Freshman year is full of changes. You move away from home, you gain independence, you make new friends, etc. For me, freshman year was the best year of my life. I lived in New North, and while there were a few drawbacks to living in that dorm, I couldn’t have asked for a better living situation. I was fortunate enough to meet and befriend people that I know will be a part of my life forever. New North was a place full of constant laughs and chaos. There was always something to do and someone willing to do it with you. It was where I belonged. The nine months that I was able to live in that dorm all blended together as one. Then, May came around, and I emotionally packed up my dorm and moved home for the summer.
I expected sophomore year to be a continuation of last year. The apartment complex, West 27th Place, had a very similar reputation to that of New North. It was known as the “social” apartment complex for sophomores, just like New North was the “social” dorm for freshmen. Immediately upon moving in, I knew that sophomore year would be fun. What I didn’t account for was how different it would be in comparison to freshman year.
The first difference that I noticed was the so-called “door policy.” In New North — or at least in my hall in New North — everyone left their doors open at all times. You couldn’t walk through the hall without hearing your name being called from multiple rooms or running into at least five people that you knew. Apartments are a little different. There is no such thing as the “open door policy.” This isn’t necessarily a drawback; In fact, many people would probably consider this to be a positive thing. It is a lot quieter and you do have much more privacy. However, I am a fan of constant interaction and noise. I miss the loudness of my freshman dorm.
As November approaches, I am better able to reflect on my transition from freshman to sophomore year. In terms of housing, I have noticed that living in an apartment is much less social than living in dorms. To be completely honest, I don’t think I’ve even met all of my immediate neighbors.
Outside of housing, things have pretty much stayed the same. I still love my friends, my classes and USC as a whole. My friendships continue to grow stronger along with my USC pride. Since everything is no longer new, I also have more time to explore L.A. Additionally, I am less homesick than I was last year. Overall, sophomore year is neither better nor worse than freshman year; It’s just different.