Hidden gems: My favorite spots for studying alone on campus

| Editor-in-Chief

Are you one of those people who likes to stake out a table on the side of Tisch Commons or in the middle of Bauer Hall—right next to Starbucks—when you’re looking to study? I’m not. I get distracted when there are a bunch of people I know walking by every five seconds, and I get even more distracted when I’m sitting at a table with a few of my friends.

“So,” you ask, “Where do you go to study on campus and not see anyone else, Ella?” Great question! Here are a few of my most-loved study spots around the Danforth Campus:

Simon Hall basement:

I know, I know. Simon has an Einstein’s Bros. Bagels. And a lot of classrooms. And a library. And the BSBA lounge. It’s always super crowded on the first floor of Simon (and there are a bunch of big lectures that meet in the May Auditorium in the basement), but there are also a few tables next to May—and in close proximity to the vending machines!—where I love to study. I’ve had quite a few classes in Simon basement, and I accomplished more work pre-class than I’d previously thought possible. Not only is Simon convenient to food and classes, but the basement was recently upgraded with some snazzy artwork, making it a visually appealing spot for your midday study break. What’s more to say? Simon studying is great.

Cupples II basement:

Alright…so, I like studying in basements. I had two classes in Lopata Hall last semester, which is connected to Cupples II, and I took to cutting through Cupples II as I sprinted from Seigle Hall to Lopata. Cupples II actually has a pretty neat study area in the basement that doesn’t get much traction. Like Simon, it offers vending machines (can confirm I eat all of my meals out of the vending machines—just check my Bear Bucks account), and there are a few tables where you can sit down and just get to work. Plus, someone wrote about “My Little Pony” on one of the walls, which always provides a welcome distraction for me when I’m in the middle of writing a paper.

Rudolph Hall:

As an Arts & Sciences student, I usually don’t venture down by the engineering school, especially now that Brookings Hall no longer looks out onto a beautiful tree-lined walkway and instead offers a view of a massive pit. But I’ve discovered that there are some nice tables located right outside Rudolph (where I’ve had two classes somehow?). When it’s not as nice out, there’s a library inside Rudolph, but there are also a ton of random chairs situated on each floor where you can sit and work. My personal favorite is this little enclave on the first floor—there are some comfy tan chairs, and the only people who ever seem to walk by are professors!

Hillman Hall rooftop:

I have this weird obsession with sitting on roofs when it’s nice out—I think it’s because I’m only 5 foot 2, and I relish any opportunity to look down on people. Well, Hillman provides the perfect spot for people watching, and there’s hardly ever anyone else sitting up top. What’s more, there’s a really underrated cafe downstairs where you can get some delicious food and avoid the crazy Danforth University Center lunch rush.

Third floor Olin Library:

OK, so I know this one might be obvious. But the third floor of Olin Library is super quiet, and even if you do run into someone you know, it’s perfectly acceptable to do a quick wave and go find your own private study area. Yes, there’s that pesky Whispers Cafe construction going on, and you can’t quickly go get a chai latte when your homework gets too boring, but it’s a library. It’s literally made for studying.

Brookings Quadrangle:

Before temperatures begin to drop, Brookings Quad is a really nice study spot. There’s beautiful natural light that streams in through the trees. The birds are chirping, the air is crisp, and there are even outlets located conveniently on the Brookings stage for when your MacBook Pro’s charge unceremoniously drops down to 5 percent. Another benefit to studying outside? All kinds of studies have shown that students who spend more time outside face less risk of developing depression. And even with the cranes hovering overhead, the Quad is the place to be on a sunny day.

Student Life offices:

Yes, this a place where you’ll probably never go, unless you’re one of us Student Lifers or you’ve managed to land an interview with us. But the Student Life offices are pretty comfortable—and we have a fairly large TV, if you’re actually planning to procrastinate instead of doing work. Another benefit to my home away from home: I have my own personal office with a door that locks, which means if were a napping kind of person (I’m not) I would be able to sneak off in the middle of the day to get some rest in my office. Since I’m not big on napping, I like to sit in my office with the door locked and cheat on the crossword puzzles printed in Student Life. Pro tip: All of the answers are available online because we reprint puzzles from the Los Angeles Times.

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.