Hi all! It's been so long since I've written, and I'm sorry for that! I've been super busy; I've had a lot going on in my life, but I'm back. (:
This year, I'm living in Union Street Center with three of the most amazing girls ever -- my best friend of seven years, Shelby, and our two random roommates, Emily and Kennedy. Let me be an example of random roommates being the best thing that ever happened! Shelby and I didn't know Emily or Kennedy before this school year, and they're both best friends of ours now! (:
Back row, left to right: Kennedy, Macky (our other best friend), and Emily
Front row, left to right: Shelby and me
Union Street Center is an on-campus apartment complex for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. It is comprised of seven buildings: Hickory, Beech, Cedar, Linden, Birch, Pine, and Cypress. I live in Linden, and I love it. Cedar is the main building, which has one of the best C-Stores on campus. Hickory and Beech both have small fitness centers in them, similar to what a hotel might have.
Union Street Center, although a pricey place to live (around $9,000 for the school year), was perfect for me because you don't have to pay monthly rent or utilities as you would for a typical apartment or house. Because it's an on-campus facility, it's considered room and board. I knew that I couldn't afford to pay rent every month, so lumping the cost in with my tuition was the best plan for me.
The complex is fairly new, five years old, so everything is super nice. Each apartment has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and a laundry area. The apartment is also furnished: bedrooms have a bed, a dresser, a wardrobe, a desk, a bookshelf, and a trash can; the living room/kitchen comes with a couch, a chair, a coffee table, two end tables, a floor lamp, a table lamp, a dining room table/chairs set, a refrigerator, a range, and two trash cans. Each apartment also comes with its own washer and dryer, which is super amazing after living in a dorm for a year!
Top to bottom: Panorama of my room, our living room, and our kitchen
USC's location is also really great. It's nestled between 10th Street and 7th Street, and you can get almost anywhere on campus is 15 minutes. This becomes something that you really appreciate as an upperclassman; a lot of my friends have said that they wish they had lived on campus this year because commuting is such a hassle. If you don't feel like walking to class, there's a bus stop right outside of Cedar. The SRSC is a 5 minute walk, Ballantine is about a 15 minute walk, and Kirkwood is about a 20 minute walk.
As I mentioned before, you have your own kitchen, so you can buy groceries and cook in your apartment. There's also the C-Store in Cedar, as well as the Eigenmann grill and C-Store across the street. If you want to go to an actual food court, Wright and Woodlands are both a 5-10 minute walk. It's also right across the street from Pizza X, so when you get that late night (or early morning... second lunch... or anytime...) pizza craving, you're in luck! (:
One other really great thing about Union Street is that it is so quiet. Everyone who lives here is super nice and respectful, and no one has outrageous parties (for the most part; usually about once every weekend, the apartment below us throws a pretty loud party). Most off-campus apartment complexes are super wild and super noisy, and a lot of my off-campus friends have also complained about this. Overall, USC has a really great environment for being a student. Plus, the buildings are beautiful and the view is great.
Courtyard view from my bedroom window
There are a few things about USC that I don't like, but they're pretty small things. The kitchen doesn't have a dishwasher or a pantry. Doing dishes by hand isn't the end of the world, but it can be a hassle at times. Not having a pantry is probably my number one dislike; cabinet space is so limited that only our dishes fit in them. Shelby and Emily both took the bookshelves out of their rooms, and we use them as a pantry. College teaches you to get creative with what you have!
The showers are pretty small, and they don't have any ledges in them, which makes shaving hard. Last on the short list of dislikes is that you're not allowed to have any pets (you are allowed to have fish... but still). To cope with this, my roommates and I frequently visit Anthony's Pets in the mall and play with the puppies.
One thing I want to make sure I talk about is stigma. This may seem random, but I want to talk about it because a lot of upperclassmen are driven away from living on-campus because of the stigma that comes with it. I personally think it is ridiculous to make fun of someone because they live in an on-campus apartment. USC is so nice, and the people are great too. There is virtually no noticeable difference between living here and living at Stadium Crossing or any other off-campus place. If you are afraid of that stigma, you shouldn't be. There's nothing wrong with living anywhere on campus, especially if it is better suited to your life. Plus, if people are going to make fun of you for where you live, what does that say about them? Not anything good, if you ask me. So don't let this sway you!
Overall, my roommates and I love Union Street so much that we've already signed a contract to live here again next year. We won't be in Linden, but Cedar, so it'll be fun to compare the two.
Sunrise behind Cedar (on the left) and Linden (on the right)
If y'all have any other questions or want to know more about something, feel free to ask me! If you want to know more about USC, you can visit there website here.