One thing that really has surprised me about this semester is how loud my campus library has been. The library has always been a favorite study spot of mine, but this semester it’s been so busy that even the quiet floor has been filled with little noises. They slowly start to drive me insane, from the hum of nearby headphones to loud typing to slightly too loud whispers.
After trying (and failing) to get used to the library noise, I started thinking about other places on campus that I could study, and these three were my favorites.
A few of my friends swore by studying in empty classrooms last semester. I didn’t think much of it since I was still totally fine in the library. Now, sometimes I go straight to one of the open buildings to find a classroom before even trying the seemingly always busy library. Classrooms are great for either group or independent studying, and whiteboards or chalkboards are great to make temporary notes or work out problems. Most classroom buildings have some kind of room with tables instead of the typical small desks, but finding a room like that isn’t always easy! It’s important to note that during the day you may have to leave for a class scheduled in the room you find, and some buildings are locked in the evenings and on the weekends, so it’s not the most reliable place to study.
Student Fitness Center
This doesn’t apply to all schools, but at ISU there’s a Starbucks right as you walk through the entrance to the Fitness Center, so recently a few booths, high-top tables, and regular tables were set up there. It’s really nice for independent studying because there’s a decent amount of noise from the whirring of the treadmills, clanging of weights, and people talking, but it’s all distant so it’s just background noise. This is my absolute favorite study spot, but the parking lot near the fitness center is frequently full and it’s on the opposite side of campus from the majority of the parking, so I don’t study there as often as I’d like to.
Random Hallway and Student Center Tables
A surprising amount of buildings on campus will have tables in somewhat random places. I’ve found them in the hallways outside of classrooms, concert halls, professor offices, and throughout the student centers. I’ve found that these aren’t ideal places to study if I really need to focus. However, they’re nice if I am doing something somewhat mindless, like writing vocab terms that I’ll use to study later or rewriting lecture notes. It’s also a nice spot to listen to online lectures, which is something I have to do for one course this semester. Since I use headphones to listen to the lecture videos, it blocks out the distractions of other people in the area. The nice thing about these tables are there are typically several areas like this, and each one has quite a few tables. They’re also really nice for short study periods between classes.
As great as these three places are, they still aren’t quite the same as studying at the library. Thankfully, I did discover one “library hack”. I found a table close to where there’s a loud air condition hum, always. Unfortunately it’s not on the quiet floor. Similarly to the fitness center, though, the hum creates a nice background noise and helps block out other noises.
What are your favorite study spots? Any thoughts on these?