Although it may not be the most fun part, a significant portion of your time at college (especially as an engineering major) will be spent doing school work. Knowing some pretty and peaceful spots around campus can make doing that work so much more productive and enjoyable. Thankfully, USC is absolutely beautiful, with gorgeous landscaping and perfect SoCal weather, so finding pretty spots isn’t too tough.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite underrated spots on campus that make finishing up physics homework or studying for a math quiz a little more fun:

1: The Parkside Cabanas

These couches outside lining the walkway to the Parkside dining hall are my all time favorite place to do work in between classes. This spot is pretty close to most of my engineering classes so it’s a great place to hang out if I don’t have time to walk all the way back to my dorm. The couches are also shockingly comfortable and normally pretty empty so there are relatively few distractions. Because they’re right outside Parkside, I can also easily stop in and grab a banana if I need a snack break.

2: The hammock row next to McCarthy Quad (this is apparently called Fred D. Fagg Jr. Gardens?? That was news to me)

This one’s not too secret, but it’s still rarely very crowded and is one of the best spots on campus to get some work done while enjoying the outdoors. This strip of elevated grass that runs alongside McCarthy quad has a row of trees which are perfect for hanging a hammock between and getting in some reading. Even without a hammock it’s a great place to spread out a picnic blanket and do homework with friends. It’s also conveniently located just steps outside my dorm room and EVK dining hall, which is a huge plus.

3: The hidden Price courtyard

This spot isn’t as green as the previous two but it’s an amazing study spot because absolutely no one comes here! If a friend of mine in the Price school of Public Policy hadn’t showed me it, I would have never even known this place existed. Because it’s sandwiched in between two Price buildings, the courtyard stays fairly cool and shaded even on super hot days. All in all it’s a great place to do work while getting some fresh air and staying out of the sun.

4. The Philosophy Library

Although, unfortunately, the library is indoors, it’s so gorgeous I don’t even mind! The philosophy library is one of the absolute best places to work if you need to be super focused but can’t bear the fluorescent lighting and stark white walls of Leavey library. There’s a strict no talking policy (which is honestly pretty unnecessary since I’ve rarely seen more than four other students in there at a time) so it’s super quiet. Unlike other libraries on campus, it’s beautiful mosaics, dark wooden furniture and warm light from the windows and chandeliers make it super relaxing and inviting. The little alcoves between the bookshelves are perfect for hunkering down and escaping any distractions. If you need a little more room, the massive hogwarts-esque tables running along the middle of library give you ample room to spread out your work.

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