Everything You Need to Know to Start the School Year Off Right

With the start of the 2021–22 academic year nearly here, the College of Charleston campus will soon be bustling with new students just joining the Cougar family as well as returning students who have spent the summer away from their College home.

Whether you’re embarking on your first year at the College or settling in for your final year, starting the school year off right is essential. And we’ve got you covered with helpful tips for moving into residence halls, getting around campus and staying healthy and stress free as you get ready for the first day of classes on Aug. 24, 2021.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy

If you start to feel under the weather, the College’s Student Health Services is available to evaluate and treat your medical needs:

1. From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses are on hand to treat students who may need anything from allergy shots to treatment for illnesses and infections such as COVID-19 or the flu.

2. If you’re feeling sick early in the morning or late at night or start to feel ill in between classes, don’t worry: CofC students who are physically in the state of South Carolina can also seek care free of charge through the Medical University of South Carolina’s 24/7 Virtual Urgent Care Platform.

3. While a COVID-19 vaccination is not required for any student to enroll or participate in campus activities at the College of Charleston, students are encouraged to receive the vaccine and upload their vaccination status to the College’s medical records database (go.cofc.edu/vax-upload) to help in campus health and safety planning for the fall 2021 semester. 

4. Students who are not fully vaccinated must comply with a one-time COVID-19 testing requirement prior to their return to campus.

5. All members of the campus community (students, faculty and staff) are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings on campus while around others indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Wearing a mask, however, is not required. 

8 Essential Move-In Tips

Move-in day is always exciting (and a little bit hectic). This year, students head back to the residence halls on Aug. 20 and Aug. 21, 2021. Here are eight ways to make move-in go smoothly.

1. If you haven’t already done so, make sure to schedule your move-in appointment, as move-in for both houses and residence halls is by appointment only. When you schedule your move-in appointment, you’re signing up for an arrival time, which is when you will pick up your key and unload your car.

2. Write your name and room number in big, clear letters on everything. With everyone moving in all at once, it’s easy for an unlabeled box to get misplaced.

3. A rolling handcart or dolly can save you time as you haul your clothes, bedding and tech into the residence hall. There will be a limited number of moving bins available.

4. Nails and screws are not allowed on residence hall walls, so make sure you have Command Strips or hooks for hanging art, installing floating shelves or displaying your favorite decor.

5. Only bring what you need: For example, every residence hall has some form of refrigerator in the room or suite, so students don’t need to bring a mini-fridge.

6. The use of extension cords in residential spaces is prohibited. Power strips are recommended instead. Power strips in residence halls should be a UL-approved, grounded, three-wire model equipped with a fuse or circuit breaker. They should be plugged into a permanent outlet.

7. Bring a floor cleaner like a vacuum, broom or mop, as well as disinfectant wipes, paper towels and bathroom cleaning supplies. Students are fully responsible for cleaning their own suites.

8. Collapsible bins, hangers, stackable plastic drawers, over-the-door hooks – anything to maximize storage and space – are a must.

Get a Ride

As an urban campus, it couldn’t be easier to make your way to class or explore the historic city of Charleston. Here are some easy ways to get around:

Cougar Shuttle: This CofC service offers free, safe rides to students anywhere on the Charleston peninsula at night. The Cougar Shuttle operates during the fall and spring semesters from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., seven nights a week. Call 843.352.8886 when you’re ready to ride. Reservations are not accepted. Students must present a valid Cougar Card to shuttle staff to board.

Bike Share: Need a free ride? The College’s Bike Share program offers free bike rentals to any current students, faculty and staff. Short-term bikes can be rented for 24 hours, while long-term bikes can be rented for a semester.

Catch the Bus: The Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority (CARTA) manages the bus system around downtown and the greater Charleston area. The system has routes that serve the Charleston peninsula, North Charleston, West Ashley, James Island and Mt. Pleasant — and CofC students ride for free. All you have to do is present your Cougar Card (College of Charleston ID), and you’re good to go. For full information on CARTA schedules and routes, visit the CARTA website.

