students walking on campus with flowers blooming

Navigating the crowd

Pro-tips for how to get around campus with a record freshman class coming to town

Our Gamecock family will be growing this fall with one of our largest classes of new students coming to campus. Even seasoned upperclassmen may find campus a little more challenging to navigate.

Here are a few pro-tips to help everyone get where and what they need in a crowd.



In addition to the various lots and parking garages on UofSC’s campus, commuting students will now have an exclusive lot option. The Bull Street Park and Ride lot off Colonial Drive will be commuter-only and have shuttles running between the lot and campus throughout the day. This permit is only $40 making it the cheapest permit option for students.

Carolina students are not required to have a parking permit, but it can make finding a parking spot easier. There are hourly meters in the Bull St. and Pendleton Garages as well as on streets near campus. These tend to fill up quickly, though, so having a permit is advised.

Parking permits are required for motorcycles and mopeds, too, not just cars. Students choosing to use their bicycles on campus do not need to register their bike with UofSC Parking. However, it is advised to do so because it could help you in case of loss or theft.

For students planning on using the transit system, there have been no major changes. The regular daytime and evening routes for the school year remain the same, and rides are still free with the use of your Carolina Card. The Transloc app is still the best way to track those shuttles in real time.



If you’re a new Gamecock, navigating a new environment can be tricky. A good rule-of-thumb is allowing yourself double the time it should take you to get somewhere. You never know what will be happening on campus that day to act as an obstacle.

Dining and Carolina Card swipe options 

For new and returning students familiar with the long lines at Russell House and looking to branch out for food, Carolina Food Co. offers a variety of dining options across campus. All dining options accept meal swipes, except Starbucks. Starbucks accepts meal plan dollars or dealing dollars from meal plans. All locations accept Carolina Cash.

Some of the most popular, non-Russell House options are:

The Community Table at 650 Lincoln offers students a table-service style restaurant on campus. The menu features a wide variety of appetizers, pizzas, entrees and desserts.              

The Honeycomb Café in the Honors College residence hall offers all-you-can-eat hot entrees, a salad bar and grill items. The menu also has a variety of vegetarian and vegan options.

Sub and sandwich fans should try The Horseshoe Deli. This Carolina Food Co. staple is newly relocated from Russell to the Humanities Building.

Find healthy brunch and lunch options at Village Juice & Kitchen. Located on the first floor of Close-Hipp, this dining option offers smoothie bowls, wraps and snacks which can be paired with any of their cold pressed juices.

Global Cafe in the Moore School of Business features cuisines from around the world, including Greece, Brazil and South Africa.

Some students, new or old, might want to travel off campus for meals. There are a number of places that will accept Carolina Cash in addition to cash and credit cards. Most of these options are within five miles of campus. A comprehensive list of all the merchants with their addresses can be found on the Carolina Card website.

The off-campus options for Carolina Cash won’t be available in an online ordering app, though. Students will have to be present to use their Carolina Card as payment.


Making appointments

Many services on campus are simply walk-in, but there are some that require appointments.

The Health Center, for example, asks that students schedule an appointment online ahead of time for most in-person and telehealth needs. Primary care appointments can be reserved as much as four months in advance, and regular health screenings are always available as walk-in appointments for students. Some appointments may require a referral from your primary care doctor depending on the service.

Advising will require you to make an appointment prior to meeting with someone no matter the reason. Whether it’s academic, major change or transfer, advisors are notably booked up weeks in advance before registration. Make sure to schedule your appointments with them before then, so you can be prepared for the next semester.


Thomas Cooper Library

Every student has a preferred study environment and for many Gamecocks it’s the Thomas Cooper Library.

T-Coop, as it’s affectionately known, is deceptively larger than it appears with only 2 of its 7 floors above ground. The bottom 3 floors are “quiet floors” specifically for studying, but all floors have ample study areas including reservable study rooms.

Study rooms can be reserved for small or large groups up to four weeks in advance on the University Libraries website. This is good to keep in mind when exam season rolls around and the library gets busier. Exam season or not, however, T-Coop tends to be busiest 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 3– 5 p.m. on weekdays.


Avoid high-traffic times

With the sheer size of UofSC’s student body, it’s inevitable that you will feel lost in a sea of your fellow Gamecocks from time to time. This can be especially true if you are at certain campus hubs at certain times. This problem is easy to avoid.

Russell House, for example, is busiest 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Take this into consideration if you find yourself hungry during these times or are making plans to use one of the study spaces in Russell.

For a peaceful workout, try to hit the gym early in the morning. The Wellness and Fitness Center is busiest 10 a.m.-noon and 4-8 p.m.

Don’t be late to class over a latte. Both Starbucks locations on campus can be perpetually busy, but the one located in the Humanities building is busiest before noon. Keep that in mind if you’re thinking of grabbing a quick pick-me-up before your morning classes.

Share this Story! Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about