Maybe this sounds familiar: finals are just around the corner, so you're on a tight schedule, and you need a good place to study, but in every cafe and reading room on campus you see bodies in chairs without a free seat in sight. You scour campus for a decent space, and by the time you find one, you're down a significant fraction of your study time.
My search for the perfect study spot was a semester project all its own. And I don't consider myself picky; I don't need to be totally alone, and I don't need perfect silence. The challenge is that so many of us students think alike. When we need to study, we seek out SCE, Daley Library, Douglas Hall and Lincoln Hall. If you're hoping to grab lunch and settle into one of these four study spots, brace yourself for the crowd of people who had the same idea.
Does it mean campus can't meet a student's needs? Absolutely not. Before you stress, try the rest. Here are some lesser known study spots a little off the beaten path:
- Behavioral Science Building
It's hard to know what Walter Netsch had in mind when he designed BSB (just take a look at the floor plan below). Even the university can't deny the difficulty of finding your way through it. But labyrinthine passageways and hard-to-find rooms mean an abundance of out-of-the-way, unused space. Add to that the fact that the social science class schedules hardly line up with Liautaud's, and you get a recipe for the perfect study spot, with plenty of room to spread out your things and knuckle down.
- 306 student lab in Grant Hall
It was total serendipity that I happened upon this place while looking for somewhere to print documents. Every time I've been back since, there have been plenty of open seats. It's the perfect study space. The downside? It's not really outfitted for group meetings, and it's only open on weekdays until 5 p.m. And this place is a silent study space, with no food or drink allowed, so if you need to chat or snack, seek elsewhere.
- Taft Hall
This building is a real oasis. Like Lincoln Hall, it has an updated lounge on the first floor, but because so few classes are scheduled in Taft, the lounge gets little traffic (and, if you're lucky, you may be able to find an unused classroom for group study).
- Student Recreation Facility
Sounds nuts, but that large open space on the second floor? It has lots of seating, and it turns out you can get a lot of work done there. And with a good cafe on the first floor, you have everything you need to camp out for an entire morning or afternoon.
I hope these tips prove helpful here in the homestretch. I wish you all good luck - the finish line is in sight!