Be Bold, Be Brave, BK

Rhea Choudhury Dorm, Housing, Rhea, Students, Why USC Leave a Comment

Hey friends!

I wanted to dedicate a quick post to my freshman year dorm, Birnkrant- the best dorm at USC!! (Of course, everyone in all the other dorms says this too, but in my case it’s actually true).

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As soon as I came to USC for my Explore interview in February, the first thing that the students I met said was to put down Birnkrant as my first choice for housing. I signed up for housing that day, and put BK as my first three housing choices, and ended up getting a double on the best floor ever (BK6!!). Fun fact, Suveena, Clare and I were all on BK6 last year, so BK6 is hardcore repping in the VSA department!!

There are so many things that rock about Birnkrant, but I’ll keep this post short and list my top 8. Ask me in person about BK, and I can honestly talk for ages about all the memories I’ve had in this building; it really did shape my freshman experience at USC. Anyway, without further adieu, here are my favorite things about my freshman year dorm!!

WHY BIRNKRANT IS THE BEST DORM AT ‘SC:

  1. You get to move in early!! While move-in day for freshmen is usually a Wednesday, BK kids get to come in on Monday and enjoy a fun retreat while getting to know their floormates. On our first day, the elevator actually got stuck for a bunch of the guys on the floor, and the fire department had to come save them. Talk about an immediate bonding experience right?? REGARDLESS, avoiding the chaos of regular move-in day is a definite plus.
  2. Location: BK is right by McCarthy quad, the social center of campus. While McCarthy is on the north end of SC, all the concerts, food festivals, farmers’ markets and other major events all take place there- having McCarthy right downstairs made social events super accessible and easy as a freshman.
  3. Food: Right next to EVK, right above TroGro (god bless TroGro, the 24 hour Starbucks). USC actually partnered with Tapingo, a food ordering app, so you can order coffee from your room in BK upstairs at 2am, hop down and pick it up when it’s ready. No more waiting in line!!!! You can even hook up the app with your dining dollars, which honestly made midnight snacking super convenient and easy.
  4. Facilities: There’s a really big study room in the lobby, with a huge glass window. At any given hour, you can walk by BK and someone will be studying in there, cramming for a final or hanging out with friends over cups of coffee and a bunch of laptops. Some of my favorite memories have been in that study room; we also used to put up big football/basketball/soccer games on the projector!! Mondays were reserved for the Bachelor.
  5. More on Studying: BK is literally a 30 second walk from Leavey library, the only 24 hour library on SC’s campus. Study all night at Leavey, drag yourself home and sleep. All of us did it.
  6. Stan: The faculty master at BK my year was Stan Rosen, a professor of East Asian studies at USC. He used to host faculty dinners every Thursday at EVK (with special food and desserts, including CREAM!!!!), and take a few students to nice dinners in LA every month. He also helped sponsor some cultural events, taking people to Clippers games and other sporting events/concerts/etc. He also has a really amazing apartment with a huge TV; every game day he would get a ton of pizza and put the game on for anyone without tickets. We even had a Superbowl viewing party with him! He’s been the BK faculty master for years, and hopefully he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
  7.  The RA’s: I don’t know how they do it, but whoever chooses the RA’s for Birnkrant does the absolute best job. The RA’s were our go-to people for emergencies, but they were also our friends and confidantes. I would frequently just go and lie down in my RA’s room and talk to her for ages about school, stress or literature, and we used to watch movies in her room too. In BK, being close to your RA was normal, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. My RA was my mom, sister, friend, and fellow dog lover, and she made BK6 the amazing place it was.
  8. LAST BUT NOT LEAST: THE PEOPLE

Birnkrant is a community of people on merit scholarships- they’re people that are used to working hard, but more importantly, they’re a group of people that are passionate about what they do. I walked into BK with a background in STEM, and living in the Silicon Valley for my whole life, I was surrounded by STEM from the day I started kindergarten. On move-in day, I met people passionate about fields I had never even thought about, including international relations, business, film, music, graphic design, gender studies and language. People from all over the world, with all kinds of diverse interests, all put on the same floor: that was pretty much every floor of BK. From day 1, we all left our doors open, and wandered the hallways, meeting each other and getting to know everyone. By day 2, we were friends, and by the time the first month had passed, I considered BK6 my family. Birnkrant in general had this amazing mix of people that loved to learn and loved to talk about what they were interested in; everyone was so friendly and open and willing to share their experiences. Meeting people in the elevator was so common, and while we all had loyalties to our own floors, we treated Birnkrant as one huge welcoming family. BK6 literally was my first college friend group, and the friends I made on that floor are people I know I’ll be friends with for life. We went through so much together, from move-in day, to winning IM soccer championships in fall, to murder mystery dinners, to hallway bonding sessions, to midnight frisbee, to library finals cramming nights, and I loved every second.

^^ live from the halls of BK6

Anyway, long post, but as I said earlier, I can literally talk about Birnkrant for years. Best dorm, by a mile. I mean, does Parkside have its own emoji??

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