Tag Archives: study

The Ultimate Guide to UPC Study Spots

By Jonah Vroegop

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

It’s that time of the semester again! We are approaching finals week, and everyone is beginning to scramble to find a place where they can study and concentrate amidst all of the end of year chaos. As my final semester at USC is coming to a close, it seems only right that I pass on my accumulated knowledge of the best places on the USC main campus to work and study.

Doheny Bookstacks

The “bookstacks”, as they’re rightfully called, are where most of the books are located within Doheny Library. There are 3-4 underground levels of books on shelves, row after row. The ceiling is low, the smell of old books hangs in the air, and the silence is dominant. Scattered within these rows of books are small cubicles with a single chair and electrical outlet, as well as some tables where 2-3 people can work together quietly. For anyone like me who has trouble focusing in a noisy or stimulating environment, the bookstacks offer a quiet, air conditioned place to really get work done. You can enter the bookstacks from the Doheny Library front desk, just up the stairs from the main entrance.

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Asa V Call Law Library

The law library is another great place for people who have trouble focusing to catch up on work or who want to get ahead on upcoming assignments. It offers a mixture of seating – some squishy booths for larger groups of 4-6, some wooden tables for singles or groups, and even some standing workspaces with high tables. There are 3 floors of silent workspaces with outlets and overall, the law library is one of the most newly renovated study spaces on campus. There is even a cafe in the basement that sells food and drinks (boba!!). There are very few people in the law library and it is close to great food and coffee options on Figueroa/Exposition for your study fuel. Disclaimer: the law library is open to law students only for a few select weeks of the semester during law exams.

Watt and Harris Hall Courtyards

At the architecture school, there are two main buildings – Watt Hall and Harris Hall. Each of these buildings has a large outdoor courtyard where students can sit and work, have a meal, or just relax and enjoy the day. On sunny days when I don’t want to be cooped up in the library or if I bring food and drinks with me to study, these courtyard spaces are my preferred place to be. There are tables outdoors as well as lots of grass and landscaped spaces to work behind the school (toward Exposition). The architecture library is also a great place to study (Watt hall basement). It has a design-forward atmosphere that is pleasant to work in, but it is currently under renovation.

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Old Annenberg

Around the outside of the older Annenberg building, there are lots of individual and group study spaces to enjoy. Their are tables situated on on balconies and lining the walkways, and many of these tables have umbrellas to block the sun on bright days as well. With close proximity to the center of campus, these are usually very convenient places to stop and take care of a quick email or get some work done between classes. These spots are also not very well known and oftentimes entirely empty. There is also a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in the cinema school nearby to this area for your snack and drink convenience.

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Online to in-person time management

By Alyssa Delarossa

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

As USC has mostly transitioned to an in-person learning format, the struggle to adjust from over a year of online and remote learning to in-person is well felt within the student body. One of the hardest adjustments for myself and other students I have talked to is time management. While time management during remote learning was a struggle and adjustment, time management for in-person classes has always been a struggle and an especially big adjustment for freshmen and other first-year students. I’m going to share some tips for time management that I find helpful and hope they either can be of use to you or serve as a source of inspiration to form your own time management habits.

  1. Planning
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Taking a bit of time to thoroughly plan my days out as much as I can has served me well when it comes to exams, assignments, club and organizational activities, and other deadlines that I have to meet. I usually do this by making to-do lists on my phone notes app and calendar, putting down the time and length for each task (emails, homework, study, etc). I even put planning and random tasks such as grocery shopping and grabbing a coffee, which I find to be super helpful.

2. Focus

Photo by Kyle Gregory Devaras on Unsplash

While taking the extra bit of time to thoroughly plan out your daily school and extracurricular activities can be extremely beneficial, this will not get you very far if you are unable to stay focused. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about attaining an all-day hours on end laser focus; everyone has different attention spans, so it’s about getting to know your own attention span and things that help keep your focus. For me, I usually like to get my work done in my room or if I do have to be on campus, I usually try to find a quiet place outside or in classroom halls (still hesitant to use the libraries due to COVID). I also find that I usually have to take short breaks in between studying and working. Other things that help my focus include pairing tasks with a particular time of day. For instance, I prefer to study for exams or complete assignments first thing in the morning or late at night. During the afternoon time, I find I am more productive at emails and extracurricular work. I also find that music helps me attain my focus, particularly pop and rock music. 

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Three Best Eats at the USC Village

By Connor Brown

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

The USC Village is home to many restaurants and retail stores, and offers enough variety to suit anyone’s taste. The Village is an incredibly convenient location for USC students given its proximity to campus, and is one of the best spots to grab lunch in the immediate area. It isn’t just the dining hall, dorms, and Target, but a bunch of good eats too! Here are my top three favorite eateries in the Village:

  1. Cava
Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

Cava has been my most frequented Village location (besides Trader Joe’s) since I arrived on campus three years ago. It offers big bowls of Mediterranean food at a relatively decent price in a build-it-yourself style that offers complete customization. You can think of it as Chipotle for Mediterranean food, though I think this chain is much better than Chipotle.  I usually go for a rice bowl with some lettuce, then load it up with hummus, kalamata olives, pickled onions, and cucumbers. There are many different protein options, and I tend to go with either the harissa honey chicken or the falafel. Suitable for a wide variety of diets, Cava is a great place to grab a meal between classes or meet with friends and chow down. It’s always fun to meet a friend there, order your bowl, and head on over to the Great Lawn to chat and eat on the grass, enjoying the California sun and afternoon vibes. 

  1. Il Giardino
Photo by Nerfee Mirandilla on Unsplash

Hungry for pasta? This is the place for you! Il Giardino is the home of Italian food at the Village, and offers a number of different types of pasta and sandwiches. Whether you like to keep it simple and roll with spaghetti with tomato sauce, prefer a hearty bolognese, or want a pasta and fish dish, Il Giardino has got you covered. I’ve yet to try their sandwiches, given my affinity for pasta, but I have heard nothing but good things. They have fun Italian sodas as well, their fridge always holding a number of different flavors of San Pellegrino, which pair well with whatever entree you get. If you’re craving Italian food and don’t want to have to go far to find something good, Il Giardino is a solid spot. 

  1. City Tacos
Photo by Krisztian Tabori on Unsplash

When I heard Trejo’s Tacos in the Village was closing, I thought it would be missed. While there are an abundance of tacos spots around LA and near USC, having a tasty taco joint in the Village was wonderfully convenient. City Tacos opened a couple months ago in the same storefront where Trejo’s used to be, and I’ve been impressed with my first couple of visits there. They have a lot of tacos. I mean — a lot. Whether you’re looking for breakfast tacos, fish tacos, carne asada, chicken, al pastor, or something else, City Tacos will probably have what you’re looking for. They even do California-style burritos that come with french fries inside, which as a native Californian, my definitely totally completely unbiased opinion strongly approves of. I’m looking forward to trying more from City Tacos, and recommend you give it a try as well!

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