The Daily Gamecock

Column: Celebrate being back on campus

All our favorite amenities on campus are back open and better than ever as we resume class this semester. We have all been cooped up in our dorms and apartments for too long, and we need to get out and use the campus as much as possible in the coming months.

The USC campus was a sad sight all last year, as the once-bustling Russell House seemed to be half-empty, the library a little too quiet and the academic buildings were seldom holding students. As the university begins to return to business as usual, take this time to study in the library instead of in your room, and eat your lunch in the Russell booths instead of having take-out. Celebrate the ability to feel normal again.

Though it is easy to slip back into old study habits from last year, in-person classes might come with additional studying for those dreaded in-person exams. The library once again is a place you can gather with study groups in the newly reopened study rooms and collaborate to help one another ace your tests. All floors of the library and the book stacks have also reopened this semester without any prior appointment necessary.

Many distancing protocols in Russell House have been removed. Though I always prefer sitting outside and enjoying the South Carolina heat, if you favor air conditioning, all indoor seating is available for use. Walking through Russell, knowing students are once again grabbing a quick bite between running around campus to get to class makes me feel like balance has been restored.

Take this year as a new start and a fresh opportunity to take full advantage of our campus. I know it is easier to stay at home, especially if you live off campus, but arriving on campus in the morning and catching up on work, or even just hanging out outside until after your last class, can help you stay productive and keep your energy up.

Most academic buildings have beautiful study spaces if the library isn’t for you. The School of Journalism and Gambrell Hall have rooftop study spaces, and the Darla Moore School of Business has multiple different study spots, as well.

Being comfortable is often the easiest path to take, especially if you are new to campus, such as if you are a first- or second-year student who had online classes last year. Going out and sitting outside Russell between classes or lounging around on the Horseshoe instead of in bed will help you feel more connected to USC and the Gamecock community.

As I enter my third year here at USC, I can attest to how fast college flies by. The pandemic has taken enough from each of us, and it is up to us to take that time back. I relish in my walks through Greene Street each morning as I think about my measly two years left here. I hope that everyone is enjoying their walk to in-person class as much as I am.

Despite how long our college journeys might seem, we only have four years to be here — so enjoy them, and take advantage of every opportunity you can.