Attention students! It’s time to crack open those textbooks and get to work. As much of a drag studying can be on one’s social life, it’s a necessary task that will put you on the path to success after graduation.
But not everyone’s study habits are the same. Some people prefer to study in a quiet, isolated space. Others prefer to study with a group. Your ideal study setting will ultimately be persuaded by your preferred learning style. That’s why we assembled a guide to finding the best study spaces on campus that fit your unique needs.
The University Library
There’s a Reason Why This Is the Most Popular Place to Study on Campus
Being surrounded by groups of students who are also studying can be a great motivator.
Not only does the campus library offer a wealth of seating and outlets, but it also offers a vast amount of resources to aid your studying and research. Campus librarians are ready to help you find that textbook on Genetics or the classical book your Ancient Philosophy professor recommended. Computers, laptops, whiteboards, markers, and even chargers are often available to rent for a short period of time.
If your campus has multiple libraries, you should check online to see whether a particular library best caters to your needs. You aren’t going to want to go to the science department library if you need to write a research paper on Buddhism. Need some quiet time to yourself? Many libraries also have special quiet zones designated for students like you who need to study in silence. Working on a group project? See if you can reserve a private study room for your group. These rooms often come equipped with whiteboards, outlets, and more.
Fair warning: the library will often get crowded around finals season. If you are the type of person who needs space to study, consider the below alternative options.
Get Some Sun and Air While Studying
Don’t want to stay in the library all day? We don’t blame you. Try sitting outside in the quad. Most universities have tables or benches for students to sit and relax on. Obviously you aren’t going to study outside when it’s raining or snowing, but studying in nice weather can be relaxing and even stress-relieving.
Want to get comfortable? Bring a backrest pillow to lean against. Benches can be hard on the back, and if you end up sitting on the ground, you are going to need some back support. A backrest pillow offers extra support for your back, neck, and arms as you spend the hours studying for your next exam.
Be aware that the quad will likely be busy depending on the weather and the time that you go. Noise-canceling headphones are great for tuning out the extra noise so you can focus on your work. But if you think you are going to get distracted by that game of frisbee next to you, you may have to end up moving anyway.
The Student Union
The Student Union is Perfect for Both Recreation and Studying
The student union is always bustling with students, professors, and guests. Everyone loves going there to grab a quick bite between classes, attend special events, or even work out if there is a gym there. But it can also be the perfect place to study for the right students.
The cafe is usually everyone’s go-to place to study in the student union. You can grab lunch or dinner while cramming in a study session. Since the cafe tends to get busy, especially around lunch or dinner hour, try to find designated study spaces within the union. These spaces typically offer plenty of tables, chairs, and outlets for students to study in. There may even be a quiet room around.
Still haven’t found the right place to study? Look for an empty room inside the union. More likely than not, you can find an unused room to set up camp and study. Of course, you might end up being kicked out for a meeting, but it is worth trying. You will have a better chance of finding and staying in a room on the weekends since student groups don’t often meet then.
A Nearby Cafe
Escape the Hustle and Bustle of Campus for a Little
Sometimes you just need a break from campus. If you are able to take the extra walk or drive to an off-campus cafe, try it. Off-campus cafes are typically less crowded and noisy than the ones on campus. Many of them offer outlets, tables, and comfortable chairs and sofas to lounge on. You also have a lower chance of running into fellow students. So if you want to stay focused without having to worry about any social distractions, your local cafe will quickly become your new best friend.
Since it’s only a few feet away, why not grab a cup of coffee? You are going to need it, especially if you plan on staying at the cafe for a while.
Your Own Dorm Room
Sometimes, It’s Better to Study in Your Own Room
Believe it or not, your dorm room can be a perfectly fine place to study in. Since your dorm comes equipped with its own desk, you already have a prime spot for studying. Your textbooks, notebooks, and laptop are already there for you, so you don’t have to stuff them in your backpack just to carry them to another spot. Out of all the other options on this list, your dorm room is definitely the most convenient.
Keep in mind that studying in your dorm room can easily get distracting. Maybe your roommate invited friends over at the same time you decided to start studying. Or a group of people are watching a TV show down the hall. In that case, it may be helpful to throw on a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
If you think you will be too tempted to jump back in bed and watch Netflix or goof around with your roommate, studying in your dorm room might not be the best option for you. Otherwise, grab your backrest pillow and get started.
Residence Hall Lounges or Common Rooms
Study Hard Without Having to Travel Far From Your Room
Many residence halls offer special study rooms and lounges for their residents. These areas typically come equipped with charging stations, comfortable chairs and sofas, and even study aids such as a whiteboard. If you have the same class as some of your floormates or are working with people living in the same residence hall as you on a group project, your common area is the perfect place to meet up. No one has to travel far from their room, and they can all enjoy many of the same amenities that the campus library offers.
However, these areas tend to get busy. If you are easily distracted, it might not be the best studying area for you. But if you are okay with the extra noise, and maybe even need it a little to help you study, this is the perfect area for you. You are close enough to your dorm room so you don’t have to travel far, but you get to enjoy many of the same perks that a classroom or area in the library would offer. It’s a win-win situation all around!
An Empty Classroom
Empty Classrooms Are Perfect For Group Studying
Bringing in a large group of people to study with? Try to find an empty classroom. You probably won’t be able to find one during the day, but they will likely be open during nights and the weekend. Classrooms are perfect for large groups of people, even if they aren’t all working on the same thing. It is easy to divide yourselves within a group so that you can still study in close proximity with each other, but you don’t have to worry about feeling cramped or getting distracted.
More likely than not, you are going to find other groups of students in classrooms who had the same idea as you. If the classroom is big enough, you can probably squeeze your group in along with them.
The Dining Hall
Stay Fueled and Hydrated as You Prepare for Your Upcoming Exam
Want to kill two birds with one stone? Grab a bite to eat at the dining hall before cracking open your books and getting to work. Try to eat beforehand, rather than during your study session. Eating while distracted can cause you to overeat. It also prevents you from focusing completely on your work. Try to stay aware of what you are consuming too, as it can be tempting to stand up and walk around the dining hall for a treat every now and then.
You will also want to avoid the dining hall during lunch and dinner rush hour. You might have trouble finding a seat, and even when you do, you may get distracted by all the hustle and bustle around you.
Don’t be afraid to try out a few of these spaces before deciding which one suits you best. Your preferred study area may even be dependent upon the specific assignment you are working on. What’s your favorite place to study on campus? Tell us in the comments!