USC Parents Thread

<p>madbean: Last Sunday we had the opportunity to look at both A/H and IRC rooms. (The buildings are beside each other). My D put her priority down for IRC a long time ago. She has changed it to A/H now (though still very much likes IRC too)
The suites in A/H have an extra small space on entering, enough to fit a table and chairs...sort of a little common lounge within the suite. But what my D really liked was the feeling of the corridors, they have a floor to ceiling window at the end which brings in light and gives a nice aspect to corridors, and the carpeting is attractive. Each suite has a sort of indented entanceway for the door, which further breaks up the length of the corridor. Rooms are very nice, the middle ones/one (depending on # rooms, have two windows, and the end ones are designed perpendicularly and have one window. Rooms are furnished with light color furnishings. Two baths, with bathtub/shower.</p>

<p>As well, the common study area downstairs was very nice, furnished again in attractive light colored furniture (like birch maybe), giving an atmosphere of "lightness". A/H also has a sort of common room where they show films or have communal activities. Lobby area also attractive. It was all very clean and still appeared very new.</p>

<p>IRC is similar in everything but does not have those "extras", yet still also very nice.
IRC has a nice plaza area with brick paving, and tables. In front of A/H there's a grassy area where students were sunbathing.
My D will be happy at either building.</p>

<p>Distance, we have walked it a few times, and really it's not far to rest of campus at all, maybe 10 mins to just about everywhere.
Viterbi is nearby (for those in engineering).</p>

<p>from A&H, i can walk anywhere within 5-10 min. it takes 2-5 minutes to get anywhere on bike. I only try to use my bike when I'm super late though. </p>

<p>i say an equal number of guys and gals have bikes. Just that the girls have the beach cruisers (i'm guilty of this too) </p>

<p>the dinners are pretty popular. you get a nicer dinner for the same meal swipe as the regular parkside restaurant. I've personally never been to one, but from those who have, i've only heard positive things.</p>

<p>My son put down Fluor as first choice because it has air conditioning and he likes the idea of sharing a suite with 7 other guys (thinks of it as 7 instant friends). Also, when you have a dorm room with just one other person who is not a current friend/someone you know, then there is more risk with just one other roommate and have to hope it works out. What do you think of Fluor?</p>

<p>About AC- it's really not bad. There may be about 2 weeks in August/September and a few scattered days through the year they will wish they had it. But the rest of the time, it is a non-issue. A fan will do. </p>

<p>S in New has a room that faces the afternoon sun. Last weekend we had a heat wave over 100º and he said when they opened the door and windows with the fans, it was not really a problem. And it's BEAUTIFUL now.</p>

<p>It was a little tricky to find a fan in the stores in late August but then after we bought a rickety one elsewhere it turned out that the USC bookstore had great ones. They carry lots of other useful stuff as well. </p>

<p>Incidentally, if you go to the closest Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond on move-in day, you'll see a whole lot of other USC students and some of the dorm room supplies may be in short supply. But LA is a big town and there are lots of other branches a bit further away. For instance, there are two Targets in Pasadena.</p>

<p>My only daughter is graduating from USC May 16. I'll share some of the last 4 years. We live in a beach community 30 miles from USC. I only mention this because the beach area is usually a lot cooler especially during the summer compared to LA. Every year in September and October when it was hot my daughter would complain about the weather. It may say that the dorm or apartments have air conditioning , but in can still get warm. Especially in the apartments as not the whole apartment has air conditioning. It's a good idea to have a fan. Here are the highlight form the last 4 years.</p>

<p>Freshman year. She had taken 3-4 AP classes with scores of 4 and 5, but unfortunately that did not help her receive credit for USC classes. It did help with her registration. She stayed in Birnkrant , had a roommate she got along well with. She did not care for the meal plan. We did not let her have a car. For the first 6 weeks she came home almost every week until she made friends. Campus is kind of quiet on the weekends. Since she was already familiar with LA she would take the shuttle bus and go downtown with her friends. She still likes to go to the LA library downtown.
During the first weekend at school there is a bus from campus that will take students to Target (it is not close to campus) to buy supplies. At the end of the year I saw storage containers from the local storage area picking up belongings for the summer.</p>

