The start of the 2019–20 academic year is right around the corner. Soon, the College of Charleston campus will be bustling with new students who are just joining the Cougar family as well as returning students who have spent the summer away from their home at the College.

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. We’ve got you covered with helpful hints for moving in, getting around campus and being prepared for the first day of classes on Aug. 20, 2019.

Students moving boxes into residence halls at the College of Charleston

7 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. 16 and Aug. 17, 2019. Here are seven ways to make move-in go smoothly.

1. 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.

2. A rolling handcart or dolly can save you time as you haul your clothes, bedding and tech into the residence hall.

3. Pack a small toolkit. A screwdriver and hammer can come in handy when it comes to building shelves and assembling furniture.

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. 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.

6. Bring disinfectant wipes, paper towels and bathroom cleaning supplies. Students are fully responsible for cleaning their own suites.

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

Students lounge on Rivers Green outside Addlestone Library.

9 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 nine 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. George Street Fitness Center, 50 George St.: Located on the bottom floor of the Campus Center Apartments, the George Street Fitness Center is the College’s most comprehensive fitness facility.

3. Mail Services/Public Safety, 81 & 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. TD Arena, 301 Meeting St.: Home of Cougar basketball, among other premier CofC sports, this 190,500–square foot sports facility features an arena with seating for more than 5,000, a sports medicine complex for athletes, a hospitality suite and athletics offices.

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

6. 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 monthly cultural events and campus dialogues.

7. Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center, 58 Coming St.: Originally built in 1972, the science center underwent an extensive, four-year renovation before reopening to students and faculty in 2018. The 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 space that can seat up to 319 people.

8. 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.

9. 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.

Weeks of Welcome

Explore your new home at CofC, meet new friends and get  familiar with the City of Charleston. There’s something for everyone during the College of Charleston’s Weeks of Welcome (WOW). Taking place Aug. 17, 2019, through Sept. 28, 2019, WOW packs in nearly six weeks of events aimed at getting students involved on campus and excited about their new life in the Holy City. The WOW kicks off on Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. in TD Arena, where students can receive a Class of 2023 T-shirt, learn about CofC traditions, participate in the world’s largest icebreaker and then watch a screening of Godzilla. Other signature events include Maroon Mayhem, a street festival and block party happening around Cistern Yard, George Street and the Stern Student Center on Aug. 19 from 3 to 7 p.m. For a full listing of of WOW events, visit the Weeks of Welcome website.

Students eat at Liberty St. Fresh Food Company

Let’s Eat

Charleston has a reputation as a foodie town, but you don’t have to leave campus for a good meal (all of CofC’s dining locations are open to both the campus community and the public). Dining Services provides plenty of tasty options close to class and the residence halls:

Liberty St. Fresh Food Company: This all-you-care-to-eat location features unlimited buffet-style options. Choose from flame-grilled entrees, brick-oven pizza, vegetarian stir-fry, vegan options, pasta or an abundant salad bar.

Stern Center Food Court: Like choices when it comes time to eat? Stern Center Food Court has you covered with several vendors to choose from including Olilo (which features Mediterranean grain bowls) and Boar’s Head Deli. Fresh sushi and Acai bowls are also available.

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

City Bistro: Enjoy a variety of lunch, dinner and late-night dining options at this relaxed campus eatery.

Marty’s Place: Made-to-order vegan and vegetarian dishes in a kitchen that follows Kosher dietary laws.

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

Starbucks: Coffee of all kinds, cold beverages, pastries and much more!

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. To schedule a pick up, call 888.960.2227.

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 up to 48 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.

Students in the Russian Club wear traditional hats.

Russian Club

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 capella groups to the Asian Student Association and Collegiate Curls to the Anime Club and the Paranormal Activities Club, there’s a club for every interest at CofC. View a full list of clubs and organizations.

Stay Healthy and Happy

College can be stressful, and eventually you might begin to feel a bit run-down or even catch a cold. Luckily the College of Charleston’s Student Health Services center is open from 8:30 a.m. until 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.

It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that you might feel stressed as the semester gets underway – tackling new classes and meeting new people can be overwhelming. The Counseling Center, open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, offers an array of services to help students struggling with feelings of depression, anxiety, homesickness or issues with alcohol or substance abuse. And if you want to stay zen throughout the school year, you might consider signing up for the Counseling Center’s Koru Mindfulness workshops, which gives students skills in mindfulness and meditation designed to reduce stress and increase satisfaction. The Cougar Counseling Team, CofC’s trained and certified volunteer group, is available Monday through Thursday from 12 to 9 p.m. during the school year. Students can come in person to the Robert Scott Small building, room 300, or they can reach out by texting “4support” to 839863.