After making the decision to attend USC, my initial excitement turned to panic as I considered which housing option to choose. I had heard rumors about all of the different buildings, but I couldn’t be sure all of the rumors were true. I heard Birnkrant was changing; it would only house students who received a Presidential or Trustee Scholarship. Initially I worried that this would mean it would be unsocial, full of “nerdy” people who would do nothing but study all the time. Since I take my schoolwork seriously, I decided that even if my concerns ended up being true, I would be able to do my work in my dorm and find a social life through extracurricular activities. When I moved into Birnkrant I was ecstatic to discover that everyone I met was just like me. They took their studies very seriously and intended to do well in school, but they also recognized that college is also about making friends and being social.

Birnkrant is organized like a traditional dorm; there are 8 floors, each with approximately 40 people. Most floors have both a girl’s side and a boy’s side, but there is an all girls floor as well. Because the floors are relatively small, I have really gotten to know the people I live with, and they have become some of my best friends here at USC. My floor has bonded through activities such as floor dinners, trips to the Hollywood Sign, and intramural sports. The Birnkrant community as a whole is really tight – I know not only the people on my floor, but also people on each floor. Oftentimes people wander through the building, visiting friends on various floors. The close community makes it really easy to network, form study groups, and be social.

Beyond all of this, Birnkrant is located in a fantastic place on campus. It sits on top of TroGro, a 24-­‐hour convenience store, next to EVK, a freshman dining facility, and across from Leavey Library, a 24-­‐hour library. It is also directly next to McCarthy Quad, where there are often concerts, service events, book fairs, or people playing Frisbee or sunbathing.

Deciding to live in Birnkrant was one of the best choices I’ve made thus far at USC. I am extremely thankful for the friendships I’ve made and the experiences I’ve had living here.

Samantha Kaplan-2015

Samantha Kaplan-2015

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2015, Learn more on her profile here!