“I want to go home.”

Every time I am not in Columbia, I find myself saying this. Home used to be my hometown, but now even my Google Maps says otherwise.

Home is USC.

I was in Columbia all summer. I probably ate at Corner Blend close to 40 times. I tubed down the Congaree River. I played board games and did paint nights with my friends.

The city has seen dozens of protests, battled the coronavirus pandemic and prepared for students' returns.

And one thing has remained clear: USC is not the same without its students, faculty and staff.

Central to our stories, students, faculty and staff will drive the conversation on campus and in the community whether we are in person or online.

Even though we will no longer produce a weekly print edition, we will continue to report and inform our readers digitally through our social media, newsletters and website. This special edition is just one of two we are planning for this semester.

‘Pieces of Home’ celebrates the Carolina community — its people, places and cultures. From local Black-owned businesses to the history of U101, our reporters, photographers and designers told stories that encompass what it means to be a member of the Carolina community even in the middle of the pandemic.

Here’s to health.