will bring distract me from the fact that college is meant to be a challenge and I’m supposed to work harder than I ever have before. 

What do you think/hope you’ll be like four years from now?

I hope my four years will be filled with exciting and passionate work and experiences. I think that, at USC, I will be able to do all the work that I’ve been dreaming of throughout high school.

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