At USC, there are a variety of study spots. For the all-night studiers, there is Leavey Library. For the hungry studiers, there are the tables at the Tutor Campus Center. For the traditional-library studiers, there is Doheny Library. And for the engineering studiers, there is Salvatori Computing Lab. But for those studiers who also want to get a tan while studying, there is only one place to go: McCarthy Quad.

You really cannot beat studying on the quad. The Southern California sunshine and soft grass makes studying for the toughest of midterms pleasant. I normally just grab a beach towel, throw on my flip-flops, and hit the quad, where I can spend an afternoon reading a book or working on a physics problem set.

Granted, the quad poses more distractions than Leavey Library. But that’s the best part about studying on McCarthy! If I ever need a study break, I can easily toss a frisbee or football around with a few other friends on the quad. I can make the 30-second walk to Starbucks, which is right off the quad, underneath the Birnkrant residence hall. Or I can just lie down and people watch to clear my mind. And, if I realize that I’m not getting the work done that I need to complete, Leavey and Doheny Libraries flank the two sides of McCarthy Quad. I can easily walk into the library to complete my studying.

Last Janaury, during the spring semester of my freshman year, I realized how special McCarthy Quad made USC. In the middle of January, my good friend Ian and I spent an entire afternoon on the quad to finish a differential equations problem set. Throughout the afternoon though, our study pair turned into a study group, as more and more students joined in. What other university can boast an outdoor study spot that is still usable in the middle of January? Not many.

McCarthy Quad is the perfect place for casual, relaxed studying. While I do live off-campus this semester, I enjoy packing my backpack and spending an afternoon on the grass, coffee in one hand, computer in the other. And hopefully, if I study enough, I’ll end up with a good McCarthy Quad tan.An overhead shot of a summer day at McCarthy quad

An overhead shot of a summer day at McCarthy quad




Astronautical Engineering, Class of 2016, Learn more on his profile here!