The Daily Gamecock

Column: The best study spots are on campus

<p>Aerial shot of Thomas Cooper Library showing the reflecting pool, which has benches, often used as study spots, lining it.</p>
Aerial shot of Thomas Cooper Library showing the reflecting pool, which has benches, often used as study spots, lining it.

With another month left in the semester and upcoming finals, many students have the option to explore and utilize different studying spots throughout the University of South Carolina’s large and enjoyable campus. In fact, these often prove more useful and convenient than seeking out spots off campus.

It has been found time and time again that being outside improves one’s mental health and fights the things that often plague young people today: depression, anxiety, stress and more.

According to Lifeworks, several studies indicated that spending time in a greener environment improves mood and self-esteem, and brighter and sunnier days boost serotonin in the brain (which subsequently boosts one’s mood and reduces symptoms of depression), which helps to clear the mind and put worries at ease.

As the weather continues to become much nicer following the arrival of spring, many students have had better opportunities to study and complete work outside. Thankfully, this campus offers its students and faculty many different options to take advantage of the nice weather and be productive at work.

Some of the best outdoor study spots can be found just outside of the Thomas Cooper Library and Russell House, where benches surround the campus’s main fountain and tables border the walkways around Russell. Students can often be seen in these areas doing work and enjoying others’ company on sunnier, nicer days. 

Other areas can be found near the Capstone House's end of campus, including the tables and chairs outside of Colloquium Café and the Starbucks in the Humanities building. Students can easily grab a bite to eat to feel energized and more focused in their studying at these areas.

Just next to this area is Gambrell Hall, where students can utilize its third floor by studying and doing work outside on its roof.

Another great spot for students to study outdoors can be found in the Darla Moore School of Business. Since being updated in the early 2010s, this building has offered students an outdoor terrace with tables overlooking Colonial Life Arena and the 650 Lincoln building. Within its main courtyard, students can study and work surrounded by palm trees and the beautiful architecture of the building itself. 

One of the more well-known and popular outdoor spots on campus is the historic Horseshoe. If people aren’t out walking, tanning or playing games such as spike ball or frisbee, they are typically found on blankets with their laptops open and doing work in various spots across the Horseshoe.

Students should especially take advantage of this location, as they are not only able to soak in the nice weather there; they can also take pleasure in the view of the Maxcy Monument and the old president’s residence among other aesthetically-pleasing aspects of the Horseshoe.

In terms of indoor study spots, one of the more popular ones among students can be found in the Thomas Cooper Library. While a portion of its floors are currently closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some remain open for students and faculty to fully make use of.

On the main floor, socially-distanced tables are in place alongside a Starbucks and elevators. Students can effectively spread out and talk in moderate volumes within the main floor.

Just downstairs, the fifth floor consists of a technology lounge with computers and quieter areas. Through accessing the library’s website, students can get in touch with many resources to help better their academic performance and reserve a study space for a specified time period.

A level below that is the fourth floor, where students are also able to spread out in different kinds of tables and comfortable chairs to collaborate with others and complete work.

Other viable indoor study spots around campus can be found in the Darla Moore School of Business, the upper levels of Russell House, the basement of Gambrell Hall and the study rooms in residence halls.

While many students often seek study spots off campus in places such as coffee shops or restaurants with seating, the University of South Carolina’s campus offers more than enough areas for students to be able to focus on studying and completing work while also enjoying the scenery and their surroundings.