April 30, 2020

Housing is one of the most exciting things for an incoming college student. I remember looking at USC’s website to find information and images of the different residential areas on campus, but what I found wasn’t enough to satisfy my curiosity. So I branched out. I read articles on Viterbi Voices and watched an insane amount of college dorm room tours on YouTube. All these resources aided in giving me a good idea of the size and type of housing I would inhabit for my freshman year. But things weren’t as clear cut for my sophomore year.

USC’s housing is based on a class (freshman, sophomore, etc.) lottery system. This means that everyone is assigned a lottery time to choose housing and it is first-come, first-serve. For a lot of students, this is a time of panic because you may not get your first or even second choice of housing due to high demand and your given lottery time. USC housing has a system called Sophomore guarantee in which new freshmen in university housing will be guaranteed a housing location for the following academic year. I, a rising sophomore, was excited to score an apartment in the village with my 5 other friends. Since we were a group, the person with the earliest time was the only one that had to find an available apartment.  We were gunning for a six-person apartment, but they were already taken when it was our time slot. This meant that my housing group had to break up. My current roommate and I stuck together, while my four other friends chose to go into a four-person, two-bedroom apartment in the village.

By the time it came to my roommate and I’s time slot, we had received word from housing that the Village was full. I, always being the optimist, decided to check again during my timeslot. Luckily there were two rooms; both were lofts and located within the same apartment in the Village. After not being able to secure a three-bedroom the day before, my roommate and I decided that we were going to live in Webb Tower, but by a stroke of luck, we were able to get a space in the Village.

When I had spoken to upperclassmen who lived in the Village loft, they all said the same thing: “It is small.” I had no idea what that meant, so I made it my mission to find out. The Village is relatively new, having opened in Fall of 2017, so it was hard to find YouTube videos and articles that I had been so dependent on, to learn about my freshman year housing. So on move-in day for the 2019-2020 school year, I was excited to fully experience my room.

When I walked into the apartment, I was surprised at how spacious the kitchen area was and upon proceeding to enter my bedroom, I understood what some of the upperclassmen meant by small. Although I was warned about the room, I couldn’t help but love it. The engineer in me couldn’t help but want to optimize her living situation, so I rearranged all the furniture and worked with my roommate to merge our workspaces. In doing so we created a little lounge area under our beds and maximized our floor space.

Elena Ikeocha

Elena Ikeocha

MAJOR: Chemical Engineering (Petroleum Emphasis) YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Townsend, Delaware PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @Sarpurple On-campus, I am an Executive House Manager for USC's Trojan Events Services and a member of USC's co-ed Professional Engineering Fraternity Theta Tau. I am a member of the club field hockey and golf team. In terms of professional clubs, I am a member of AIChE.