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One of the most vivid memories that I have of the spring of my senior year of high school is getting dropped off by an Uber at USC when I had the chance to fly out to LA to visit campus. I had never been to the West Coast, so getting invited to attend Explore USC was beyond exciting, but it took me a while to wrap my head around what that actually meant: I was getting invited by my dream school to visit their campus and interview for a merit scholarship. Putting that into words to this day still feels weird to me, so my 18-year-old self was most definitely not fully comprehending what was going on. 

When I got dropped off right by the USC Village and got picked up by my Explore Host, it took me a while to understand that it was actually USC’s campus. It felt too good to be true; I had never seen a campus that combined modern elements with Romanesque architecture so smoothly, and for a while I really thought the Village was just some off-campus complex.

Needless to say, the opportunity of spending a few days at McCarthy Honors College, USC’s freshman dorm for merit scholars, was the cherry on top of it all, and knowing that I would get to stay there if I eventually decided to commit to USC was definitely an item I added to my “pros” list when deciding which college I would attend. 

McCarthy is a suite style dorm exclusive for freshmen that hold merit scholarships (Presidential, Trustee, Morks, and Stamps). By suite style, it means that you get a bathroom that you only need to share with your suite, rather than having to share a communal bathroom with an entire floor/wing in regular dorms. I was in a Double Loft room, meaning that I lived in a suite with 2 rooms with 3 other guys (2 guys per room) and shared a bathroom with them; our rooms were lofted, so each person had a bunk bed with a desk space beneath it. 

I found McCarthy to be the perfect dorm for me. It is the newest dorm for freshmen right at the core of the USC Village, so it has really great amenities, such as great study lounges and a beautiful courtyard. I also had A/C in my room and only shared a bathroom with 3 other people. Another perk was its location, since it was right next to the dining hall and Target/Trader Joe’s, and right across the gym. Granted, I wasn’t hitting the gym that often back then, but it was nice to know it was there!

Nonetheless, McCarthy’s main asset was the people. Throughout countless late night study sessions in the lounges, or even in building/floor wide events, I got to meet so many amazing people, some of which are my best friends to this day. The building houses some of USC’s brightest minds, and by interacting with people with backgrounds completely different from mine, I got to learn more than I ever could in a classroom. If you get the opportunity to live there, I would strongly encourage you to consider it!


Fun fact: I am currently a Resident Assistant at that same building, so I will graduate having lived in McCarthy both my freshman and senior year!

Viterbi Voices