the UNOFFICI A L
COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE 2013
cit y m a p & neighborhoods sex • s a fet y • shopping food • nightlife • sports smoking • drinking • mone y
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4 Intro 6 City Map &
8 You’re Here ... Now What? 10 Sex
11 Safety 12 Housing
14 Shopping 18 Food
20 Nightlife 25 Drugs 2 6 Smoking 27 Drinking 28 Sports 3 0 Money
COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE Published by Resorts Media LLC 1534 Main St., Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 765.0707 (803) 765.0727 fax free-times.com PUBLISHER: Charlie Nutt email@example.com, x 129
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the UNOFFI CI A L
COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE Or, How to Navigate Your Newfound Freedom
t’s a crazy time to be a college student. With tuition costs ever increasing and the job market still stuck in neutral, a college degree doesn’t offer quite the same sense of invincibility that it used to.
Regardless of the uncertainty of what comes after college, college itself is a unique and special time. In fact, if you’re one of Columbia’s thousands of students, this just might be the most exciting time of your life. Away from your parents for perhaps the first time, you’re setting your own hours and making your own decisions about everything from how hard you party to what you spend your money on. As empowering as this newfound freedom is, you also want to make sure you don’t blow it: Ultimately, you want to walk away from college with a degree and a job offer, not a rap sheet — or, more likely, a mountain of debt. The temptations of college life come in many forms: a joint handed to you at a party; a shiny new credit card that looks and feels like free money; a ton of low-cost, high-calorie food options with no parents warning you to stay away; and much more. With all these temptations swirling around you — not to mention some dangers you might
INTRODUCTION | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
not be thinking about — the aim of the Unofficial College Survival Guide is to give you the real lowdown on college life. It’s not about telling you to study, go to class or get a summer internship. Instead, it’s here to offer some thoughts about the things that could occupy many of your out-of-class hours, such as partying, football games and trying to figure out just where things are in this town. To those parents who might say we’re being too honest about what goes down at college, all we can say is we believe students are better off knowing what really awaits them than living in a moralistic, realityfree bubble. With all the temptations and struggles of college in mind, we give you the admittedly subjective (but very well researched) Unofficial College Survival Guide. — Dan Cook Several current and former Free Times writers contributed to this guide. Let us know what you think: Email email@example.com.
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city map & neighborhoods
nlike many other cities, Columbia isn’t built around one core downtown area. Instead, the city has three primary downtown districts: Five Points, Downtown (i.e., Main Street) and the Vista. Each area has its own distinct feel. Five Points has college-village vibe, with a hip record store, vintage clothes spots and lots of bars. Downtown you’ll find the State House, City Hall and the county courthouse — but also an art museum, a Brazilian steakhouse and a great coffee shop. In the Vista, you’ll find restaurants, galleries and retail spots, including a new Urban Outfitters. Beyond these three districts are numerous regions of the greater Columbia area, among them Lake Murray, Harbison/Irmo and the Northeast. Each area has its own distinct characteristics. But don’t be too quick to stereotype: Five Points isn’t just for college students, and you’ll sometimes find hidden culinary gems in the suburbs. So, take a look around, and keep your mind open.
Five Points / Devine Street / Shandon There’s a bustling energy to the Five Points area, fueled by a steady stream of visitors from the University of South Carolina and surrounding neighborhoods. In the daytime, you’ll find college hipsters, strolling shoppers and hungry businesspeople occupying the area’s eclectic mix of coffee shops, restaurants and independent retailers. At night, the area’s bars and clubs get busy, as Five Points is the place to party in Columbia, as least for younger partiers. Five Points is also close to the coveted tree-lined streets and bungalows of Shandon, whose residents help support some higher-end restaurants and retail boutiques along Devine Street.
The Vista If Five Points is Columbia’s primary district for college students, then the Vista offers the same for post-college professionals. This converted warehouse district is largely known for its many dining options and art galleries, but it’s also home to a brand new Urban Outfitters; the city’s leading progressive theater company (Trustus); a grocery store converted from a former Confederate printing plant (Publix); and some of the city’s key clubs and bars. Just beyond the Vista’s core are several of the city’s primary attractions: the Colonial Life Arena, S.C. State Museum and EdVenture Children’s Museum. The Vista also has several residential options.
Downtown / Main Street Like a lot of urban cores, Columbia’s downtown is in the midst of a long, slow revival. Though things could always move faster, there’s already a lot happening: the Columbia Museum of Art has a steady stream of excellent exhibitions and events; Drip on Main is feeding the area’s caffeine addiction; the Soda City Market has livened up the street on Saturday; Mast General Store is drawing new foot traffic; the First Thursday series is building an arts-district sensibility in the area; and the Nickelodeon Theatre has completed its move. Plus, there are major developments on the horizon, including a student housing complex and a senior center.
USC / South Main
so many of the nearby streets are peppered with establishments looking to nab some of the students’ so-called “disposable” income. Whether it’s coffee, frozen yogurt, bagels, sandwiches, locally brewed beers or the massive Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center, students in this area have access to quite a lot without need of a car. The Hunter-Gatherer is not to be missed. If you (or your parents) like the area enough — and have the cash — set your sights on a luxury condo at Adesso.
Fort Jackson Half of the Army’s soldiers do their basic training at Fort Jackson, which encompasses more than 52,000 acres, 1,160 buildings and employs about 3,500 active-duty soldiers and an equal number of civilians. Opened in 1917, about 36,000 soldiers come through for basic training each year and 8,000 more come for advanced training. Fort Jackson is also home to the Army’s Drill Sergeant School, the Armed Forces Army Chaplaincy Center and School and the National Center for Credibility Assessment — so, you know, don’t try to lie to them.
Northeast / Clemson Road / Blythewood The Northeast part of town is a sprawling region of good schools, reasonably priced homes and national retailers and restaurants extending out to the Town of Blythewood, one of the fastest-growing municipalities in the state. Home to the 1,419-acre Sesquicentennial State Park, the popular planned community Lake Carolina and the expansive Village at Sandhill retail complex, the Northeast also boasts some major employers, including Providence Northeast. Also sports such unique local spots as Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar and its own seasonal farmers market.
The University of South Carolina campus dominates the landscape south of the State House,
NEIGHBORHOODS | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
St. Andrews / Broad and Bush River Roads Don’t let the gritty sprawl fool you: If you look closely, there are hidden gems in this area — especially if you like ethnic foods. Among the treats: Elie’s Authentic Lebanese Cuisine, Bombay Grill, Panjabi Dhaba, Delhi Palace, Inakaya Sushi and the Indian Grocery. It’s not all food, either: Manifest Discs, Sims Music, Heroes & Dragons Comics and the Ole Towne Antique Mall also call this area home.
State Street / West Columbia / Vista West Just across the Gervais Street bridge sits an eclectic mix of nightspots, galleries, gift shops and restaurants — among them Café Strudel on State Street and, a little further out, the incredible Spice Junction in the Westside Plaza Shopping Center on Highway 1. Of particular note to music fans: the long-running New Brookland Tavern; Bill’s Music Shop, the home of local bluegrass; and Conundrum Music Hall, which caters to experimental tastes. Neighborhoods along the Avenues and Sunset Boulevard are popular with city-minded people who don’t want to pay downtown prices.
Irmo / Harbison / Dutch Fork Big-name retailers like Lowe’s, Target, Best Buy and Barnes and Noble — and that’s not even mentioning Columbiana Centre — make this area a necessary stop for many Columbians from all areas of town. Along with extensive shopping options, good neighborhoods keep drawing people to the area. There are also a couple of amenities you might not expect in a generally suburban area: Saluda Shoals Park and Harbison State Forest, which offers more than 16 miles of roads and trails weaving through a pine and hardwood forest.
