For many incoming freshmen, dorming at USC will be your first real opportunity to live on your own and, for many, this opportunity will take you pretty far from home, across cities, state lines, or sometimes even oceans. So finding a place where one would feel the most comfortable can be integral to making the most of this experience. Since there is a significant amount of housing available to freshmen and picking one can be a little daunting, I believe it might be helpful to share my experiences with one of USC’s largest freshman dorms, Pardee Tower. Pardee Tower is one of the four buildings that make up USC’s South Residential college. Packed to the brim with students of all walks of life, each floor in Pardee Tower is single gendered, going all the way up to eight floors (translating to four floors for guys, four floors for girls). Each floor is outfitted with multiple multiple shower and bathroom stalls and, conveniently, its own laundry room (word of advice to those who have their hearts set on Pardee or have already been place there: do not wait until Sunday night to do laundry. You will regret it and you’ll probably have to wait around for hours for a washer or dryer to open up). With the exception of RAs and a few single rooms scattered about the building, everyone living in this residence will have a single roommate. All in all, Pardee Tower definitely looks and feels like the quintessential college dorm. For myself personally, it always seemed like Pardee Tower really struck a good balance between the social and academic aspects of my lifestyle. Weekday nights are typically quiet, with many choosing to work in the comfort of their own dorm or venturing down to the gorgeous second floor lounge in order to work in a more collaborative setting. Newly remodeled, the Pardee Tower Lounge gives a great spot for groups to meet up, whether that be to form a study group or to enjoy a nice movie night in the lounge’s projector room. Weekends to be a little louder, with people shuffling in and out of rooms in order to make the most of the weekend or people chatting and catching up in the hallway. For events happening in McCarthy quad, the large, grassy area right at the doorstep of Pardee tower, residents will get a front seat to anything going on in the area.
Now, something that might be a little intimidating for incoming freshmen living in a residential college is the idea of a roommate. Whether it be fears of incompatibility or a general uneasiness in staying in such close quarters with someone for so long, rest assured that there are solutions to any bumps in the road in that department. In the beginning of the year, you RA (residential assistant) sits both of you down in order to talk about expectations for each other and to discuss each of your respective responsibilities in the room. Having an outline of each your expectations from the beginning of the year is a definitely an advantage when talking through any disagreements. In my case, I got along really well with my roommate and we became great friends, going on many 2am coffee runs and even a Halsey concert together!
As the year comes to a close, I can definitely look back and say that deciding to live in Pardee Tower was one of the best choices I made my freshman year. I had a great roommate, got really close to my whole floor, and not to mention I got a pretty great view! Pardee’s balance between social and academic aspects of student life is definitely a factor that facilitated my success and growth freshman year.