So last week, everyone blogged about their favorite study spots on campus.  Well, I want to up the ante, and talk about my favorite spot on campus.  That spot is Ground Zero Performance Cafe, which is a study spot, a hangout spot, a concert venue, and a coffeehouse.  In fact, I’m going there tonight to meet with my “Big” and “Little” in DKA!

My exposure to Ground Zero started when I visited campus on Explore USC, before I had even committed to attend USC.  On my overnight stay, the student I stayed with brought me to Ground Zero for milkshakes and a jazz show, in which students from Thornton School of Music were performing.  I was really impressed by the space; I loved how crowded it was, how much support the music students received from fellow students, and how delicious the milkshakes were.  It was a spot that really stood out to me at USC, and honestly one of the things that I remembered long after my visit.

The next time I went to Ground Zero was at my orientation session.  I convinced other future freshmen to join me for milkshakes before orientation ended.  Of course, it was delicious, and a perfect way to end a perfect time at orientation.

Now, I frequently visit Ground Zero for a variety of reasons.  Most of the time, I go there for milkshakes!  Ground Zero has the best drinks on campus – you can make any flavor of milkshake your heart desires, combine peanut butter and hot chocolate, and load up on espresso.  When I’m not there for a drink, I’m usually there to study.  There are tables, lounge chairs, couches, and plenty of outlets to plug in my electronics.

I also love going to Ground Zero for the performances.  My roommate from Freshman year is in an improv troupe called Second Nature Improv, and they host shows at Ground Zero every Friday.  I have also been to support friends in the Popular Music program, who put on shows there for their midterms and finals.

Ground Zero is a great balance of social and studying.  In that way, it’s reflective of USC.  USC is definitely a place that takes academics very seriously.  Studying is always the first priority amongst students.  However, at the same time students are social, happy, and alive.  I love the balance, because I was the same way in high school.  I took my studies seriously, but I also wanted to have a life outside of the classroom.  I’ve definitely found the same balance here, and I couldn’t be happier.


Samantha Kaplan-2015

Samantha Kaplan-2015

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2015, Learn more on her profile here!

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