Freshman year was an exciting whirlwind, and I have my roomie, suitemates, neighbors, and friends from Parkside International Residential College (IRC) to thank for all the crazy good times I had. As an international student, Parkside IRC seemed fitting. Although I was the only international student among my 8 suitemates, there were a good number of other international students throughout the building who I came to know and grow close to over the years. There was a good mix of students at IRC from all over – whether internationally, around the US, and around southern California.
I remember filling out an online form (care of USC Housing) indicating my preferences for a roommate and describing my own study/lifestyle habits. Then I left the rest to chance and let USC Housing take over in “matching” me with my roommates. Whether it was a stroke of good luck or a genius mind behind those who put my suitemates and I together, I couldn’t have asked for a better setup. The girls from my neighboring suite were also great friends of mine and we became roommates a few years later because we got along so well.
At Parkside IRC, it was easy for me to get to know my neighbors, whether by visiting them at their suites or hanging out at the common area lounge. Some other perks of life at Parkside IRC are having a cleaning lady come in 3 times a week (definitely a big help!) and having the Parkside dining hall just steps away. The Parkside dining hall was definitely my favorite place to eat, and if my roomies and I wanted a change, we could easily walk over to EVK or TroGro. Living in a suite-style dorm was a big plus for me too. I loved being around my suitemates but also having the privacy of my own room. The 8 of us shared two bathrooms, which was pretty convenient.
The Parkside area tends to be a bit quieter than other dorms in my opinion because it isn’t in the middle of campus where university events take place (like at McCarthy Quad). I always saw this as an advantage because it was an easy walk to get to the middle of campus and attend the concerts and carnivals at McCarthy Quad, plus, it was really nice to go home to a calmer place to study or relax. I found a nice balance that way. Parkside is also right by RTH (Ronald Tutor Hall) and KAP (Kaprielian Hall), which are some of the most common buildings my engineering classes have been held. It was nice to be close to the “engineering side” of campus. When I first arrived at USC, I had no idea what to expect, but I had a great experience at Parkside and am really glad I ended up living there!