Housing -- where we lived.
Whether you're a freshman or a senior, sometimes housing can be a struggle. There are an endless amount of options, and priorities can change depending on the person who's making the decision and what your needs are! To help you best understand all of the opportunities, we thought we'd share some our experiences with you. From air conditioning to communal dorm bathrooms to the search for a studio, we hope that our personal stories might make the list seem a little less daunting.
APARTMENTS -- MAIA LOPES-GILBERT
For some, the dorm life is intriguing and exciting and a huge part of college. For me, however, I knew immediately that I wanted more of a suite or apartment type setup. I'm big on cooking for myself, I like having my own space, and to be honest the idea of having a living room (and air conditioning!!!) just ended up being a priority for me.
After applying with suites and freshman apartments as my priority choices, I was assigned to Webb Tower, in a two bedroom apartment where I lived with three other girls. And I have some pretty great things to say about it.
I know what you've heard. People who live in apartments don't socialize as much or meet as many people, right? Well, even though I lived in an apartment my freshman year, I met:
- an incredible group of guys across the hall (who I still call my friends)
- my close friend Sarah, who I ended up living with the following year
- an incredibly AMAZING and superhuman RA named Tayanna, who literally baked us cookies and made popcorn for every floor meeting. Not kidding.
Freshman year socializing is what you make of it -- and if that means you're like me and you want a kitchen and air conditioning, I say go for it.
I can assure you, not a lot of people can say that their freshman year they had access to a full-sized fridge, an oven to randomly bake cookies in at 3 in the morning because of a craving, or a couch and TV to have movie nights on when you don't want to be in your room but you don't want to go anywhere else. It was a luxury, and an amazing one. AND-- as a plus-- you'll find that a lot of people want to come over when you have that much space. SOCIALIZING BONUS!
I have lived in an apartment style building since my freshman year, and have loved it. This year I am lucky enough to have my own place, and I can assure you I host a ton of potluck dinners and study dates there, let alone have a comfy couch for friends to crash on if they're ever in need. I love it and highly recommend it!
SUITE STYLE -- ROBERTO GUTIERREZ
If you are looking to get the traditional "dorm experience" without having to compromise your space and peace, the suite style is perfect for you. I was looking for something a little different -- something that was a happy middle between a dorm and an apartment.
So I lived in Fluor Tower.
In most suites on campus, there are 3-4 bedrooms per suite, which means you live with less people as you would on a dorm floor. The suite life comes a living room space, a small kitchenette (Fluor Tower), and a large 2x2 bathroom. These amenities gave me everything I was looking for, and my roommates were pretty great people to live with.
Overall, I'm genuinely happy I lived there.
Not only were we less than a minute walk from a dining hall, Fluor Tower was also conveniently placed next to the Lyon Center gym and the USC Engemann health center. And come on, as a university freshman, a building that's near food, exercise, and the doctor's office is pretty much the trifecta, right?
Additionally, Fluor Tower's location has only gotten better. The street behind it is constantly lined with food trucks for lunch, and now you can cross the street and be on the grassy lawns of the USC Village. It was an overall great place to be, and its only getting better.
It may not have been as large as an apartment, but the suite style gave me all the amenities and everything I needed without losing that dorm feel. You still get to meet people, you still get your own space, and you still get a bathroom that you probably only share with 5 other people rather than a whole floor. Seriously, who doesn't want that?
Although I eventually moved into apartments with friends that I made, I think living in Fluor was definitely a great start to my memories at USC. I recommend it and think you'd like it, too.
DORMS -- NICK ALFANO
If you want the prototypical freshman dorm experience, then Pardee Tower may be your place. I wanted to find something that was more typical for a freshman, and I ended up there.
Located on the edge of campus bordering Figueroa, Pardee is eight stories tall with girls and guys splitting the building at four floors apiece. I was always a stone's throw away from a dining hall, the farmer's market on Wednesdays, or the main courtyard of campus.
I enjoyed living in Pardee because it gave me the opportunity to meet people that I call friends now, and for the rest of my life. It's in a great location and you cannot have a bad experience here.
Each floor has about 20 double rooms, making it 40 people per floor. Regardless of how you and your roommate get along, odds are you will meet at least a couple people you will be able to call close friends throughout your four years at SC. While the rooms are pretty small, it comes with two beds, two dressers, two desks, two closets and has room for a small couch and TV (if your parents are ok with that).
Pardee is in a great location on campus. It sits right across from Doheny Library (where you can get some serious studying done in a gorgeous and stunning space) and diagonal from Leavey Library, which is open 24 hours a day. Pardee is a two minute walk from the EVK Dining Hall, where most freshmen find themselves multiple times a day, and is surrounded by other freshman dorms such as Marks Tower and New/North.
Since my freshman days have passed, I now live in my fraternity house with my brothers and love (almost) every day of it. But would my freshman experience have been the same without Pardee? Probably not. If you think a dorm is where you might belong, go for it. I don't think you'll regret it.
You can look at all of the USC housing options here -- and we're always open to questions and comments!
#FightOn always, your annenberg ambassadors.