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Blythewood Chapin Clemson Road Ballentine
Two Notch Road
Forest Acres The Vista Shandon Five USC Points Vista West Rosewood West Columbia Main Street
Lexington Which county consistently has the lowest unemployment rate in South Carolina? That would be Lexington. In many ways, Lexington County is the foil to Richland County: It’s more conservative both culturally and politically, it’s historically anti-tax, and many of its residents staunchly defend their distinctly non-Columbia identity. City types might balk at the relative scarcity of cultural amenities in Lexington, but the basics are here — good schools, reasonably priced housing and a strong economy. Plus, it has some excellent sports facilities.
Lake Murray Ask anyone who lives on Lake Murray, and they’ll tell you it’s more than just a lake — it’s a free-times.com | 2013
haven away from the city. With more than 500 miles of shoreline, most of it privately owned, Lake Murray is South Carolina’s largest man-made lake and offers seasonal recreation and a huge July 4 fireworks display, as well as hosting major fishing tournaments. Public access is limited to the few parks and marinas scattered around the lake, so your best bet is buy a boat or befriend someone who has one. Recently opened Liberty on the Lake adds a popular new dining spot to the area, too.
Forest Acres Housing options abound in the tree-filled neighborhoods of this city within a city, which is close to downtown and to Fort Jackson. Once known for such staples as the excellent breakfast spot The Original Pancake House and the
high-end grocery next door, The Fresh Market, Forest Acres is now home to a Trader Joe’s, too. (There’s also a nearby and wildly popular Whole Foods at Cross Hill Market.) And while you might not think of Forest Acres for its lunch options, try pulling into the Five Guys parking lot midday on a weekday. Mmm … Five Guys.
Rosewood Anchored by Publix and Rosewood Elementary, this neighborhood is a good place for people who want to live downtown but don’t want to pay Shandonsized prices. The area also has a slowly burgeoning restaurant and entertainment scene, including the small but popular Cock ‘n’ Bull Pub, Utopia, the Kraken Gastropub, the Rosewood Crawfish Festival and an annual Mardi Gras
parade. Other draws: Owens Field, Williams-Brice Stadium and City Roots sustainable farm.
Olympia Despite the train tracks and football traffic, Olympia’s cachet is on the rise. With Olympia Mills, Granby Mills and Aspyre providing residential anchors and a beautifully renovated 701 Whaley hosting events, a farmers market and contemporary art, there’s a lot going on in this part of town. Add in riverfront development and Carolina Stadium for Gamecock baseball, and you’ve practically got a full-scale renaissance.
COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE | NEIGHBORHOODS
You’re Here ... Now What? Automobile Registration
et’s assume, Capital City newbies, that you’re fortunate enough to have landed in Columbia with a vehicle. The next thing you need to do is register it with the state DMV. You have 45 days to get that done — and before you can do it, you have to pay property tax to your county. (Pro tip: The auditor’s office tells you how much to pay; the treasurer’s office is where you pay it.) Before you head to the DMV, make sure you have not only your tax receipt, but also your vehicle’s title and registration, and proof of liability insurance. Lexington County Auditor’s Office lex-co.sc.gov, 785-8181
Lexington County Treasurer’s Office lex-co.sc.gov, 785-8217
Richland County Auditor’s Office
Richland County Treasurer’s Office
S.C. Driver & Vehicle Services scdmvonline.com, 737-4000
f you’re planning on establishing residency — you know, for the lower tuition — you should go ahead and get your South Carolina driver’s license. The good news: You have 90 days to get your license. The bad news: You’ll need to go to the DMV. That sucks, but you can get out fast if you know what you’re doing. (Also: Unless you’re a masochist, take care of your vehicle registration at the same time.)
If you have a valid license from your previous home state, you’re golden; if you don’t, you’ll have to pass the written and road exams. (You’ll have to take a mandatory eye exam either way.) And if you only need to renew your license, you can do it at scdmvonline.com. The five-year renewal costs $12.50; the 10-year plan is, logically, $25. Of course, where you go is just as important: The Shop Road DMV is your one-stop spot for anything and everything DMV-related. Lines used to be horrendous but are much better these days. If you can’t make it during the week, the Lexington location is a haul, but it’s open on Saturdays. Call the S.C. Division of Motor Vehicle Services at 737-1767 or the S.C. Department of Driver & Vehicle Services at 7374000 for further details.
Tri-County Electric Cooperative
Cable TV and Internet
t’s the 21st Century. It’s hard to imagine anyone living without cable television or the Internet. Both AT&T and Time Warner Cable offer landline-cable-Internet bundles; go with whichever tickles your fancy. Do note, though, that AT&T’s U-Verse service is not yet available in all areas of Columbia. AT&T U-Verse
Time Warner Cable twcsc.com, 1-866-892-7201
here are a bunch of local municipal water services and T a few private ones, too. Which one
1016 Broadstone Rd., 749-9041
122 Park Rd., 356-8537
O’Neil Court DMV
228A O’Neil Ct., 419-9403
Shop Road DMV
you hook up with depends upon where you live. Not sure who to call? Ask your next-door neighbor where their water comes from.
Richland County Public Works, Utilities & Services Division
Billing, 24-hour maintenance: 576-2094 General: 401-0050
Town of Lexington Water Services 951-4360
Library Card K, so maybe having a library card isn’t high on your list O of priorities. But we at Free Times
know there are still many among you that enjoy turning off the TV and curling up with a good book. And we salute you. We know your university has a well-stocked library. But Richland County’s library system is one the finest in the nation. Obtaining a library card is, thankfully, much easier than getting a driver’s license: Library cards are free to all residents, and out out-of-county residents can obtain a library card for a nominal, annual fee. Same deal in Lexington County: You can get a card at any branch upon verification of current name and residential address.
City of Cayce Utilities Department
Handles sanitation and water services.
nless you’re living on campus, you’ll need to sign up for U water, electricity and/or gas ser-
Main branch located on Assembly Street in downtown Columbia; 11 branches altogether.
City of Columbia Water Customer Service
1630 Shop Rd., 737-8350
vice. For most of you, that’ll mean SCE&G.
Power Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative mcecoop.com, 1-888-813-8000
South Carolina Electric & Gas
Billing, Service: 545-3300 Maintenance: 545-3900 Quality: 545-3400
City of West Columbia Water and Sewer Services
Lexington County Public Library lex.lib.sc.us/
Ten locations (and a bookmobile!); main branch located Augusta Road in Lexington.
Lexington County Joint Municipal Water & Sewer Commission lcjmwsc.com, 359-8373
Serves unincorporated parts of Lexington County south of Lake Murray.
YOU’RE HERE … NOW WHAT? | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
2013 | free-times.com
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eorge Michael began his solo career in 1987, before most of you were born, with “I Want Your Sex.” “Sex is natural / Sex is good / Not everybody does it / But everybody should,” Michael sang. Michael, whose public sexual proclivity has drawn scrutiny, was a progressive provocateur. Scanning the top radio hits these days, it’s surprising how many songs don’t overtly reference sex. On college campuses, sex is everywhere. Not everybody notices it, but everybody should. From judicial rulings on marriage to anonymous hook-up websites, sex, in its various forms, has never been more widely appreciated. And now that you’re in college, sexual freedom is at your doorstep. Just be prepared before you open that door. To save you time looking elsewhere, we’ve come up with a simple sexual reference guide. It’s
Percentage of college students who have had a “friends with benefits” relationship. Source: Wayne State University and Michigan State University
you must, use Snapchat. Don’t let Anthony Weiner be a photo messaging role model. My buddy. If you go to a party or bar, always take someone with you just in case things get too crunk to remember. (At the very least, let someone know where you’re going.) Think of it as the collegiate buddy system. What you see … isn’t always what you get. Especially if the extent of your sexual experience is from watching porn. You’re watching actors, so don’t expect your partners to act — or writhe in bliss — like actors do on the screen. And dudes, it’s not cool, in any scenario, to ask a girl, “Where do you want me to put this?”
