Home is Where the Heart Is – Housing at USC

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Hi folks!

Being abroad it is always nice to stop and reflect on just how great it is to be home – in the spirit of home I’d like to share with you a little about the places I’ve called home over the past couple years at USC as well as the current place I’ve just started calling home in Singapore.

Marks Hall – Freshman Year

When I applied for USC housing, I originally really wanted to be housed in Birnkrant, but unfortunately due to overflow housing, there was not enough room (as advice – if you are a scholar wanting to stay in Birnkrant, apply early !!!). This turned out for the better though because I ended up getting to live in Marks Hall, where some of my favorite college memories were born and I made incredible friends. Now I should note that Marks Hall is one of the oldest residential buildings – there are only two floors (one for guys and one for girls), only one staircase (the lack of elevator is only an issue on move-in and move-out day, I promise), and no air conditioner meaning the first weeks of September in LA heat are a little brutal. Marks Hall is not known for being the most social of dorms, and it definitely took my floor a little time to warm up to each other, but once people starting opening their doors we became very close friends. By the end of the year, I had a tight-knit friend group with all the girls in my half of the halfway and I was pretty good friends with everyone on the floor. These girls pretty much kept me sane all year, and were the most supportive and loving people through everything in life. I don’t really enjoy going out very much and neither did they, so it was nice because we all got to find other ways to have fun by ordering late night Thai food, ordering cookies for the floor, and playing card games late into the evening. Overall I’d say if you’re looking into choosing freshman housing, its far more important who you’re with than where you are. Marks Hall may not have been the newest of buildings, but it was on central campus (which was the best on game days when there was tailgating on the lawn) and it was home to awesome people.

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Dominique and Brenda… Two of my fellow STEM warriors from Marks! 🙂

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Bonnie from Marks and I on our way to Malibu for the weekend! 🙂

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Tailgating on Marks Hall lawn – Nothing like game day!

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This was what it all looked like Day 1 when it all started – welcome to USC!

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My favorite picture of my hallmates and I enjoying a late night snack while studying and playing games!

USC Century Apartments – Sophomore Year

Sophomore year was another adventure all together. This time around I got to live with three of my best friends from my acapella group – we fondly referred to our place as the “Overflow Apartment” since often times our acapella group members could be found hanging out at our place. Century is a great place to live because it is right across campus (next to the Lyon Center gym though I used it less than I would like to admit) and it is pretty close to the engineering campus – I could ride my back across the street to classes every day. The apartment was relatively clean and worked just well for our purposes – some of my favorite memories are of sitting up late into the night making food and hanging out with the girls. In fact, it was hard for me to decide to go abroad knowing I wasn’t going to get to see these lovely people – and I still miss them a ton!

I will be housing with them again next semester as well, so Century Round II here we come!

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My roommate Camille and I at our friend Frances’ wedding this past January – with our busy schedules we didn’t take much time to take pictures, but I’m glad we caught this moment as she is one of my favorite people on earth 🙂

Prince George Park Residences 

In Singapore, I live in a huge complex of single dorm rooms called Prince George – don’t mistake the Prince part for luxury, this place is definitely not royal. While the rooms are small and the facilities are sometimes a little messy, the place has been overall really clean and comfortable, and it has been a relief to come back here after traveling. People here are far more antisocial than at Utown, the main residential and student life hub, but I have still gotten to meet some neat people like a girl Carol on my floor who is also in BME. While it would have been nice to be assigned to housing in Utown in a suite of six with other international and local students, I have enjoyed PGP and am grateful for the housing close to the metro for city access. PGP also has delicious waffles, so thats always a plus!

Needless to say, home is definitely where my heart is – and so its been nice to have a great home with the Trojan family. Over time I think I have developed many homes – that with my family and that with my friends and that with my Trojan family. Whether I’m in Carlsbad paddle surfing with my parents or exploring Southeast Asia with my best friend, or hanging out with my roommates in good ol’ SC, if I’m surrounded by those people I’m home.

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The front of Prince George’s Park Residences.. There are so many buildings

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My empty room before luggage arrived

I hope you all have a great week enjoying your home – and I hope many of you are planning to make USC your home next fall! 🙂 

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Madelina-2016

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Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2018
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