The best study spaces on campus
Finding the best study schedule that works for you is important, but so is where you choose to study. But with such variety of spaces across campus, this can be difficult. I don’t have one specific space in which I study, and will move between places depending on the vibe I’m looking for, and where on campus I need to be for my schedule that day.
I personally tend to avoid the library during the daytime unless I am going in to find a book. While it may suit some, I find the atmosphere in there to be too busy and stressful, and unless I’m sat right beside an open window, it can be too hot and stuffy. If I go in there to study, it will be when it is less busy and I’m guaranteed to find a seat, either early in the morning (but the chances of me doing this before 11am are slim), or late at night after 7pm until the early hours of the morning (I’m a night owl, and I’ll often go to study after my evening rehearsals are finished). The library is open 24 hours, which makes it the ideal place to study if you need to pull an all-nighter (which I don’t encourage).
There is also the Learning Grid in the Rootes building. I used to go in there a lot last year to study with my course-mates in between our lectures. The grid is divided into a group study area and a silent study area. Like the library, it can be busy during the afternoon, but is convenient for being right next to the SU and a lot of the food outlets and central campus accommodations.
One place a lot of people don’t really know about is University House, which has two learning grids and a large café. This is my go-to place if I want to have a study session in a more comfortable environment. Because of its distance from central campus, it’s slightly too far if you want to study for an hour between lectures, but if you have several hours to kill then it’s worth the trek. You’re almost always likely to find a seat, and once lunchtime has passed and the café customers have cleared out, you’ll have your pick of seats. It’s sunny and air-conditioned, quiet, but with the hum of conversation in the distance.
As I have fewer contact hours than some subjects, I am not required to be on campus all of the time. Because of that, I often find it easier to study at home rather than dragging a lot of books and study materials to campus. I sometimes struggle to study in my room though, and will often sit at the kitchen table instead.
Cafés on campus offer quite a different kind of study environment. If you’re okay with a bit of background noise, studying in cafés may suit you. Some places may require you to order something depending on their policy or if it’s peak time. The worst that can happen is that you have to find somewhere else to study if you don’t want to spend any money. I don’t study in cafés often, but when I do, it’ll be on a rare occasion where I treat myself to lunch, and then stay around for a few hours and study.
Buildings like the Oculus, Ramphal and Social Sciences have seating areas that can be used for studying, each offering different vibes depending on what you feel like. Some departments also have their own common rooms and dedicated study spaces specifically for students studying their subjects. If I have reading to do, I’ll often go to the Arts Centre because they have some comfortable sofas in there at the moment, but sometimes it’s loud in there and sometimes it’s completely silent. I was once trying to write an essay with graduation ceremonies being broadcast over the loud speaker…