When I was deciding on what to do for housing for sophomore year at USC, had a lot of options: Gateway on Figueroa, the Lorenzo, houses on 27th and 28th Street, and USC Housing among them. Ultimately, I decided to go with USC Housing, and I decided to live in Troy East Apartments. Compared to Parkside Arts and Humanities, the suite-style freshman housing I was in last year, it’s completely different. Here are the need-to-knows for sophomore housing and apartment living:
- Cooking is fun, but it can also be a chore. I love to cook. I’ve been at it since I was around 10 or so, and I can probably make a decent interpretation of whatever you want (aside from Indian food, which I refuse to make because it’ll always be worse than my mom’s). But when you only have 25 minutes between classes and making the lemon-dill salmon recipe from Thanksgiving isn’t an option, it’s a little hard to make something quick, healthy, and generally delicious. So far, I’ve been eating an eclectic mix of really fancy chicken, some chilis, and a lot of quesadillas. It’s been an interesting time.
- Your apartment will get dirty, but you can keep it clean! One of the best parts of being in the residence halls that I really didn’t appreciate until now was the consistent cleaning that USC Housing did. That is no longer true for apartment life: the onus is now on us to keep it clean. I got lucky – my roommates are all super tidy people, and I think we keep it relatively clean. Despite that though, sweeping, mopping, and washing dishes consistently is an interesting thing to allot into the daily schedule. No parents to do it for you, and no fallback in case you have a really busy day. It’s a good exercise in responsibility
- It’s more social, and less. Being in an apartment complex is two different worlds. On the one hand, if you walked down the hallway, you would think the building was a social graveyard. There’s usually not too many people in the hallways, and the building overall feels a little quiet on the day-to-day. The difference, though, is that behind each of those doors, a lot more is going on. People have mostly found their friends groups (or think they have) by this time in sophomore/junior/senior year, so there’s a lot going on in each apartment. We’ve done fajita night, played games, and done game day watches and movie nights in our apartment, but you probably wouldn’t be able to tell from outside. It’s a cool feeling thinking about what everyone is up to behind each of those doors.
Overall, apartment life has been pretty great! There’s a lot more to do, and I feel a lot more responsible for more things, but I’m really enjoying the feeling of ownership that comes with it. It’s me and my roommates to us to keep it clean, keep it attractive, and keep it going. Sure, it’s not a residence hall. But just like the residence halls are great for freshman, I think Troy East and the other apartment complexes are perfect for the sophomores, juniors, seniors, and beyond.