One of the most stressful things about freshman year can be figuring out where you are going to live, and who you are going to live with. During my freshman year, I lived at Arts & Humanities Residential College. When looking at the different housing options online during my senior year of high school, I wanted to find a place that was quiet and close to my classes, as well as being a good general fit for me. I was extremely lucky my freshman year to find such a great living situation.
When looking at the different housing options on campus, I realized that Arts & Humanities was a little different than the others. The Arts & Humanities and International Residential Colleges (dorms) are made up of 6 and 8 person suites, which vary from the regular 2-person room with a common bathroom down the hall. These suites have 3 to 4 bedrooms, and have 2 private bathrooms inside the suite. Also, in Arts & Humanities, they had a common area in the suite, where there was a table and bulletin board. This sounded extremely appealing to me because it is more private and offers a more quiet living experience than if you were in a regular dorm setup. Therefore, I signed up to live there, and it was one of the best decisions I made!
In USC freshmen housing, there are Special Interest Communities. Essentially what this means is that freshmen with specific interests or affiliations can live on a floor in a dorm with other people having that same interest. I was looking through the different communities, and saw that they had a “Music Floor”, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to be around other musicians and people passionate about music. I was completely right. I got along with my suite mates really well and had fun attending certain music events limited to our floor. If you are interested in living in a Special Interest Community during your freshman year, you can read more about it here.
One thing that a lot of incoming freshmen tend to worry about is who you are going to be living with. It is a large adjustment going from having your own room to having to share a room with someone else who you have never met before. Luckily, when signing up for USC Housing, there is a detailed application, consisting of many questions about your personality and the way you like things to be in your living area. I filled the application out and immediately, they presented me with people who were similar to me. After looking at different peoples’ profiles, I found a guy who seemed laid-back and interesting. He ended up being a great roommate, and I still hang out with him a lot. I was really nervous moving into a new place with a stranger, but that apprehension goes away pretty fast if you let yourself open up. Fortunately, I had a great roommate and we hit it off immediately.
One of the greatest things about suite living is the relationship you have with your other suite mates. Compared to a regular style dorm hall, suite living does not usually involve as much communication with people in other suites. However, because you are living in one area with 7 other people, you tend to become really close with them. I personally enjoyed my other suite mates a lot. We hung out a lot, going to Pasadena, L.A. Live, Santa Monica, and of course, lots of trips to Yogurtland! My favorite memory of hanging with them freshman year was when we all got together and watched the Superbowl.
I think that even though moving away from home can be daunting and somewhat intimidating, freshman year is a chance to meet new people and really break out of your shell. My advice with housing is really find a place that is good for you and choose your roommate wisely. If you are interested in some other perspectives on living in Arts & Humanities Residential College, check out Ashlyn’s or Kristen’s post! Also check out the webisode on different USC Housing options here.