This week I wanted to talk to you about my freshman housing experience at the International Residence College (otherwise known as Parkside). The basic setup for the dorm is a suite-style, which means you will be living in a suite that has four different rooms, each with two people. In total, there are about a two hundred people on your floor, but each person will belong to one suite and a room instead of just a room like in other college dorms.
There are some great benefits to this! To start with, you get to know the people in your suite extremely well– I still hang out with a lot of people who were in the suites surrounding mine as well as my own suite from last year. Also, there are two personal bathrooms per suite that are cleaned two to three times per week, which means you will never have to deal with packed community bathrooms that everyone on a floor shares. Another great aspect about Parkside is that my favorite on campus cafe, the Parkside cafe, is actually a part of the building already. This means that you can go downstairs to food that will be waiting for you to feast on– I got into the habit of eating at least two bowls of lucky charms (or cinnamon toast crunch, if I was feeling adventurous) a day. Another great benefit is that it is extremely close to the engineering school, so if you have a lot of classes in engineering (which you will), it takes literally two minutes to get to class.
Here is a picture of a typical room!
Some people often try to steer people away from choosing IRC as their freshman dorm experience, but for me, it was exactly what I was looking for. One of the most dynamic aspects of IRC is that there is a decent population of International students. In my suite alone, two students were from China, and one was from South Korea; I tried my hand at learning Chinese, but ultimately, I couldn’t get the hang of it despite many efforts from my more than patient friend William. If I had to do it again, I would choose Parkside in a heartbeat.