Sex isn’t like Facebook, where the privacy rules change every few months.
Our low prices and great clothes may cause...
SEX | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
not all you need to know, but it’s all worth knowing. Should I do it? You might be thinking about doing it, and it might feel good. But if it isn’t going to make you feel good about yourself, don’t do it. What does no really mean? It means no. Seriously, end of discussion. Wrap it up. Think of sex as a gift. For the protection of participants, wrap the package before delivering the goods. (Bows are for the adventurous.) Privacy update. Sex isn’t like Facebook, where the privacy rules change every few months. It’s pretty simple: If you don’t want your business out there, don’t put it out there. Sexting can be a turn on, but what happens if your partner turns on you? If
How will I know? If they’re thinking of you? They will text, email and, in rare cases, call. Simple as that. Blurred lines. If you don’t feel right about something that has occurred, call USC Sexual Health and Violence Prevention at (803) 777-8248. Here for the party. Roommates can cramp sexual activity. There will be people who want to watch or join in the fun, which reminds us of another lyric from Michael’s “I Want Your Sex”: “Sex is natural / Sex is fun / Sex is best when it’s one on one.” To each his own, though. When in doubt, keep your clothes on. Sex is a lot like college in that there is always going to be something to learn. And you can’t cram everything into one night. 2013 | free-times.com
olumbia is a big city — which means that on campus, you’re surrounded by not just students but an entire urban area. Does that mean you should be fearful? No — just aware. And after all, most crimes committed against students, roughly 80 percent, are committed by other students.
break-ins. The USC Part of staying safe is USC Police police also post a daily knowing what’s going crime log. In 2011, there on in your commu777-4215 were 113 burglaries, nity. For that, make 22 vehicle thefts, eight sure you sign up for assaults, two robberies and one emergency text messages via the sexual assault reported on the Carolina Alert system (sc.edu/ USC campus, according to the carolinaalert). They’ll notify you of federal government’s Office of everything from severe storms to Postsecondary Education (ope. sexual assaults. ed.gov/security). When it comes to Five Points, Here are some key tips to help with its cheap booze and late keep you safe: (1) keep your phone night fun, it’s worth exercising with you — and keep it on, (2) some special caution so you don’t make sure someone knows where become a victim. you are at all times, (3) don’t get Safety is all about being aware in a car with someone who’s been and taking the right precautions. drinking or taking drugs, (4) First, never walk around alone at know where the safety boxes are night. It’s one thing to walk into on campus, (5) don’t leave a drink Five Points to Drip for a coffee at unattended, because someone 10:30 a.m.; it’s something entirely could slip a date-rape drug into different to walk down to a bar it, (6) don’t leave valuables unatby yourself at 11 p.m. — or, even tended, even if it’s only for a few worse, to walk back from the bar by minutes, and (7) be aware of your yourself at 2 a.m. surroundings at all times (yes, Also, crime can happen not that means don’t text while you’re only on the street, but also in a crossing the street). bar or on campus. In fact, most That’s a long list, and you crimes are property crimes. may not remember it all. But Take a look at the RaidsOnline remember this: Carry your phone, real-time crime map of the area don’t go out alone and trust your around USC — available via the instincts — if a situation feels USC Law Enforcement and Safety dangerous, it probably is. website, les.sc.edu — and you’ll see mostly burglaries and auto free-times.com | 2013
COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE | SAFETY
housing ou’ve probably already got your housing situation Y squared away for this semester.
If you’re a USC freshman, you’re required to live on campus. If you’re not a freshman, you could be living anywhere from a highend student apartment to a funky basement apartment in Wales Garden to a hammock down by the river. (OK, if you’re living down by the river, you’re probably one of those eight-year-plan “students” with a Frisbee habit and a dog with a hemp collar, and you already know everything in this guide.) Anyway, it never hurts to start thinking about where you might want to live in the future — and how you can make the best of your housing situation now. Many off-campus studenthousing communities have popped up around town in recent
dividual landlord, sometimes with a property management company. In most cases, you’ll have to line up your utilities yourself, which often requires a credit check. This sort of renting is good if you’re looking to immerse yourself in all that Columbia has to offer. It’s good if you’re looking to take on a little more responsibility and gain a little more freedom. And, let’s face it, it’s good if you’re looking to party really, really hard. Just respect your neighbors, and take note that the City of Columbia doesn’t allow couches on the front porch. Looking for housing? The University of South Carolina maintains a directory of off-campus housing listings at offcampushousing.sc.edu; you’ll need your USC network ID and password to log in. Also included
Keep an eye out for signs around campus; ask around to find out how people like their apartment or property management company; and check the Free Times classified section regularly. years. Some offer resort-style living, with swimming pools, fancy gyms and upscale suites; others, your basic white-walled, beige-carpeted three-bedroom apartment. Some offer the dorm experience, with activities and programs; others just want you to pay your rent on time. If you’re new to town and want to meet people, student communities can be a good option. They’re also good if you’re young and your parents want to be sure you’re living in a controlled environment. On the downside, these living situations can cut you off from the city you’re living in — sometimes literally, given that many aren’t in walking distance from campus and will require you to drive or take a private shuttle. Columbia is also home to a lot of student housing in the classic sense: rental houses and apartments tucked in the leafy neighborhoods surrounding the school. Sometimes you’ll deal with an in-
HOUSING | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
on the site is a message board where you can search for roommates, by and sell furniture and get your questions answered. Other ways to find a place to live: keep an eye out for signs around campus; ask around to find out how people like their apartment or property management company; and check the Free Times classified section regularly. No matter where you’re living, you’re probably not doing so alone. Whether you’re living with your best friend since third grade, or some random kid from Pelion, you’re probably going to deal with some rough times. Just remember: You don’t have to like everyone, but you do have to learn to get along with people who aren’t like you. However, if your on-campus roommate is seriously hampering your ability to get your work done or enjoy your college experience, talk to your RA about some strategies — or, if necessary, a room change. 2013 | free-times.com
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PHOTO BY JONATHAN SHARPE
hen it comes to fashion, Columbia probably has what you’re looking for — and maybe what you didn’t know you were looking for, too. That is, of course, if you’re still into shopping at brick and mortar stores rather than virtual ones. (You know, it is fun to actually try on that new outfit.) Here are some places to shop. This is by no means a comprehensive list; check out our Annual Manual and Best of Columbia editions at free-times.com for more local shopping options. Off the Beaten Path
If you’re done with the pop star posters and want to decorate your dorm room with style, Bones, Rugs and Harmony (Five Points: 718 Santee Ave., 338-0545, bonesrugsandharmony.com) has vintage, modern and repurposed home décor. There are also antiques and musical instruments. If you’re looking for hippie and bohemian threads and merchandise, Loose Lucy’s (Five Points: 709 Saluda Ave., 252-1390, looselucys.com) has the vibe you’re looking for. The store started in 1990 selling tie-dye shirts in the parking lot at Grateful Dead shows. If you’re looking for eclectic costumes for themed parties, make Hip-Wa-Zee (Five Points: 940 Harden St., 376-1500, facebook.com/ hipwazee) your first stop. Also offers vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories.
Dressing in Style If you’re hoping to get a custom-made dress for Carolina Cup from LaRoque (2700 Devine St., 765-6062, shoplaroque.com), you should probably go ahead and put your order in now.