Get Involved

One great way to meet fellow students at the College of Charleston is through any of the more than 150 clubs on campus. With offerings ranging from Greek life and a cappella groups to the Asian Student Association and Collegiate Curls to the College of Charleston Film Club and the CofC Running Club, there’s a club for every interest at CofC. View a full list of clubs and organizations.

And if you’re the kind of person who wants to stay active or try a new sport, the College has a variety of intramural sports and sports clubs where students can sharpen their athletic skills or just have fun playing a range of club sports like rugby and hockey to a variety of intramural sports like dodge ball, futsal and fishing.

Keep Your Stress in Check

Even under ideal circumstances, college can be stressful. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you might feel stressed as you settle back into life on campus.

The Counseling Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to provide consultations, individual sessions and support groups. Students can request appointments or information by phone at 843.953.5640 or by filling out the “Online Appointment Request” link on the center’s webpage.

Students 4 Support, CofC’s trained and certified student-run volunteer group, is available Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. during the school year. Students can reach out by texting “4support” to 839863 to find support.

The Stern Student Center is located at 71 George St. and features lounge areas, a game room and meeting spaces.

8 Buildings to Know

If you’re not new to campus, then you should know your way around, but just in case, consider this a refresher. For those students who are new to the College, these eight buildings are essential to student life on campus.

1. Addlestone Library, 205 Calhoun St.: This is the main College of Charleston library. You’ll likely spend a few learning-filled days (or nights) in this location.

2. Johnson and Silcox Centers, 30 and 24 George St.: These two gymnasiums are the hub for Camps Recreation Services, where you’ll find everything from an indoor running track to badminton and volleyball courts, squash courts and a workout area.

3. Mail Services/Public Safety, 81 and 89 St. Philip St.: Located on the ground floor of the St. Philip Parking Garage, these two offices are essential to student life. Serving as a comprehensive post office, the Office of Mail Services is located next to the Department of Public Safety, which provides crime prevention, event management and police services to campus 24 hours a day. This is the place to register your bicycle.

4. Stern Student Center, 71 George St.: This is the epicenter of campus life at the College of Charleston and houses everything from a Wells Fargo ATM to a game room, as well as meeting spaces.

5. Multicultural Center, 207 Calhoun St.: The Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services coordinates the Mentoring Matters, SPECTRA, Safe Zone and ExCEL Award programs. It also hosts cultural events and campus dialogues.

6. Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center, 58 Coming St.: This building, which houses houses the Department of BiologyDepartment of Physics and Astronomy and some faculty from the Department of Psychology, features 77 research, teaching and support labs as well as an auditorium.

7. Lightsey Center, 160 Calhoun St.: The Lightsey Center houses the College of Charleston Bookstore and a number of support services for students, including the Academic Advising and Planning Center, the Career Center, the Center for Civic Engagement and the Office of the Registrar.

8. Beatty Center, 5 Liberty St.: Home to the School of Business, the Beatty Center is the business hub at CofC and includes computer labs, smart classrooms and the Wells Fargo Auditorium.

Get to know all of the College’s buildings by checking out the campus maps.

Let’s Eat

Charleston has a reputation as a foodie town, but you don’t have to leave campus for a good meal. Dining Services provides plenty of tasty options close to class and the residence halls. Fall 2021 meal plans begin on Aug. 20, 2021, with dinner. Please visit charleston.campusdish.com/ for location hours and menus. Be sure to download the Transact app for mobile ordering to use at our campus Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and Marty’s Place.

Liberty St. Fresh Food Company: Focused on locally inspired menus and fresh ingredients, this all-you-care-to-eat location features made-to-order pizza and pasta; salad, grill, and deli stations; allergen-friendly options; Lowcountry favorites, Chef’s Table exhibition cooking and an in-house bakery.

Chick-fil-A: A favorite for chicken sandwiches, chicken biscuits, salads and more!

City Bistro: Enjoy a variety of lunch, dinner and late-night dining options at this sleek bistro-style dining location.

Marty’s Place: Made-to-order vegan, vegetarian Kosher dishes, plus choices without gluten.

Einstein Bros. Bagels: Check out a wide variety of fresh baked bagels, sandwiches, salads, pastries and homemade desserts.

Starbucks: Stop in for coffee of all kinds, cold beverages, pastries and much more!