It was my first day of college, move-in day at the University of Southern California. Was I a little nervous? Sure. But as I collected my belongings from my rental car and stared up at the 8-floor dormitory that would be my new home, I also felt excitement, excitement for the new people I would meet and the memories I would make. With a duffel bag in one hand and a cardboard box thrown over my shoulder, I anxiously waited in the check-in line to enter Birnkrant Residence Hall.
First off, let me give some brief details about Birnkrant, the honors dorm. Birnkrant is located in the northeast corner of campus, right next to New North Residence Hall and EVK dining hall. An 8-floor building, Birnkrant houses students in its seven upper floors, with all the floors (except floor 2, which is an all-girls floor) co-ed. Each floor is broken up into two wings, which are separated by a central elevator and study room. Logically, one wing is for female residents, and the other wing is for male students. In each wing, there are approximately 20 rooms, separated by a few yards of space in between doors. Within the room, USC provides all the basic living accommodations. A bed, a microwave, a fridge, a desk, and a closet are already in the rooms! I enjoyed making my room feel more like home by adding space-themed posters to the walls and pictures of my friends and family on my desk.
Why did I love Birnkrant? The living style at Birnkrant fosters a great community, and Birnkrant is very conveniently located on-campus. During the fall semester of my freshman year, my general education and writing courses were located in Taper Hall, and my calculus III course at Zumberge Hall; these two buildings were located within a five-minute walk of Birnkrant. I was never late! Also, immediately below Birnkrant is a 24-hour Starbucks, affectionately called Trojan Grounds (or TroGro) by students. When I did have to stay up late studying, my friends and I loved heading to TroGro to grab sushi and caffe mochas while on study breaks.
When I was not studying, Birnkrant provided me with the friends to make my first year at USC amazing. The scholarship of its residents is complimented by the building’s social scene, as Birnkrant is known for being both a good place to study and enjoy oneself. Being in a dorm with all honors students has its academic perks. My good friend, and floor mate, Ian and I always used to collaborate on our physics homework, tackling tougher problems together. But when our homework was done, Ian and I made sure to partake in all the floor activities, including movie nights and floor dinners at EVK. We even had the opportunity to act in a web series produced by our floor mate Corey Sherman! On the weekends, the floor would often go to the beach or play ultimate Frisbee in McCarthy quad together, creating strong friendships that have continued to grow even after we moved out of Birnkrant.
So, on that first day, was I nervous? Yeah. But I never really had anything to worry about. Within minutes after checking in, I would meet my RA Luke, my roommate Ravi, Ian, and Corey, and I would instantly feel at home in the Birnkrant community. Birnkrant 6th floor really was my home away from home.
If you have any more questions about housing, feel free to reach out to me in the comments, and I will be happy to answer them!