If your style follows the latest trends, Urban Outfitters (Vista: 912 Gervais St., 254-5381) — or Urban, for the TTYL generation — sells clothes that are smart, hip and flexible enough for the classroom or for the weekend. Urban also sells a variety of items — from cameras to backpacks to vinyl records — that help keep the atmosphere cool. If you have an artistic palate, Bohemian (Five Points: 707 Saluda Ave., 256-0629), like its furniture-oriented counterpart, specializes in well-edited and contemporary tastes. It stocks stylish women’s clothing and accessories at various price points. Don’t miss the shop’s astute selection of shoes and jewelry, too. If you’re looking for high-end designers, Coplon’s (Forest Acres: 4825 Forest Dr., 7900015, coplons.com) carries labels from Jason Wu and Oscar de la Renta to coveted Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo shoes. Coplon’s is Columbia’s high-end women’s clothing shop that also sells handbags, jewelry and cosmetics.
Vintage, Recycled, Reduced If you want high-end designers without paying high-end prices, Revente (Five Points: 737
SHOPPING | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
Saluda Ave., 256-3076, shoprevente.com) is a designer consignment shop that stocks labels like Chanel, Christian Dior, Tory Burch, Louis Vuitton and Prada, among others. Regulars know that visiting frequently is key to scoring big. If you’re looking for retro clothing, because so-called old-man duds are hip, dip into Gentleman’s Closet (Five Points: 717 Saluda Ave., 256-3868) for a vintage suit, a cool shirt or some dress shoes. For other vintage and recycled selections, as well as some new items, stop by Double Takes (Vista: 1211 Lincoln St., 771-2335, facebook.com/doubletakesvista), a store owned by William Starrett, artistic director of the Columbia City Ballet. Customers can consign clothes for cash or store credit. If you’re looking to buy or trade clothes, meet Sid Nancy (Five Points: 733 Saluda Ave., 7796454, shopsidnancy.com). Sid Nancy carries affordable clothes, jewelry, accessories, gifts and more. Recycle vintage clothing for cash, or trade in a book and check out another for free. Urban Thread (Five Points: 613 Harden St., 931-8800), is a catalog outlet store for Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and J. Crew. Great prices for women’s clothing, shoes and accessories, and a small selection of men’s clothing. For catalog clothing at reduced prices, check out The OOPS! Co. (601 Harden St., 2528734, theoopsco.com). Students get 10 percent off on Wednesdays.
For Stylish Guys If you’re a guy who can talk denim washes and fit with knowledge and ease, Circa 1332 (Downtown: 1332 Main St., 252-6714) is for you. But you also have to be a guy who doesn’t mind splurging for quality. If you’re a guy who wants to talk to a sales staff that knows what they’re talking about, Granger Owings (Downtown: 1333 Main St., 252-6714, grangerowings.com) gets it. From suits to trousers to shoes, whether it’s casual or formal, Granger Owings will get you looking right. For the latest prepster trends, head to Brittons (2818 Devine St., 771-2700, brittonsofcolumbia.com); they’ve got you covered for trousers, bow ties and cravats. Don’t know what a cravat is? They do.
Don’t Forget Your Feet — Or Your Eyes It’s Columbia, so it means you have to walk the city’s streets to get to class. Good for the Sole (Five Points: 631 Harden St., 254-9488) will have you stepping in the right direction. The store carries brands like Jack Rogers, Naot, Cushe, Sperry, Taos, Rainbow, OTZ and Fly London. That’s comfort with a dash of cool. 2013 | free-times.com
You can’t shine if your kick game is off. So for women’s shoes that turns heads (and ankles, if you’re not careful), step into Kicks (Devine Street: 2921 Devine St., 254-3937, shopatkicks. com). The shop carries everything from rain boots to evening pumps and stilettos, and stocks brands like Kate Spade and Michael Kors; sales are not to be missed. If you’re into unique eyewear, see Frame of Mind (Downtown: 1520 Main St., 988-1065, artofeyewear.com). With brands like Theo and Anne et Valentin, the shop, which doubles as an arts hub, stocks high-end glasses and sunglasses.
Accessorize If you need to accessorize with trendy jewelry, check out HandPicked (Devine Street: 2822 Devine St., 251-2946, handpicked.com). Also peek into Julia Neal Fashions (Five Points: 721 Saluda Ave., 799-1616), which offers a high-end boutique feel without the sky-high prices. If you’re into shopping at stores that have a curatorial presentation of inventory, Van Jean (Devine Street: 2734 Devine St., 252-4339, shopvanjean.com) stocks a well-edited selection of designer wares. From classically tailored
looks to current trends, Van Jean also carries Loeffler Randall Shoes and Jane Pope jewelry. Don’t miss Van Jean’s sales or the back room with marked-down inventory. Whether it’s for football games in fall or flings in the spring, there’s always a need for trendy dresses, tops, handbags, jewelry and shoes. Don’t hope for the right look. Just Wish (Five Points: 713 Saluda Ave., 931-3247, ilovewish.com).
Skaters, Surfers and Runners Whether you are a skater or want to look like one, it’s a good idea to skate through Bluetile Skateshop (Five Points: 621 Harden St., 376-1880, bluetilesc.com), a skater-owned skate shop that carries a variety of skateboards, equipment, shoe and clothing brands. If you need a board or, really, if you’re just bored, Salty’s Surf Shop (Devine Street: 2712 Devine St., 748-9946, facebook.com/ saltysboardshopcolumbia) is the place for board sports, gear, clothing and accessories. Salty’s also carries a full line of eyewear from the likes of Costa del Mar and Smith, as well as a wide selection of flip-flops and TOMS. For those into intramural sports, Todd &
SHOPPING | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
Moore Sporting Goods (Vista: 620 Huger St., 765-0150, toddandmoore.com) offers a full range of athletic wear, equipment, shoes and sporting goods for baseball, football, soccer, tennis, lacrosse and more. For those into running, run straight to Strictly Running (Five Points: 736 Harden St., 799-4786, facebook.com/strictlyrunning). You’ll find running gear and running partners. For the outdoors, Half Moon Outfitters (Devine Street: 2912 Devine St., 929-0771 halfmoonoutfitters.com) has gear and clothing and footwear. The store occupies a large space on Devine Street complete with a solar panel tree, which powers the store. Also for the outdoors, The Backpacker (Vista: 1215 Wayne St., 799-7571, backpackerqualitygear.com) carries all your favorites from Patagonia, The North Face and other top brands, including anything you could possibly need to go camping, hiking or climbing.
Need Anything Else? If you’re looking for something general, go to Mast General (Downtown: 1601 Main St., 771-2300, mastgeneralstore.com). There’s clothing, gifts, toys, shoes, candy, pop and kitchen tools.
2013 | free-times.com
TUE WED THU
free-times.com | 2013
Groucho’s Deli FILE PHOTO
Pizza Man FILE PHOTO
food hances are you’ll never eat as terribly as you do in college. C You’ll find out quickly about the
inescapable Freshman 15 — the 15 pounds freshmen typically pack on from too much pizza and beer and not enough exercise or vegetables — not to mention the horrors of the unlimited dining plan. Free Times is here to help you along with the lowdown on your best bets for value and flavor off campus. First, there are the tried-andtrue near-campus sandwich shops, a rite of passage for every Carolina student: Andy’s Deli (2005 Greene St., 799-2639), Groucho’s Deli (611 Harden St., 799-5708) and Beezer’s (919 Sumter St., 771-7771). Beezer’s delivers until the wee hours. If you’re up really late, there are a few Waffle Houses in the area, most notably in Five Points (916 Harden St., 799-0313) and next to Williams-Brice Stadium (1210 Bluff Rd., 544-9685). For true Southern comfort food, you’ll surely want to visit Yesterday’s (2030 Devine St., 799-0196)
and Lizard’s Thicket (818 Elmwood Ave., 779-6407 and 402 Beltline Blvd., 738-0006). The meatloaf might not be just like your grandma’s, but it’s pretty darn good. On gamedays, the line at Main Moon (2800-D Rosewood Dr., 251-8990) is out the door, and with good reason: This Chinese place is tasty, fast and cheap. Plus: leftovers. Lots of leftovers. Other great Chinese options include Eggroll Station (135 Sunset Blvd., 7914060) and Eggroll Chen (715 Crowson Rd., 787-6820). Good, thin, enormous pizzas can be had from Pizza Man (341 S. Woodrow St., 252-6931), which hosts a $1.25 slice night on Tuesday. In Five Points, Liberty NY Pizza (707 Harden St., 2560776) and the new Nicky’s Pizzeria (2123 Greene St., 748-9661) both serve slices and whole pies. And Village Idiot (2009 Devine St., 252-8646) is a venerable institution with cheap pizza and even cheaper beers. Want cheap burritos and tacos?
