Before I started my freshman year, I had no idea what housing was like at USC or what I wanted to put down as my choice. I took a chance and picked one of the few that said “air conditioning” and was near the engineering area and ended up in Parkside International Residential College (IRC)! When I received my housing assignment and looked up more details about Parkside, I learned that it was suite-style living (not your traditional dorm). In my particular suite, we were in a 4 bedroom (8 person) suite that had 2 bathrooms. Although the set up was definitely not like the freshmen dorm experience I was expecting, it ended up being different in ways that I loved. First of all, the one thing people always said when I told them I lived in Parkside was “Wow it must be nice to have air conditioning” or sometimes they would say “I wish I had a bathroom that close to my room.” Even though it wasn’t what I expected for my freshmen year, it had perks that other people wanted!
Another thing that I found cool about my building was that because it was the international hall, there were students from all over the world there. My roommate was from South Korea and one of my suitemates was from India. I was quickly exposed to other cultures that I had never experienced before and it was interesting learning about other people. My building was also the same building that housed what most students consider the best dining hall on campus. Parkside Dining Hall was a favorite among students and it was easy to get people to come meet me there for group projects or just to hang out. It was also nice that all I had to do was walk down stairs if I wanted something quick to eat or just to grab a quick coffee on my way to class.
To this day I’m still extremely close with some of my suitemates and even ended up rooming with one of them again for sophomore year! Freshman year, we would all go to games together, eat meals together, and go out together, so I have a close relationship with them that I couldn’t share with anyone else.
Freshmen housing is definitely scary to think about when you have all of these buildings to look at and decide between, and while I do recommend doing your homework and trying to find the best fit for you, it’s important to realize that you’re going to make great friends in your dorm regardless of where it is or what style the rooms are in!