College dorm life takes some time to get used to, and adjusting has a lot to do with the dorm you choose to live in. After spending a year living in USC’s Parkside International Residential College, a.k.a. Parkside IRC at USC, I can honestly say that the living-in-a-college-dorm experience is 100% recommended. Keep reading for 12 things you’ll only understand if you live in Parkside IRC at USC, the good, the bad and the ugly!
1. It’s one of the newest dorms!
Parkside IRC was built less than 10 years ago, and it’s gorgeous. The outdoor fireplace and lounge areas are always strewn with students studying, relaxing or having fun. Also, the rooms are huge, the bathrooms are always clean, and the halls are quiet at night. What else could you ask for?
2. Meals have never been more convenient.
The dining hall is conveniently located directly downstairs and 20 steps away. Snacking has never been so easy, but beware of the Freshman 15!
3. Dorm-hosted game nights are the best!
Friends, fun, and free food? Yes please! Whether it’s to play Jeopardy or board games, game nights are the perfect time to get to know the people on your floor and make new friends. Fun fact: game night winners tend to go home with gift cards and prizes!
4. Watching TV and chilling in the floor lounges.
Sure, it’s not your couch at home, but at least your siblings aren’t fighting you for the remote. And slowly but surely, the sounds coming from the TV will beckon your fellow dorm-mates to join you.
5. Your suite mates will become your best friends.
They are always there for you. Seriously, seconds away. Whether it’s to chat about the latest gossip, rant about your classes, or go out for a late-night bite to eat, they will always be there.
6. You never run out of things to do!
Tired of being in your room? Take a hard-earned break and head across the street to the California Science Center, Natural History Museum, or Coliseum. You can also take the Metro to Santa Monica or Downtown LA and explore the city!
7. “Ew, you live in the study dorm?” is all you’ll hear.
The peace and quiet is great for studying, but not so much for socializing. Being stuck in the science and engineering side of campus means that few exciting things happen near the dorm.
8. You have to run for the bathroom as soon as you hear the door open!
Two bathrooms for seven girls shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. You know that if you don’t claim the bathroom someone else will and they’ll be in there forever.
9. “Parkside Darkside” is a real thing…
Don’t be surprised to hear frustrated screams when the building Wi-Fi crashes in Parkside IRC at USC. That 10-page research paper that’s due tomorrow at midnight? Turn it in NOW. On the bright side, the longer the Wi-Fi is down the more people will come out into the hallway, so take advantage of these moments to make new friends!
And The Ugly…
10. Swiping your ID card is your life.
Building? Elevator? Stairs? Suite? Room? Swipe, swipe, swipe! Yes, the security is great, but it does become a hassle when you have to do it multiple times every single day. Make sure you keep track of your ID card, or you’ll be in trouble!
11. Sharing a suite hallway.
Whether your suitemate is getting it on, having a party, blasting music, screaming into their phone, or yelling at their video game, you will hear it all. Everyone likely knows everything, so take care in making that your private things stay that way.
12. 4AM fire alarms…
Expect to have the alarm go off in the building at least once a month. The warning announcement will blare through your room speaker a second before the alarm starts whooping. Trust me, you should have a jacket, pair of sweatpants and shoes by your bed at all times because trying to gather your clothing and thoughts together is impossible while the alarm is going off.