Ethan Lam / The Daily Gamecock

Opinion: Explore USC resources during finals

It’s that time of year again, that odd limbo between Thanksgiving and winter break otherwise known as finals season. Freshmen, you’ve almost made it! You are hopefully acclimated to life as a USC student and are now facing your first set of finals as college students. 

Much ink has already been spilled on having enough sleep, taking time to exercise and scheduling study time during finals. A quick Google search for finals study tips will provide you with columns by everyone from Teen Vogue to The Princeton Review reiterating similar themes: Make a study plan, take care of yourself and remain focused. 

USC has a variety of resources to implement these well-known study habits to help ensure this upcoming finals week is the most successful possible. 

Creating a study plan can be overwhelming; finishing up the last few assignments while preparing for upcoming exams can make the week before finals just as stressful as exam week itself. Thankfully, on Dec. 4, the Changing Carolina Peer Leaders host a De-Stress Fest at the Russell House patio from 2 to 5 p.m to coach students through studying and preparing for the week ahead. 

If your classes require final papers instead of exams, fear not! The Peer Writing and Communications Lab in Sims at Women's Quad will host a “Portfolio Pop-Up” for English 101 and 102 students on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 4 to 9 p.m. Free pizza is provided. Very few things can make finals week better. But free food is one of those things.

The Writing Center is also open for students to make appointments until Dec. 6. Although it is not an editing service, the center aims to help students at any point in their writing process, discussing themes, theses and ideas with students to organize their papers.

Throughout finals week, the Student Success Center sponsors “Finals Frenz[ies]” in Russell House, open study sessions for a variety of classes, from philosophy to physics. These sessions are open to all sections of the classes and have the potential to be a good supplement to studying on your own. To view specific classes, go to the university calendar online.

If organizing your own study groups is more appealing to you, don’t forget that you can reserve a room in the library to ensure that you have a private space to work. Simply go to and search “reserve a room.” The library can really fill up during finals week, so saving a spot can be a smart move.

Even though much of your time will be spent studying, don’t be afraid to find a change of scenery. Relocating can improve retention while giving you an excuse to get out of the library. Make studying fun in as many small ways as you can. Find a way to productively treat yourself by exploring local coffee shops — continue to work hard with the comfort of your favorite hot beverage of choice. 

When you do find time for a break, consider using some of USC’s resources to stay active. Strom and Blatt’s hours fit even busy schedules, and Group X classes will be free for anyone with a CarolinaCard.

Overall, this finals season, take a breath and be aware of all of the great resources available to you. Above all, prioritize your mental health. Remember the health center is open to walk-ins for anyone in crisis. Take time to find peace during this stressful time, whether that means going to a free yoga class, treating yourself to one of Starbucks’ holiday blends or simply finding a few moments to spend with friends.

Best of luck, students. We’ve almost made it.

Editor’s note: Stephanie Allen, the author, works for UofSC campus recreation.

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