The seven best places to study on campus, a photo guide

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Third floor – Pryor Learning Commons

Pryor Learning Commons’ third floor may be the most well-known studying spot on campus. This space features collaborative seating areas, two sound-proof conference rooms and a coffee shop, The Beak. With floor-to-ceiling windows facing East and West, the area is illuminated by the morning’s soft yellow glow and the afternoon’s warm orange tint. Located just off the quad, students often use this spot to grab a coffee, chat and relax in-between classes.

Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. — especially on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — the floor tends to be bustling with students. Before and after hours, however, the area holds a professionally productive atmosphere with plenty of space and seating for all types of studying styles.

The southwest corner of the third floor absorbing warm afternoon light.
Various seating areas on the third floor.

Second floor – Pryor Learning Commons

The second floor of Pryor Learning Commons is a place for when peace and quiet is a necessity for studying. Ubiquitously known as a quiet area, the only sounds that tend to echo the floor are frantic typing, occasional printing and the whispers of those passing by. Although the floor’s muted atmosphere is typically widely respected by students, especially loud chatter from the third floor can bleed in during social hours. As with the third floor, floor-to-ceiling windows line the East wall of this area, allowing students to enjoy natural lighting in the mornings.
The second floor also hosts part of the Critical Foundations Collections library, from which anyone can pick up a book and start reading. Conference rooms and staff offices border the West wall, and an impressive variety of seating arrangements divides the floor. Daytime or nighttime, the second floor is a favorite among students looking to cram with no distractions.

The southeast seating area of the second floor, which includes the Critical Foundations Collection located to the right, out of frame.

Biochem Library – White Science Center

A hidden gem in White Science Center, the Biochem Library is the epitome of cozy and productive. Although the room is primarily used by STEM students, those of all majors may find themselves paying the library a visit from time to time. Located on the first floor, next to Lecture Hall 107, the library is just a short walk away from the department’s professor offices and labs. While students are allowed to open the windows, noise from the faculty parking lot, construction zone and football field tends to reverberate into the room.

In collaboration with Tri-Beta, the Biology department cultivates an array of plants upon the east-facing window sills, adding to the room’s feng shui. Currently, the science departments are working on updating the library this fall by trimming their massive textbook selection and introducing a new carpet; they hope students and faculty can better utilize this area following the renovations.

Succulents in pots painted by students sitting in the window sill.
An overview of the Biochem library.

Physics Lounge – White Science Center

As one of the newer additions to White Science Center, the Physics Lounge is a popular study spot on campus. Students often meet with physics professors in this area — on account that their offices line the East wall. With comfortable couches amidst traditional tables and chairs, students can take advantage of the lounge’s versatility as a collaborative environment or individual study space. However, with the west wall made entirely of glass, the lounge is not free from distraction as students funnel in and out of the nearby lecture room WSC 304. 

Regardless, the space is a favorite for campus organizations looking to hold collaborative sessions, such as for the weekly “Physics Minute” meetings hosted by the Physics Department.

Couches line the East wall of the Physics Lounge, featuring the decade-old Tigger the Tiger plush toy.

IdeaX Lounge – Jewell Hall

Unknown to many, the IdeaX Lounge in Jewell Hall was designed with collaborative study in mind. Featuring comfortable seating and plenty of outlets, students often use this space for work-focused meetings and study sessions. Although the room’s three televisions are not set up, students can still utilize the whiteboard walls, multiple seating areas and surplus of outlets. The lounge’s couches and chairs are movable, so students can be sure that they can arrange the room as needed.

Compared to last year, not as many students have been seen using the lounge. As an added bonus, students can reserve this room via 25Live for organization meetings or set study times.

The North wall of the IdeaX Lounge, featuring two large windows looking out to The Quad and a non-functioning television.

Second Floor – The Union

The second floor of the Union is more of a social study area, but nevertheless, it remains an excellent place to hold study groups or conduct meetings. Connecting to the Union’s atrium, the area’s classy atmosphere tends to suffer during lunch and dinner hours as students bustle in and out of the cafeteria. However, many students may enjoy the openness of the floor, multiple seating sections and ambient music outside of dining hours. With its obvious proximity to the cafeteria, many student groups choose to hold informal lunch meetings during Jewell time on this floor to avoid unnecessarily long walks to the PLC.

Around the corner of the seating areas lies the Multicultural room, the Career Development office and one of the nicest restrooms on campus. The Multicultural room serves as a safe space for student organizations dedicated to enhancing diversity and inclusivity at Jewell; often the room is used for recurring meetings such as for BSA, Mi Gente, QUILTBAG and GIFT. Students are welcome to study, socialize and support each other in the Multicultural room as long as they leave the area tidy.

Seating areas for dining and studying on the Union’s second floor to the right of where The Perch previously resided.
Couches and chairs lined against the wall in the Multicultural room.

Outside – The Quad

As the weather cools down, studying outside proves to be a popular option among students. At all hours of the day, students can be seen occupying the benches, tables and scenic nooks all over The Quad. On nicer days, professors even teach classes outside, pulling a whiteboard in front of the PLC as students sit upon the steps. On hot afternoons, the sun unrelentingly batters The Quad, so students should choose shaded areas or stay hydrated during these hours. Additionally, students with allergies may come to despise the many flowers, plants and grass yards that divide the courtyard; however, when the weather is in the mid-60’s and the sun is peeking through the trees, there is nothing quite like the tranquility of studying alongside nature.

Two seating areas outside of Pryor Learning Commons’ third floor.
Seating areas for outdoor dining and socialization in front of the Union.

Photos by Liz Payton and Koda Payton.

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