I lived in Parkside Arts and Humanities my freshman year! Parkside consists of 3 buildings, 2 of which are primarily freshman housing. The two freshman dorms are Arts & Humanities (A&H), and International Residential College (IRC). IRC’s name is a little misleading; there are domestic AND international students that live there.
These two buildings are suite style; each suite consists of either guys or girls, but there are suites of both guys and girls on the same floor. Each suite has 4 double rooms, with 8 people total, sharing 2 bathrooms and a common area with a table and chairs. Something that I really valued living suite style was having my privacy – rather than shower stalls you had a personal bathroom with a locking door. Parkside also has the HUGE perk of air conditioning so I didn’t have to worry about buying a fan. 🙂
There was a dining hall in Parkside too; it had ‘conventional American’ food like pizza and burgers, but also had a healthier selection like pasta, salad, rice, and cooked veggies. Not going to lie; I oftentimes miss the convenience of the dining hall, but it’s still nice to cook my own food now.
I lived on the Music Floor, which is one of the special interest floors USC offers students. Music majors were abundant (I lived with 2 of them!), and there was just a general appreciation of music on that floor. I made a bunch of diverse friends from Parkside, and it helped enrich my freshman experience.
There were also fun programs that the Residential Advisor (RA) of the building put on. One in particular that stands out the most was the opportunity to take surfing lessons! The RA’s planned the transportation and everything – and it was FREE! I posted it on Facebook and all of my friends back home commented on how jealous they were haha. That was one of the highlights of freshman year.
I would recommend living suite style if you are someone who really enjoys your privacy and prefers a quieter living environment. Freshman year was super fun and I can’t believe it was already 2 years ago!