FOOD | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
Yesterdays FILE PHOTO
The Whig FILE PHOTO
Andy’s Deli FILE PHOTO
Head to Five Points classic El Burrito (934 Harden St., 7652188). And Tuesday nights mean 75-cent tacos at The Whig (1200 Main St., 931-8852). Order at the bar, pick up your cheap, delicious tacos at the kitchen window — just make sure you respect the $5 minimum, and save some money for a tip.
The bottom line: Fast food might seem like the easiest route, but it’s rarely the cheapest; for truly budget eats, branch out beyond the fast-food burger. And keep an eye on Free Times and Bites & Sights for coupons and other deals.
2013 | free-times.com
free-times.com | 2013
Burnt Books play Art Bar. PHOTO BY SEAN RAYFORD
music & nightlife Where to Catch Live Music
he first thing you might notice, musically inclined young reader, is that Columbia isn’t exactly Atlanta or even Raleigh, N.C., in terms of top-flight concerts. Should a big-time artist come to Columbia, he or she will likely perform at the 18,000-seat Colonial Life Arena ; Drake, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber have all performed there in recent memory. If it’s a really big concert — like, say, Kenny Chesney — there’s a chance it’ll be held at the 80,000-seat Williams-Brice Stadium, but probably in cooperation with Colonial Life Arena. (Bonus, though: the Colonial Life Arena’s within walking distance of even the furthest reaches of campus.) If it’s too small for the Colonial Life Arena but too big for local clubs, the 3,000-seat Township Auditorium is where it’ll go.
Recently renovated, the Township’s a pretty great place to see uppertier rock bands like Band of Horses and Widespread Panic, or pop and R&B acts like Mindless Behavior. Comedians Daniel Tosh, Jamie Foxx and Martin Lawrence have performed there, too. After the Township, there’s a pretty big drop-off in terms of what Columbia draws, touring band-wise. Most live music rooms in Columbia only hold about 300 or so, and as a result Columbia is largely passed by in favor of college towns like Athens or Chapel Hill, which have the 800ish-capacity rooms to book, say, Run the Jewels or Washed Out. When those midtier tours do come to Columbia, they’re typically held outdoors in the Vista, at either Jillian’s or Tin Roof. Tin Roof tends to lean country — Darius Rucker and
Dierks Bentley packed Tin Roof’s parking lot — but Fitz and the Tantrums have played there, too. Jillian’s skews toward modern rock (see: AWOLNation) and alternative pop (see: The Mowgli’s). The South Carolina State Fair in October, too, books a mix of mid-tier and upper-crust acts — recent performers have included The Roots and Miranda Lambert — on its outdoor grandstand stage. The New Brookland Tavern is your best bet for live music on any given day; it’s the only place in town that books live music nearly every day of the week. It’s smallish capacity — about 300 — limits the size of bands it can bring in, but New Brookland still lands some pretty big stuff: topflight indie bands like Pinback, jam bands like Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, rappers like Big Pooh. It’ll likely also fit your budget: Ticket prices rarely exceed $10 to $20,
MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
and PBR pounders are $2. It also strongly supports the top-flight local talent in Columbia’s original music scene, too, no matter the genre. In fact, you’ll find local music just about everywhere in town. The Vista’s Art Bar hosts local rock bands on Saturdays. Speakeasy in Five Points hosts local jazz on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Bill’s Music Shop and Pickin’ Parlor in West Columbia hosts a weekly bluegrass jam on Fridays, and occasional country and blues acts on Saturdays. And should your tastes lean avant-garde, Conundrum Music Hall in West Columbia will be your second home. This, of course, is but the tip of the iceberg. Long story short: Columbia’s music scene has a lot to offer, so long as you get out and into it.
2013 | free-times.com
free-times.com | 2013
Bars and Clubs
olumbia is a college town, and, as such, has a lot of bars and clubs. You’ll find a lot of them very, very close to campus downtown, whether you attend USC or Benedict or Allen. Here’s a small sampling of some of the more popular and noteworthy watering holes and dancehalls in town; for a more comprehensive look, see our Nightlife listings at free-times.com or pick up our Bites & Sights publication. (To reiterate what we stringently expressed in our Drinking section: If you drink, do it responsibly. And remember there are stiff penalties for drinking underage.)
USC CAMPUS / MAIN STREET Hunter-Gatherer
900 Main St., 748-0540 huntergathererbrewery.com
More than the token local microbrew joint, H-G offers awesome bartenders, scrumptious entrées and an excellent beer and liquor selection. Looking to impress your date? You can’t go wrong here. Live jazz on Thursdays.
Mac’s on Main
1710 Main St., 929-0037 macsjazznblues.com
Yes, this Main Street institution is known for its scrumptious buffet during the day, but at night, the only thing hotter than the waitresses is the live music, which caters to blues and jazz aficionados.
Sheraton Rooftop Lounge
the book on college partying in Columbia. with cheap eats. Has an awesome jukebox filled with classic punk, Motown, jazz and much more. Also offers occasional DJs and live bands.
Five Points / Shandon / Rosewood Bar None
620 Harden St., 254-3354
Since 1994, Bar None has been known as the last refuge of the latenight lush. Filled with shuffleboard tables, rock music and sloshed 20-somethings, what more could you ask for? CJ’s 749 Saluda Ave., 748-8694
Its retractable exterior wall opens to reveal the Five Points fountain plaza, thus making CJ’s a great spot for taking in this colorful corner of Columbia. Concocktions 724 Harden St., 256-8860
The “cock” in the middle suggests that it’s a Gamecocks-loving sports bar. And it is!
741 Saluda Ave., 779-2345 delaneysspeakeasy.com
Delaney’s is as Irish as it comes here in the Bible Belt. Personable staff, live music and a vibrant atmosphere round out the package — but get there early, as it fills up fast, especially on pint nights.
1400 Main St., 988-1400
2017 Devine St., 256-3325
Not for the acrophobic, the Sheraton’s hip Rooftop Lounge offers a classy clientele, fine libations and desserts, plus a fine panoramic view of the Capital City. The Whig
Goatfeathers is the ideal habitat if you’re looking for that dark and mysterious, film-noir kind of ambience. Group Therapy
1200 Main St., 931-8852, thewhig.org
2107 Greene St., 256-1203 grouptherapybar.com
Inhabited by hipsters young and old, this dark, underground bohemia offers good, cheap beer and good, cheap liquor to go along
Columbia’s quintessential college bar, with cheap drinks, loud music and an outdoor oasis to escape the crowd. Group wrote
2112 Devine St., 252-5253
Meet the new Jake’s — same as the old Jake’s. But that’s a good thing: The renewed Five Points institution is as friendly as ever, and offers the same variety of televised sports and multiple bar stations.
Kildare’s Irish Pub 724 Harden St., 256-1390
Not, as far as we can tell, affiliated with the mid-Atlantic Irish pub chain of the same name. Nor, as far as we can tell, as frat-tastic as Jungle Jim’s, which used to occupy the space, was. We bet it’s busy on St. Patrick’s Day.
805 Harden St., 929-6955
A classic Five Points college bar: Cheap drinks, cheap wings, good music. Stays open late.
