Now that finals are upon us, I find myself looking for some good study spots. I have to admit, I usually study in my room, but finding that to be unproductive, here are some other study locations I have tried out throughout the semester:
MPA Lounge: So far, this seems to be the best. There are tables and chairs when you need a hard surface or want to spread out. There are also comfy chairs and couches for those times you just need to stretch out. It is also nice seeing familiar faces, as well as other students in your class that you can study with! It is conveniently located in McCombs and seems to not have too many other distractions (that I have found yet, although while studying today, the walls seemed so much more interesting than they usually do). You can read another description of the lounge in Karen’s post a few days ago.
PCL: This is basically the main library on campus and is located across the street from McCombs. It has a plethora of nooks and crannies on its upper floors if you are a hibernating studier. There is the computer lab on the main floor that has more hustle and bustle for those who need some white noise. If you like a mixture, you can find a cubby in a row among the stacks where there are people around, but enough isolation so you can concentrate.
My room: This seems like a bad idea, but I honestly do get some good studying done here. I have my food and the comfort of my own space to spread out. I would suggest not studying on your bed or with the tv on (which I usually do anyway), but if you are good at concentrating for a periods of time, you might as well stay comfy!
Coffee shops: I had never gone to coffee shops in my undergrad days, mainly because I do not drink coffee. But I went the other night with some friends to a great coffee shop, Mozart’s (which Paul mentioned in one of his posts), and although I did not get as much done as I would have liked, it was definitely a great atmosphere. You can get coffee/tea/snacks, there are others around studying, and the view on the lake is really great. Coffee shops are nice because there are ways to take short breaks, but you can also get in your own zone (with the help of some caffeine) and get some quality work done.
Outside on campus: I did this once. I just sat outside PCL on a bench and studied some accounting. I did it because the weather was particularly beautiful that day, and for that reason it was great. Not the best place if you are easily distracted by birds and the like, but if the beautiful Austin weather is especially nice, why stay inside?
SAC: The Student Activity Center is another place I have tried. It has some fun spaces to sit (comfy chairs, cool stairs with pillows, and funky couches) as well food and drink, including Taco Cabana, Zen, Chik-fil-A and Starbucks. I often come here when I want Starbucks tea or just want a different environment.
Depending on your studying habits, some of these may appeal to you more than others, which is great. You might want to try some of the other ones I’ve suggested and see how they fit for you. And you may even find some other places that allow you to be at your most productive! Please leave a comment of topics you would like me to blog about or a specific question you may have!