<p>Congrats, thmom! Great to hear some of your highlights. Now that you are here, throw in a few more cents before May 16. </p>

<p>Hope you are having a big grad celebration- I'm sure she AND YOU deserve it!</p>

<p>sophmore year</p>

<p>She stayed in Marks Tower . Since this was an apartment she had to cook. She did not know any of her roommates. She got along with her roommate who shared her room and tolerated the other 2. It turned out the other 2 roommates had been there before and the shared a lot of the cooking utensils and appliances. She had a car this time but had lousy campus parking that was a couple of miles from her apartment and was on the other side of the freeway. There was a shuttle that went to the parking lot. next semester she studied in Madrid and had a great time.</p>

<p>junior and senior year she has been at Annenberg House which she likes because the grounds are better. Junior year she was able to park at Annenberg , senior year a couple of blocks away. </p>

<p>After the first few weeks during the freshman year she stopped coming home on the weekend.</p>

<p>I've asked her about her experience at USC, she has enjoyed her professors, made nice friends and has enjoyed the whole experience. She especially enjoyed the new USC program “Visions and Voices" which was not available her freshman and sophomore years. she never had a problem with the neighborhood around USC. She appreciated the ethnic diversity and enjoyed going to the different neighborhoods that make up LA.</p>

<p>hope your children have a great experience</p>


<p>Were you worried about her having a car? Getting back and forth from car to dorm after dark? Getting it broken into? Friends always needing rides?
How difficult was it to get a parking permit? Thanks!</p>

<p>Parking is by lottery and you can only participate after you get a housing assignment. I believe the lottery is in May. When you get into the lottery you can but down your first and 2nd choice for parking I forget if there is a third choice. If you miss the lottery which she did her sophomore year she got lousy parking that was across the freeway from campus. She hated the parking. Sometimes she would park near campus instead of in the lot but she said parking was hard to find since the apartments are near THE ROW. Sometimes she would get a ticket. She would go out with her girlfriends so most of the time she had someone to walk with at night she never had any problems. She and another friend had cars so they did drive their friends around. She enjoyed having the car and would drive to the Trader Joe's for food and go to other events in the area. The apartments are a 20 min walk from campus so sometimes she would walk from campus to her apartment in the early evening. There is a campus shuttle service that runs between the apartments and campus. She did not use it because she said it took too long. A lot of students who stay in the dorms and apartments have a bicycle she did not. I did worry about her safety when he was at school but as the years have gone I worry less.</p>

<p>The summer before she left I signed her up for a safety course. I don't know how much it helped her but it made me feel better</p>

<p>Here's a story about buying a parking permit-</p>

<p>My S and his roommate had class (high school) at the time that parking permits would go on sale for the lot they wanted. Roommate's mom and I agreed with our boys that we would help them with the online purchase because we knew that timing was an issue. We talked on the phone right before and figured out the process. At exactly the right time, I put in the request and got it. Then my phone rings: the other mom didn't get it. I asked her what happened and she said she stopped to read the terms and conditions, and that minute or so made the difference. By the time she clicked SUBMIT, the lot was sold out!</p>

<p>It turned out OK because she was able to get another lot that was just as close. But just be aware of the date and time your lot goes on sale and don't stop to read the terms and conditions!</p>

<p>Here's the link and schedule. Students can set up an account before the scheduled time.
USC</a> Auxiliary Services | Transportation | Permit Information</p>