2100-B Devine St., 929-1118
For the Vista experience in Five Points, Lucky’s is your place — good wine and beer selection and an outdoor patio.
2722 Devine St., 771-6575
An out-of-the-way place with respect to Five Points, Nightcaps has a pool table, a big-screen television, comfy lounge chairs and a good late-night atmosphere. A popular haven for those not ready to let the night end — and for state politicos. Pavlov’s 2000-B Greene St.
Tucked behind the Salty Nut, Pavlov’s is a long-time stomping ground of college revelers and serves as hallowed ground for many in the fraternity and sorority circles.
640 Harden St., 708-6838
Next door to Lucky’s, Pinch, too, offers Vista atmosphere at Five Points prices. On-tap beers are rotated frequently, and frequently feature high-class offerings.
MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
The Pour House
800 Harden St., 932-3033
Next to the always overflowing Group Therapy, The Pour House has a good drink selection at prices that won’t send you to the poor house. Publick House 2307 Devine St., 256-2207
Exceptional beer selection, challenging trivia, hip music selection, über-friendly staff, good burgers and the best raw fries around.
812 Harden St., 779-4445 delaneyssaloon.com
From the people that brought you Delaney’s and Speakeasy comes The Saloon — where beer comes in Mason jars and a city slicker can buy a cowboy hat to look the part.
Salty Nut Café
2000 Greene St., 256-4611 saltynut.com
Salty Nut is more of a lunch spot by day, and it probably blanches at being called a college bar. Still, it’s the first place you hit coming down Greene Street from campus, and thus likely the first stop on many pub crawls. But it’s a great, cozy bar with good food, too.
636 Harden St., 799-8337, sharkyssc.com
Sharky’s has been a favorite Five Points hangout since 1985, and has been repeatedly voted Best College Bar by Free Times readers.
The Southern Belly
1332 Rosewood Dr., 799-5212
A cozy bar that also serves barbecue. Speakeasy 711 Saluda Ave., 255-0869 delaneysspeakeasy.com
Delaney’s classy, hip younger sibling boasts a fine liquor selection, great beers and a top-notch staff, as well as fine cigars, comfy couches and weekly jazz. The Tavern on Greene 2002-C Greene St., 252-7265
Perhaps unfairly labeled as a hippie bar — though it is espe2013 | free-times.com
cially welcoming to Dead, Spread and Phish heads — the Tavern on Greene is a late night hangout for local musicians and party people alike. An underrated and often overlooked Five Points institution.
The Thirsty Parrot 734 Harden St., 708-4768
Like Jimmy Buffett? You’ll most likely dig this place, which offers fine burgers and spirits in an easygoing atmosphere. TLC Sports Bar and Grill 936 S. Stadium Rd., 251-3087
Built to withstand even the toughest of game days, this ultimate Gamecock bar, located within a stone’s throw of Williams-Brice, offers enough food, drink and fun to satisfy even the most orangeblooded Clemson fan.
3830A Rosewood Dr., 782-8522
Cozy is the name of the game here — this recently relocated
free-times.com | 2013
Rosewood neighborhood bar offers plush indoor and outdoor seating, both of which are perfect for catching its frequent singer-songwriter guests. Village Idiot 2009 Devine St., 252-8646 villageidiotpizza.com
Columbia’s quintessential college-town pizza joint in a pub atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to enjoy delicious fare, cold beer, wallet-friendly weekly specials and a heaping helping of revelry. Yesterdays Restaurant and Tavern 2030 Devine St., 799-0196 yesterdayssc.com
A great place for an undergrad to take his or her squeeze out for dinner without maxing out the credit card. Good food, above-average beer and liquor selection. Bar in the back has its own entrance on Devine Street. A veritable Columbia landmark since 1978.
THE VISTA Art Bar
1211 Park St., 929-0198, artbarsc.com
If you’re looking for a noncorporate nightspot where you can ditch the lawyers and get to know the artists and musicians, you need look no further than this eclectic Vista bar. Cool but never pretentious, the Art Bar is good for people-watching, conversation and music (both bands and DJs), not to mention open-mic poetry nights and improv comedy.
721A Lady St., 251-4447 facebook.com/blueinthevista
Blue, a tapas bar and cocktail lounge, features Columbia’s only ice bar and draws in big crowds for its popular ’80s night on Wednesdays. Cozy late-night spot as well.
Carolina Ale House 708 Lady St., 227-7150 carolinaalehouse.com
Southeastern chain grille-andgroggery offers good eats, a good beer selection and plenty of televised sports. Features the Vista’s hottest rooftop bar and plenty of fun drink specials.
931 Senate St., 933-9997 beerknurd.com
Beer nerds (or knurds) rejoiced when this renowned purveyor of draughts landed in Columbia; dudes rejoiced when they saw the waitresses in schoolgirl uniforms. Offering more selections than most commoners could imagine, this is a beer drinker’s paradise with a nice front porch, some live music and the occasional commemorative pint glass.
1022 Senate St., 771-1558, tinroof.com
Started in Atlanta in 1996, Tin Roof now has five locations in the Southeast. Its calling cards: live music, good food and a laid-back atmosphere. It’s also, according to our Best of Columbia readers’ poll, the best place to pick up girls and guys.
Kelly’s Deli & Pub FILE PHOTO
Jet Nightlife offers just that: excess, from the ornately decorated interior to the swank luxury VIP rooms, multiple bars (five!) and state-of-the-art sound and light design. Night club, ultra lounge, outdoor oasis — Jet Nightlife is whatever you want it to be.
As an oyster bar, Pearlz specializes in all things bivalve mollusk. But its hip, trendy ambience and signature martinis make it a hotspot for Columbia’s young, urban professional crowd. Its new upstairs room offers live jazz and blues on the weekends.
Jillian’s offers billiard tables, an arcade, a beach volleyball court, ping-pong tables, walls of huge flat-screen televisions and more in addition to its extensive list of imports, domestics and other assorted cocktails and libations.
You could live your whole life in Columbia and not know this gay bar exists, and, frankly, its regulars probably wouldn’t mind all that much. Conversely, this haunt is a treasure to the folks who frequent it.
Kelly’s Deli & Pub
807 Gervais St., 931-0700 flyingnapkin.com
700 Gervais St., 553-3990 jetnitelife.com
800 Gervais St., 779-7789 columbia.jilliansbillards.com
1001 Washington St., 254-4464
If this converted fire station reminds you of Five Points, it’s probably because its owners cut their teeth working for places like Group Therapy and Jungle Jim’s. These Gamecock fans host regular acoustic performances in addition to karaoke and open mic contests.
Liberty Tap Room 828 Gervais St., 461-4677 libertytaproom.com
Attention hipsters: If you’re looking for that hot roller derby girl, you might have taken a wrong turn. (She’s at Art Bar.) Young professionals, however, should find much to enjoy here between the clientele, much-acclaimed menu and massive beer list, which offers 75 tap and bottle varieties to choose from.
936 Gervais St., 661-7741 pearlzoysterbar.com
1109 Assembly St., 253-8900 pts1109.com
Sushi, sake and salacious servers ... what else could you want out of an über-hip Vista sushi bar?
918 Gervais St., socialcolumbiasc.com
Per its website, Social aims to be a blend of worldwide hotspots: Panama’s Zona Viva; New York City’s Meat-Packing District; Havana’s El Diablo; Los Angeles; and the Mediterranean island Ibiza.
621 Gadsden St., 799-1311 thirstyfellow.com
The pizza is great — really, all the food is — but this close-tocampus bar is super-friendly and offers great beers.
700-C Gervais St., 312-9911 tsunamicompany.com
Two chic sushi bars within two blocks of each other in the Vista? Be still our beating hearts! Tsunami’s elegant, contemporary atmosphere and ample seating area complements its extensive sake, wine and beer selection.
