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Substance Abuse Prevention and Education

Healthy Choices

Suggestions and ideas for making safe, healthy choices on- and off-campus.

Take the Good Choice Challenge!

Tweet @UofSCGoodChoice pictures and videos of your healthy and safe choices while tailgating. Use the hashtag #UofSCGoodChoice and we may feature you on this page!


Good Choice Challenge Photos

  • A blonde USC student in a denim jacket is holding her gift certificate and smiling.

    October Good Choice Challenger Winner

    Our Good Choice Challenge winner holding her prize – a gift certificate to Mad Platter.

  • President Pastides site in the driver's seat of a convertible with three students. He is giving the "thumbs up" signal.

    Sweet Rewards

    Dr. Pastides took these Good Choice Challenge winners for ice cream in his Mini Cooper.

  • A male student holds a Carolina jersey and smiles

    October Good Choice Challenge Winner 

    Our winner from the Tailgate Challenge holds his prize – a Gamecock football jersey.



Ideas for Making Healthy Choices

  • Watch your favorite TV series on Netflix.
  • Send someone a card in the mail, just because.
  • Write a poem.
  • Make a list of ten things that make you happy, then do one of them.
  • Watch your favorite Disney movie.
  • Start a journal. It will be fun to look back on one day.
  • Watch a TED Talk.
  • Bake cupcakes or cookies. You can find great recipes on Pinterest.
  • Start a new book.
Things to Do in Columbia
  • See a movie at The Nickelodeon on Main Street.
  • Sing karaoke at Tsubaki Restaurant and Karaoke Lounge.
  • Go glow bowling at Royal Z Lanes.
  • Attend an event at the Koger Center.
  • Race go-carts at Frankie's Fun Park.
  • Paint pottery at The Mad Platter. Friday night is college night!
  • Visit any of Columbia's city parks.
  • See a play at Trustus Theatre or Workshop Theatre.
  • Spend the day at Riverbank Zoo. Try the zip line!
  • Go to Liberty on the Lake for live music and a meal on Lake Murray.
  • Go to a museum and look at the exhibits. Try the Columbia Museum of Art or the SC State Museum.
Take a Day Trip
  • Go to a concert out of town.
  • Take a trip to Charleston.
  • Spend the day in Charlotte. Go to a Bobcats or Panthers game.
  • Canoe or picnic at Saluda Shoals Park.
  • Stroll through Camden, South Carolina's oldest inland town.
  • Take a trolley tour of Augusta, Georgia.
  • Tour historic Beaufort and its Lowcountry sea islands.
  • Visit Clemson, home of our Tiger rivals. Take a picture in your Gamecock gear.
  • Gaze at the stars at the DuPont Planetarium in Aiken.
  • Hike in Crowders Mountain State Park.
  • Go to the Bee City honeybee farm near the Edisto River.
  • Check out the National Whitewater Center.
  • Get up close to a tiger cub at Tiger World.
Go Out to Eat
  • Eat a burger at Pawley's Front Porch.
  • Find a new restaurant to try on Yelp.
  • Eat sushi downtown.
  • Split a gourmet cupcake in the Vista.
  • Get coffee with a friend at Cool Beans or College Grounds.
  • Eat at Groucho's in Five Points.
  • Have a picnic on the Horseshoe.
  • Eat at Beezer's or Tio's after midnight.
Stay In With Friends
  • Play a board game or cards.
  • Have a video game night with your friends.
  • Watch a movie your professor mentioned with your classmates.
  • Have a sleepover with friends. Share your feelings or do a dramatic reading from your favorite book.
  • Have a horror movie marathon.
  • Host a study group.
Get Some Exercise
  • Have an Ultimate Frisbee tournament on the Horseshoe at midnight.
  • Climb the 52-foot climbing wall in the Strom.
  • Go for a run or walk at Riverfront Park.
  • Try at least two different group exercise classes at the Strom.
  • Run or a walk a local 5K.
  • Complete outdoor recreation's Challenge Course.
  • Challenge a stranger to racquetball at the Strom.
  • Visit one of the largest jumping fields in America at HiWire Trampoline Park.
  • Go for a swim at the Blatt or the Strom.
Give Back to the Community
  • Help out with Service Saturday. Register with the Leadership and Service Center
  • Volunteer at a local agency or organization. The Leadership and Service Center does service trips. 
  • Help out at a local animal shelter.
  • Volunteer at Harvest Hope.
  • Help children with their homework at The Family Shelter of Columbia.
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Substance Abuse Prevention and Education