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Brittany Dawson, the CampusRiot Campus Representative for the University of South Carolina, is a junior studying English at the University of South Carolina.

Here are 10 tips to survive the University of South Carolina!

 1. Prepare for Columbia’s SMELTERING heat!

Students on Campus(photo credit: via)

My, oh my! Columbia is the hottest place on earth in the state, and truthfully, it’s unbearable. Do not underestimate the temperature! If the weather guy says, “Ah, it’s 80 degrees today!” don’t believe him because most likely, it’ll feel more like 1,000 degrees. Unless you want to melt away by the heat, prepare yourself by bringing water or dressing comfortably (ex. athletic shorts, tank tops, etc.)

2. Want a good parking spot? Arrive on campus at least 30 minutes early!

Columbia Parking(photo credit: via)

Okay, so I can’t complain about parking too much considering I pay almost $400 a semester to secure my spot in the Bull Street parking garage, but for those who park elsewhere, arrive to campus earlier than you normally would if you’re looking for a good parking spot. Trust me, this works.

3. Take advantage of the Student Success Center

Student Success Center(photo credit: via)

The Student Success Center is on the Mezzanine Level in the Thomas Cooper Library; it is one of the best places to study! Whether you’re studying alone or with a group of classmates, it’s a wonderful place to relax. Also, their chairs are super comfy, I mean, if anything, this should entice you to study (or fall asleep).

4. Squirrels are EVERYWHERE, don’t be ‘scurred

Squirrel(photo credit: via)

I think it’s safe to say that the University of South Carolina has an abnormal amount of human-like squirrels. They are not afraid of people and will gladly walk very close to you! I once saw a squirrel eating a slice of pizza: it made me question everything.

5. Spend time on the Horseshoe

The Horseshoe(photo credit: via)

The Horseshoe is the most scenic area on campus, so if you’re looking for a place to unwind and relax, take a stroll around the Horseshoe!

6. Eat at the Colloquium Café

Colloquium Cafe(photo credit: via)

Granted, the Colloquium Café is always busy, but it is a treasured on-campus eatery that many students love. Oh, did I mention how their sandwiches are the BOMB.COM? Yes, you will be tempted to eat an entire sandwich by yourself, but it’s okay, no one will judge you.

 7. Try Cool Beans and Starbucks

Cool Beans(photo credit: via)

Cool Beans, located on College Street, and Starbucks, nestled inside of the school bookstore, are the best places to grab a good cup of Joe. I’m pretty sure they are aware that we are struggling college students trying to get by, so it’s affordable and it won’t break your bank!

 8. Whatever you do, don’t lose your Carolina Card!

Carolina Card
(photo credit: via)

So far, I have yet to lose my Carolina Card *knocks on wood*. If you lose your Carolina Card, prepare to pay an astounding $35 replacement fee. Without your Carolina Card, you cannot print from the library, gain access to parking garages, or be admitted to student events, like football games. A lost Carolina Card= a lost Carolina student.

 9. Explore Five  Points or the Vista

Five Points(photo credit: via)

Five Points is the mecca of all things fun, crazy and wild. There are bars everywhere, a college student’s dream (that is, a college student that is of legal drinking age, please drink responsibly). For those who would rather do something less crazy, there are shops and restaurants sprinkled around the Vista, you are bound to find something to do!

 10. Exercise at Strom Thurmond Wellness & Fitness Center

Strom Thurmond Fitness and Welness Center(photo credit: via)

The Strom Thurmond Wellness & Fitness Center is gorgeous. From racquetball courts to a rock climbing wall, this fitness center has it all! If you’re like me and have a pretty hectic schedule and find it hard to exercise, the gym is open until midnight Monday through Friday and closes at 11 p.m. on the weekends. There is also an enormous pool that is open during the spring.

Can you survive at the University of South Carolina?