Howdy everyone! Freshman year seems like just yesterday when I was living in Birnkrant and didn’t have to make my own breakfast! As it’s getting closer to next year, it’s time to start thinking about where we’re all gonna live next year, so I thought I’d take some time to tell you about my Freshman housing to help you in your search!
My Freshman year, I lived in Birnkrant, which is the honors dorm for scholarship students. It is reserved with first priority for scholarship students, which drew me because I thought I would want a quieter dorm to study in. I was glad to find, however, that Birnkrant isn’t full of bookworms but rather full of people just like me, looking for a balance between work and play! Birnkrant lived up to it’s slogan of “seven floors of open doors”!
Birnkrant’s move in day is a day or two prior to the University move in day, which was great for getting everything up to my room. With less people around, it wasn’t as crowded with families and was a little easier to adjust. Right from this first day, my floor held a small retreat where our RA, Georg, took us around campus and led us through a couple of icebreaker exercises to help us get to know each other. My floor was split into wings, one for boys and one for girls, with about 20 people in each wing, and having a smaller community like that helped us to get to know each other faster and form into our own little family: BK4. Throughout the year, I knew I could always find someone in “the fishbowl”, our floor’s study room, and that there were always some of my friends around.
Apart from the community, I loved having a triple with two roommates. I used USC’s roommate matching system to find a couple of guys and talked to them prior to school starting, and we all decided to go in for a triple. Our room actually had two adjoining rooms, so we had a bedroom and a living room, which we separated with a blackout curtain so that we could keep the lights on in our living room while somebody else was sleeping. Because of this, we were able to bring a couch and TV into our room and we became one of the unofficial social hubs of our floor! Each wing had it’s own corresponding bathroom, and the floor shared a laundry room, so everything we needed was right there.
Another great thing about Birnkrant is its “North-Area” location: right above Trojan Grounds (our on-campus Starbucks) and next to EVK (one of our dining halls). Part of the Freshman meal plan includes unlimited meals at dining halls, so it was really nice being next to EVK for a late-night snack and made-to-order omelettes in the morning! In addition, Birnkrant is right next door to Leavey Library, the most popular study location on campus. Perhaps my favorite part about the location, however, was that McCarthy Quad was right outside the entrance, so it was an easy trip outside to play a pickup game of football or ultimate frisbee or to lay down a blanket and enjoy the weather. Many introductory classes and GE’s are also located close to the North Area, which is quite convenient.
All-in-all, I loved my experience in Birnkrant, and I’d definitely recommend it! However, there really isn’t a way to go wrong with the on-campus Freshman housing, and there are many other views up on the site this week! Good luck in your housing search and Fight On!