522 Devine St., 748-9897
While most of the Soda City’s bars are closing up shop on Sunday morning, this watering hole between Palmetto Pig and Todd & Moore keeps the party going. Always packed with a diverse clientele.
1125 Park St., 933-9833
Its no-frills, no-nonsense attitude has endeared this unassuming watering hole to a loyal legion of regulars, but there’s always room for more.
800 Gervais St., 779-5650 wetwillies.com
Serves grain alcohol slushies — er, daiquiris — and, as such, is a late-night Vista favorite. Also has a pretty kick-ass music room upstairs — just don’t ask to book hip-hop acts there.
The Wild Hare
902-B Gervais St., 929-0374
Three-time winner of the Best Sports Bar in the Best of Columbia poll. Serves up hefty portions of some hefty selections (try the potato cakes!), and earns points for televisions and attractive wait staff. Down-to-earth crowd.
MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
Wild Wing Café 729 Lady St., 252-9464 wildwingcafe.com
Sure, Wild Wing Café has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is their 33 flavors of wings. If you can’t decide on one, get the sampler platter. Also boasts a ton of TVs, a party atmosphere and a steady stream of regional rock bands.
808 Lady St., 779-9663 woodyinthevista.com
Named after popular Columbia oldies disc jockey Woody Windham, The Woody is a popular Vista spot for shag and salsa dancing, but is way welcoming to partiers in their 20s, too. You have to duck through an alley, but don’t let that ward you off. Offers nightly drink specials.
World of Beer
902-F Gervais St., 509-6020 thevista.wobusa.com
Offers over 500 different beers. Yes, Virginia: Five hundred beers on draft and in bottles. Wine and cigars, too.
WEST COLUMBIA New Brookland Tavern 122 State St., 791-4413 newbrooklandtavern.com
New Brookland Tavern is best known for being Columbia’s go-to spot for live local, regional and national live music, but it’s a damn fine bar, too, offering a fine array of specials and a bar stocked with much more than Pabst Blue Ribbon.
The Red Door
134 1/2 State St., 708-6066
Cheap drinks and pub food, plus weekly stand-up comedy nights.
State Street Pub 136 State St., 796-2006
An across-the-bridge institution, State Street Pub wins its crowd with pool, cheap beer, sports and plenty of charm. Loads of beers on tap. You’ll need to be a member, but you should be. 2013 | free-times.com
t’s inevitable: You walk into a party and someone hands you a bong.
You go to a friend’s apartment and there’s a guy sitting on the couch hunched over a line of coke. Welcome to college, where drugs aren’t some abstract concept your parents are lecturing you about — they’re being sold door to door in your dorm. Popular drugs on campus include pot, MDMA (ecstasy), Adderall, cocaine, GHP and Rohypnol (daterape drugs), methamphetamine, Klonopin (an anti-anxiety drug) and Oxycodone (a narcotic), among others. Studies show that 18-to-25year-olds are more active drug users than any other group, with almost 20 percent having taken an illegal drug in the past month, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Even as alcohol and cigarette use declined in recent years, pot smoking had been increasing before leveling off in 2012. In 2012, 36 percent of high school seniors said they had smoked marijuana in the past year, according to the Monitoring the Future survey. Though still a problem, the popularity of some drugs has stopped rising in recent years. Use of synthetic pot (spice, K-2) is steady at 11.3 percent among high school seniors — but that number has stayed steady even as states including South Carolina have moved to ban it. Abuse of prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin — used for ADHD treatment and abused in an effort to achieve academically — has mostly leveled off. The use of bath salts has leveled off, too, and ecstasy use has even declined. Still, if you’re on a college campus, there are drugs around. What do you do now? There might be someone whose answer is “call the cops on the guy across the hall,” but Free Times has never met that person. In the real world, free-times.com | 2013
Percentage of Americans with an addiction who started smoking, drinking or using drugs before they were 18
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
your choices most likely come down to: (1) Do you partake? (2) If so, can you do it safely? (3) What do you do if things get out of control? Doing illegal drugs is, well, illegal, and we don’t recommend you do stuff that could land you in the slammer — not to mention causing injury to yourself. Taking prescription drugs that haven’t been prescribed to you — or taking them in higher doses than prescribed — can be dangerous, too. Adderall is a Class 2 drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and dependence. Our advice? Don’t do drugs. But we know that some of you will. So, if you do take drugs, don’t be an idiot about it. Taking something you’ve never heard of is idiotic; so is taking something from someone you don’t know. Taking a large dose of anything is idiotic. And taking anything without being in the presence of people you know and trust is just asking for disaster. Should disaster strike, don’t wait to call for help. If there’s immediate danger, call 911. Otherwise, consider USC’s Substance Abuse Prevention & Education line at 803-777-3933 (or firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Lexington/Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council (lradac.org) at 803-726-9300 (Richland County) or 803-726-9400 (Lexington County).
ticketmaster.com 8 0 0 . 7 4 5 . 3 0 0 0
Live Nation Carolinas
All dates, acts, & ticket prices subject to change without notice. Subject to applicable service fees.
COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE | DRUGS
smoking f you smoke, you’re probably tired of all the moralizing you’re Iexposed 20 to. You know it causes cancer — but at this point in your life, you don’t really care. Right now, you have the luxury of not caring. You probably won’t get lung cancer at age 19. But the years go fast, and that 19-year-old who “only lights up at parties” turns into a 26-year-old who’s seriously hooked. The good news is that there are fewer 19-year-olds lighting up than there once were. Whereas almost one-third of college students smoked in the 1990s, just 18.9 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 24 were smokers in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s nearly identical to the percentage of adults who smoke: 19 percent, according to the CDC. In the future, it looks like even fewer students will be smoking:
Percentage of S.C. adults who smoke. Source: CDC
Just 10.6 percent of high school seniors smoke, according to the Monitor the Future survey. (In South Carolina, it’s 11.8 percent.) The bad news? Roughly one out of five college students is still smoking. Now, you know all the healthrelated reasons you should stop smoking: It causes cancer, heart disease and emphysema, among other things. Like we said earlier, though, at this point in your life, you likely don’t care. So how about thinking about it in terms of things you do care about? First up: Money. If you’re a pack-a-day smoker paying $5 or $6 per pack, you’re shelling out $150 or more per month in ciga-
SMOKING | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
rettes. You could be paying your electric bill, phone bill or cable bill with that money — or hell, just buying a lot more beer. Second: Social convenience. When you go out in Five Points or the Vista, smoking is banned in all the bars and restaurants. So what happens when your nonsmoking friends are inside having fun? You’re standing outside on the sidewalk getting your fix. Not only can that kill your good time, it can also put you right in the midst of some mayhem — sidewalks full of tipsy smokers can get a bit rowdy sometimes, especially on a game weekend in Five Points. Third: Romance. Yes, romance. Think about it: At USC, approximately 80 percent of the student population doesn’t smoke. That means there’s a good chance they’re not too thrilled about the smell of your car and your apartment — not to mention your clothes and your breath. The point is, there are a lot more people who won’t be
impressed by your smoking than will be. Regardless of all this, there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself at some point with a cigarette in your hand — and liking it. If you go that route, the important thing is stop before you lose the ability to stop. Don’t lie to yourself and think you’re immune to the reality that nicotine is highly addictive: Of the 35 million Americans who try to quit smoking every year, 85 percent fail, most within one week, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Don’t find yourself lumped into a statistic. Students can call USC Campus Wellness at 803-576-9393 to learn about free smoking cessation classes or call 1-800-QUITNOW (784-8669) to talk to a smoking cessation coach over the phone.
2013 | free-times.com
y the time you got to college, chances are you’ve already tried a little whiskey from the liquor cabinet, downed a beer or two at a friend’s house or been to a full-blown kegger on a spring-break trip.
