Usually many students go far away from home when they go to college but that is definitely not my case. I am from Pasadena, California which is only 22.5 miles away from USC. Despite the proximity, it isn’t what you would consider to be necessarily “close” when it comes to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. Traffic can make my little commute back home to be as much as two and half hours. Not only would living at home have been a huge stress on me for just the simple reasons of travel but, I would have also lost on so many special memories.
Being a “local” student many people outside of the area expect you to know a lot about where to go and what’s cool. Pasadena is a bubble city so I never really explored much of Los Angeles. I find myself exploring new places just as much as any other student. Los Angeles is a huge and I think it pretty impossible to experience it all. I have even had friends from Boston show me around LA. Downtown is a completely new environment so its still a new place for me to.
My freshman year I chose to live on-campus and lived in the International Residential College at Parkside or IRC for short. Being one of the newer dormitories on campus I can easily say I was spoiled with some really nice accomodations. IRC is suite style living meaning each unit has 4 rooms with people 2 people in each. We have a small common space and we have our very own bathrooms ( 2 to be exact). The set-up was great and the rooms were huge but best of all was being in a suite with 7 other great guys who I became really close with.
Many people fear the idea of going to school close to home mostly because they want to be as far as possible for their parents. Speaking from experience being close to home poses no threat to your newfound independence. My mom came move-in day freshman year and has never stepped foot on campus since. Don’t get me wrong, there are some occasions where I take advantage of being close to go back home to see my parents and get a home cooked meal but most of my time is spent here at USC. With some time USC became my home.
Living on campus was great and my location was ideal. IRC is right next to what I believe is the best dining hall on campus Parkside Restaurant. Having very little self control, I found myself taking advantage of the unlimited meal swipes. Just up the street was the Lyon Center, our fitness/gym facility, and most of my engineering classes were right across the road. Being able to roll out of bed at the last minute possible was the best for me as sleeping is one of my favorite hobbies.
Living on-campus was one of the best choices I could have made my freshman year, which is why I continue to live here. I love that I am able to surround myself with such a diverse group of intelligent individuals. Local or not living at USC has been a major highlight of my life; I have made so many unforgettable memories that I know I will treasure for a lifetime.