Between the blistering Carolina sun in the summer and mild winter temperatures, the weather in Columbia is very southern. Pollen season covers the campus with a blanket of yellow every spring, which can be pretty heinous for people with allergy problems—bring allergy medicine if necessary. Shorts, T-shirts, tank tops, and sandals are must-haves, and if you’re not bashful, you might want to bring your bathing suit to lay out on the Horseshoe or by the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center’s outdoor pool.
The winters don’t get very cold, but you will need to bring some warm clothes—a coat, boots, sweaters, and warm pants. Some students wear gloves, scarves, and hats during the winter, but you will also see students walking around in flip-flops in the middle of January. It just depends on what kind of climate you’re used to. Sometimes it snows, but usually that happens only once or twice a year in very small quantities. Even so, it means a definite cancellation of classes at least for one day. Most of the time, the weather in Columbia is beautiful and sunny and may be a little sweltering, but students agree that it’s one of the things that makes going to USC so enjoyable.