With this semester, I started my third year here at USC. And with my third year of studies, I also started my third year of living in university-owned housing. My Freshman year, I had the chance to live in Birnkrant, the dormitory-style living right next to the 24/7 Leavey Library, the EVK Dining Hall, and Trojan Grounds – the 24/7 convenience store downstairs.

The view from my window.

My bed and desk - there's not much more than this.









Mini fridge, desk, bed, microwave, and closet are the staples to a dorm room!

The stylish outside of Birnkrant.









Out of all of the living situations I’ve had so far, Birnkrant’s Freshmen Dorm-style living has been the most satisfying to me – by far. Even now, in my junior year, I still hang out with the people from my Freshman year who I met in Birnkrant, and many of the people who lived on my floor that year do many interesting things on campus.



My sophomore year, I lived in Century Apartments with three other engineering students. Even though it took me about two more minutes to get to class when compared to Birnkrant (where I was able to roll out of bed at 7:55am for my 8:00am class on time), it was still very close to campus. There is definitely a difference between the dormitory-style living found in Birnkrant, and the apartment-style living in Century. Apartment living is generally much more quiet – it’s difficult to get to know your neighbors, and I did not bond with people on my floor as much as I did in Birnkrant. But apartments have their perks – for the first time, I had my own kitchen, in which I could cook meals any time of the day, as well as a living room where I could study at any hours of the night without bothering my roommates. Century also has a swimming pool area where I often met up with friends to study in the sun or in the water. Check out Steve Wolfsohn’s blog to see more about Century life – he’s living there this year!

Panorama view of my living room and kitchen in Century.

In Century, I was also involved with the Building Government. Every week, we met with the mission to make Century a more comfortable living space for its residents. So, we planned multiple social events, such as karaoke nights, barbeque get-togethers, and building-wide study breaks, as well as bonded with other members on the Building Government by going rock-climbing or having BG dinners at LA Live. I was the Housing Intramural Community Cup Sports Representative and organized teams for Century residents to play intramural sports such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, and ping-pong. At the end of the year, we won the Building Government of the Year – one of the proudest moments of the year for me.

2010-2011 Century Building Government of the Year


Finally, this year, I am living in my third university-owned housing: Cardinal Gardens. This time, I am living with three people who I did not know before moving in. Location-wise, it is a little closer to campus than Century. Building-wise, it seems also a bit newer than Century. The biggest difference between Century and Cardinal Gardens is that Cardinal Gardens has multiple small houses with about ten apartments each. Century, on the other hand, has two large buildings with multiple floors of long hallways with apartments. Other than that, the living situations between Century and Cardinal Gardens don’t differ by much.

Click on the images below to explore a 360 degree view of each of the rooms in my apartment!

My own living room in Cardinal Gardens - Click on the image to get a 360 degree view!

My Cardinal Gardens Bathroom - Click on the image for a 360 degree view!

My bedroom in Cardinal Gardens - Click on it for a 360 degree view!



  • Eileen Hsu says:

    This looks like a nice dorm room, many of the students here New York city, parents will buy them a condo instead of staying at the dormitory.

  • PKUSC says:

    Cargar looks like it has nice rooms, but a friend of mine lives there now and her apartment isn’t nearly as nice (no wood floors, etc) Have there been renovations over the past few years? If so, what block is this apartment in and what other blocks have been renovated?

    Thank you!!!