With the beginning of December, students have a lot to look forward to. There is a break approaching and the end of the term is coming soon, not to mention all the festivities that so easily distract us from the studying we should be doing. That said, it is finals season, which means for the next few weeks students will be studying all over Augustana. If you are looking for the best places to study, keep on reading, because I have spoken with Augustana students, and with their input I was able to establish a list of the best and worst places to study on campus.

1. The Library (downstairs): BEST

The bottom floor of the library is the best place to study on campus. It is quiet and warm and the lighting makes it easier to use a laptop without the glare. If you are looking to hide away, there are places downstairs where you can escape so that people cannot distract you. There is less noise pollution because it is far from the desk, and all the noise that floods in from the forum upstairs. Also, there is a quiet computing space, where you can plug in and have total silence and total focus. If you really want to get some serious studying done, downstairs in the library is the best place to go.

2. The Library (upstairs)

Upstairs in the library has two different advantages, more computers, and more windows. If you like to have natural light while you study, or just to sit near a window, there are some great spots near the back wall. Also, if you do not have your own computer, you can access the Internet at one of the many computing stations. Although upstairs is generally noisier than downstairs, there is a silent study room up stairs on the far left wall, but you cannot use a computer in there.

3. The Forum (around the fireplace and couch spaces)

The forum area around the fireplaces is rated the third best study space, second to the Library, also it has the advantage of not being confined to hours, so you can study in the forum whenever you want. Students love to study here because the couches and chairs are comfortable, it is warm and cozy in the wintertime, and not as loud as around the café. Also, it has a chill atmosphere for studying and a more relaxed feel than the Library. It is a great spot for studying in groups and conversing with others.

4. The Learning Commons

The Learning Commons are a great spot for studying because it is a comfortable and interactive learning space. Students can access a range of services; there is also a wellness component because there are counselors and chaplaincy up there. The setting makes it feel like a mix between the Library and the forum. It is also an advantage that it is connected to the library, therefore, you are able to study in a place which still has access to other resources. It is a social space and a learning space combined, and overall a student-focused collaborative zone.

5. The Forum (downstairs by the Wahkohtowin Lodge)

The advantage of downstairs in the forum is that it is quieter than upstairs, however, there is still plenty of social distraction. Lots of students enjoy the pool table, and sometimes it can be busy down there. But there are lots of spots where you can plug in your laptop and there is some comfortable seating, and it is generally a calm area. It is also close to Indigenous Student Services, which provides a wide range of services intended to support and enhance the Indigenous student experience.

6. The Forum (around Monica’s Café): WORST

At the seating surrounding Monica’s Café, you are likely to have the hardest time studying, because there is so much foot traffic and it is the loudest and busiest study area on campus. Monica’s is the worst place to study. If you really want to study, it is usually better to avoid the forum, however, using headphones is a good idea to block out the sound. You are most likely to run into people around Monica’s and it is a very distracting spot.

(Originally published December 11, 2019)

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