<p>My son graduated in May 2007.</p>


<p>Get to move-in day early.
Don't hang around if your s/d doesn't want you to.
It will probably be hot when school starts.
Internships are really important so you may have to buy a car eventually.
Making and retaining contacts with fellow students especially in film are very important for both personal and business reasons.
First semester freshman year is tough on the kids so be prepared for the "no one loves me; I don't have any friends; I'm lonely; I don't understand my classes; I miss you" type of calls.
First semester is especially tough on the guys socially. Females can get into any frat parties, guys who are not members have to be invited. By second semester males discover other social outlets through their friends and don't need the fraternities.
Even if you live far away consider the necessity of bringing you kid home for a long weekend. It may help reduce the anxiety and stress for both of you.
Go to parents weekend the first year. It's fun and your student, whether they admit it or not, will be happy to see you.
When we visited in LA we stayed at the Marriott on South Figueroa.
Don't go to Palm Desert/Palm Springs in late August unless you like your temps at 107 degrees.
Find a way to get money to you child quickly. Emergencies are always happening.
It is expensive, and the costs never end.
Be prepared for your child not come home after graduation. Mine stayed in LA. We knew that would happen, but we miss him.</p>

<p>Good luck. USC has a beautiful, immaculate, campus and I loved visiting it especially as a way of escaping a Wisconsin winter.</p>

<p>tsdad, thank you for the wonderful advice
This thread keeps getting better and better!</p>

<p>tsdad, is your son in film? is that why he's staying in LA?</p>

<p>when you said get to move-in day early, how early?</p>

<p>expensive and the costs never end -- that's what I'm afraid of.</p>

<p>thmom, thank you so much for joining us with your wonderful USC mom wisdom. Congratulations on your daughter's graduation. </p>

<p>tsdad, your reflections and suggestions are priceless.</p>

<p>It is very kind of cc411 and all USC parents to offer the help. If this is a taste of the Trojan family network, even here on cc, I'm so glad my s made this choice for school.</p>


<p>My son is in film. He was a critical studies major. He has has had a run of good luck this week. He will start working full time for a small production company on Monday as the in the office point person, and the script that he and his roommate first wrote while they were at USC is going to be turned into a movie. There is an actual production company involved; my son and his co-writer have a lawyer; there have been negotiations. But, I'll believe it when it actually happens and he has a check in his pocket.</p>

<p>As to when is early: by the time it starts. Parking will be hard to come by. </p>

<p>And remember: and this is directed to parents of female students (based on my observations during move-in day--I'm not being sexist) it's a dorm room that is going to be shared. There is only so much that can go in there.</p>

<p>Hi all - </p>

<p>Boy has this thread helped me! (as has the Musical Theatre and Art Major threads on CC)</p>

<p>All this advice is putting my nerves at ease! My daughter will enter as a BFA in Acting in the School of Theatre in the Fall --- I think she found her roommate on Face Book last night! --- We decided she could do without her car freshman year - but should get a bike and I think after reading the thread on meal plans we even know which plan she will do! </p>

<p>We are going to the second Orientation in June... will anyone else be there?</p>

<p>A tip to share - I just learned Southwest has a student discount, which I will check into --- we are in Northern California, so it works for us --- I'm going to check to see if Virgin America has a similiar rate --- because you can't beat those touch screen monitors, the neon lighting and the black leather seats!</p>

<p>And to tsdad --- I will surely pass the tip about "only so much" on to my daughter - but I am pretty sure that will go in one ear and out the other!!</p>

<p>Thanks so much for all the pearls of wisdom!</p>

<p>Some of those first semester telephone calls may also include announcements that "I hate it here." How do you handle that? I told my son that he could transfer out, but he had to stay a full year, and he could only transfer to UVA, where he had been previously accepted. We lived in Virginia at the time. That ended that especially after the long weekend home in November. </p>

<p>My favorite story? While he was still in high school I fell in love with Middlebury based on the pictures on their website, and because they had a film program. I urged my son to apply and I said that I would take off work so we could visit it. He absolutely refused. He did not want to go to a school in a rural area in Vermont. When the transfer business started he floored me by saying he wanted to go to Middlebury. I said: "What? You refused to even consider the place last year. You hate the cold. When you went on a class skiing trip to Vermont you stayed inside the whole week." None of this seemed to ring a bell with him. Teenagers can have very selective memories.</p>

<p>Uh oh rainmama...look at my user name...I'll be discoverd by our fellow inquisitive parents for sure...:)</p>

<p>(To others on this thread-we know each other!)</p>