Applying to schools was challenging enough. Now, your faced with another important, and exciting, decision that will literally define where you live your freshman year of school.

Don’t sweat it. It’s not a huge deal.

I know there’s a lot of discussion about “which dorm is best”, but in reality, the people define the experience. That being said, it’s also helpful to have an idea of the people, who will in turn help you create a truly unique undergraduate experience.

My Freshman year, I lived in the New/North residence area. (Specifically, Elizabeth Von Kleinsmid Residence Hall, or EVK). When choosing dorms, I was very much between Birnkrant and New/North, and at the end of the day made a spur of the moment decision to decide New North. Fortunately, I was matched with someone who I met with at Explore in the Spring, and was really excited about the idea of living in a college-style dorm.

EVK 3rd Floor "Inhabitants"EVK proved to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I’m not exaggerating. The people I met who lived near me, the friendships and memories we created, and all of the unique experiences that we had made my first year at USC more than I could have imagined. I met a group of completely different people, from different parts of the country and different paths of study and perspective, and that confluence of individuality created an atmosphere unlike any other.

I know that’s a lot about the people. But like I said earlier, the mindset of our entire hall was the same: make the most out of this once in a lifetime opportunity to be in a college dorm close to our friends. Of course, there is some to be said about the living conditions in EVK as well. Although there is no A/C, a cool feature of EVK in particular are the sinks. If you can, snagging a room with a sink makes a normal double dorm about 3 feet wider, and in the case of dorm room sizing, that 3 feet actually makes a pretty big difference.

EVK Dining HallIn terms of food, you’re right next to Everybody’s Kitchen (people call it EVK) and the food there is, for the most part, pretty good. After a few months eating there, you’ll notice similarities in the food, but mixing it up on your own makes for a good dining experience. Plus, there are a bunch of different options available to eat very healthily. (Or not, if you should choose to do so).

Choosing a dorm is tough. But, I hope from this post you have the mindset that mindset is important, and that the people define the place much more than the other way around. As long as you make a choice that you’re interested in, and bring the energy and excitement, your choice should waterfall to the others living with you.

Energy, excitement, and an open mind. Do that, and the rest will take care of itself.


Fight On!


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Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2018, Learn more on his profile here!