How much do teens and college students drink? Not as much as they used to, actually. Forty percent of 12th graders say they’ve had alcohol in the past month; 20 years ago, that would have been 54 percent, according to the Monitoring the Future survey. Rates of excessive drinking among teens are also down, to about half the level they were 20 years ago. Still, while drinking might have been just an occasional illegal foray in high school, in college it’s a way of life. From fraternity parties to tailgating at football games, drinking becomes a whole other ballgame, so to speak. Everyone wants a fake ID to get into the bars in Five Points and the Vista, but you should know that bouncers have seen every trick there is — and getting busted with a fake ID is a serious offense. If you misrepresent your age to get alcohol, you could get popped with a $200 fine and suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days to six months. And if you get nailed for altering a driver’s license — as free-times.com | 2013
PHOTO BY SEAN RAYFORD
use a fake ID, don’t drink more than you can handle and make sure there’s always a designated
driver. Also recommended: If you decide to drink, have a couple of aspirin handy.
opposed to just lying about your age — you could be looking at 30 days in jail in addition to a fine and suspension of your license. Imagine how that phone call to your parents might go. Driving while intoxicated will get you in serious trouble. How bad could it be? If you injure someone when you’re driving drunk, you could spend up to 10 years in prison and pay up to $10,000 in fines. And yes, the penalties are higher if, god forbid, you were to kill someone in a drunken accident. If you do get popped with an alcohol-related ticket, you’ll need some advice. The website drinkingticket.com, founded locally, knows the ropes when it comes to alcohol citations. (It can also help you avoid getting busted in the first place by tipping you off to which bars cops are at.) There are also local lawyers who specialize in this sort of thing, including one (Bubba Cromer) who actually advertises on the wristbands at local bars. Still, your best bet is to stay out of trouble on the front end: Don’t
COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE | DRINKING
sports irst and foremost, Columbia is ruled by college football, F Gamecock football in particular.
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SPORTS | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
And you University of South Carolina students have it easy, getting free tickets to every Gamecock football home game. Lucky punks. So, how do you student folk get said tickets? USC uses an online ticket distribution system for football tickets — basketball and baseball tickets, too. The good news: The system penalizes students if they register for but don’t use a ticket (a total dick move). The bad news: The online ticketing system metes out Loyalty Points based chiefly on seniority — sorry, freshmen and sophomores — for the times when there aren’t enough tickets to go around. The bottom line: You’re basically guaranteed a ticket for, say, North Carolina or Coastal Carolina. But scoring a ticket to that Florida game will be tough. And Clemson? May the road rise up to meet you, bud. While at the game, remember that it’s your duty to taunt your opponents mercilessly. (But not physically, which will probably result in a visit to the pokey.) If you don’t like football, lots of luck to you, as you’re part of a very small portion of the populace. Our best advice for you: Avoid the south ends of Rosewood Drive and Assembly Street if you can, and the Olympia neighborhood altogether. Gameday traffic occupies much of Assembly and Blossom streets close to campus; Rosewood Avenue and Bluff and Shop roads are often bumper-to-bumper as well. Our best advice: Walk — or, if you started tailgating early, stumble — to the game, even if you live in Columbia Hall. Better yet: Catch the gameday shuttle to Williams-Brice, which runs three hours before kickoff and an hour-and-a-half after the game ends. Pickups and dropoffs, depending on whether you’re coming or going, are on Rosewood Drive east of the Fairgrounds, at the Colonial Life Arena or at Blowfish Stadium. Seriously: If you’re a USC
student, we highly encourage going to a football game. It’s a unique experience, and you might as well check out that new scoreboard your tuition helped pay for. If it’s a night game, prepare to have your local bar awash in a sea of garnet and black. (Drinking tip: Be extra-nice to your bartenders on game nights. Your kindness will be rewarded. In fact, just be extra nice to your bartenders, period.) Of course, the university offers a host of other intercollegiate sports, several of which are consistently among the best in the country. Case in point: the Gamecock baseball team. (You might have heard about that whole three-straight-College World Series-finals-trips thing.) Baseball tickets are becoming a hotter and hotter commodity. I mean, seriously — have you been to the still-pretty-new Carolina Stadium? It’s a gorgeous ballpark. (Also of note: You can earn loyalty points usable toward football tickets by attending baseball games. Score!) There isn’t as much of a festival atmosphere around Chad Holbrook’s squad like the one that envelops Steve Spurrier’s team, but attendees — especially undergraduate attendees — are still required to heckle the visitors without pity. (And, of course, without profanity. Take it from our baseball-loving music editor: You’ll be removed from the premises if you drop an F-bomb.) Another traffic warning: Olympia’s pretty f#!ked during baseball games, too, but the shutdown typically doesn’t last all day. Check firstpitch times and plan accordingly. Should you not dig baseball, football or basketball, USC’s soccer and track-and-field teams are nothing to sneeze at. And should you prefer participating to watching, USC offers a whole host of intramural and club sports, including flag football, wiffle ball, ultimate Frisbee, billiards, racquetball and, uh, cornhole. And though it receives no funding from the university, USC boasts an intramural ice hockey team as well. 2013 | free-times.com
free-times.com | 2013
money it possible to spend $1,000 on and Chinese takeout? Ispizza Yes, it is.
come celebrate your birthday here !
think about the bigger picture of how much you’re spending to be in college. There’s a good chance that you, your parents or both are racking up a fortune in debt to pay your tuition. In fact, student loan debt topped the astounding figure of $1 trillion last year, according to The New York Times. The average student who borrows piles up $26,600 in debt. Now, there’s a difference between “good debt” and “bad debt.” Loans to pay for your education are generally considered good — because the earnings potential of a college graduate is much higher
Luckily, you’re too smart to do that. A recent Pew Research report shows that millennials are more financially cautious than their parents and are carrying less credit card debt — an average of roughly $1,700 in 2010, down from $2,500 in 2001. As nice as it is to buy iPads and new clothes and to eat out whenever you want to, you know you need to be careful: Chances are you’re already going to graduate with student loans to pay back, so the last thing you want to do is add a bunch of credit card debt. Still, the temptation is always there. Here are some College Board Average amount of tips for how you student loan debt can avoid falling into the credit card debt trap: than that of someone who has only (1) Consider using a debit card a high school diploma. (which deducts from your checkStill, take into consideration the ing account) instead of a credit amount of debt you’re taking on in card (which is a loan you have to relation to the earnings potential pay back). (2) Read the fine print of your particular field. Science, on credit card offers — especially computer, technical and health when it comes to introductory care fields, for example, will generteaser rates, late fees and rates ally offer more earnings potential on cash advances. (3) Pay bills than journalism, English and art promptly, and pay the full balance history. We’d never tell you not to off if you can. (4) Use credit only develop your creative potential, if you’re certain you are able to but when your parents hassle you repay the debt. (5) Avoid impulse about coming up with a backup shopping on your credit card. (6) plan, it’s not because they’re jerks Save your credit card for a money — it’s because they don’t want to emergency. be paying on your $100,000 debt Bottom line: Know what you are after you land a $24,000 job. spending, and don’t spend more Regardless of what field you’re than you have to. in, only take out as much in That’s where a budget comes in. It will help you get a handle on your student loans as you absolutely need. If you can offset the amount monthly expenses — rent, food, of loans you need with a part-time car, phone, everything — and job, then do it: It could take years figure out how much you can reasonably afford to spend on pizza off what you are paying back later. Plus, if you can limit the amount or beer. Make it easy on yourself: of money you need to borrow now, Download a budget app now. Some it might give you more flexibility popular ones include Mint, Slice, when it comes to deciding what job Moneystrands and Pageonce. As important as your monthly to take after you graduate. budget is, it’s also important to
MONEY | COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE
2013 | free-times.com
free-times.com | 2013
2013 | free-times.com