You can probably imagine how difficult it can be to find a quiet place to study with about 30,000 students around who are also trying to find a study spot. Here is some insider information on the best study spots on and off campus at UMass Amherst. I usually pick places that have easy access to food because it's more convenient, especially if you're planning on studying for hours. There are a lot of great options for a study space on campus, but in the end, we all have different preferences and it's important that you find what works best for you.
Science and Engineering Library @LGRT
Libraries are a great place to meet up for projects, do homework, and study for exams. WEB Du Bois Library, the second largest library in the world, is a great place with a lot of resources, but it does get crowded during the day. This means that there may be long lines to print, to use a computer, and difficulties finding an empty seat. At those busy times, the Science and Engineering Library at the Lederle Graduate Research Tower (LGRT) may be worth checking out and making your new study spot. The LGRT has a small cafe inside called Progress Bar where students can grab a quick bite before going back on the study grind. The Science and Engineering Library has nice comfy chairs, study rooms, and many computers for students to use. This library is a lot smaller than WEB Du Bois Library, but it's a lot less crowded, which may be more suitable for studying.
Integrative Learning Center (ILC)
ILC is one of the many beautiful academic buildings that students love studying in. It is home to the departments of Linguistics, Communication, and Journalism, where many students from these departments may be taking their classes or meeting with their advisors. The building has large windows, allowing more light to come in, and studying in a such an environment makes studying a lot less dreadful, trust me. On the first floor of the building, you'll find Peet's Coffee. Peet's Coffee is a great place to take a study break and grab a snack.
John W. Olver Design Building
As soon as word got out that the cool design building was finally opening up, students rushed in to check it out. John W. Olver opened in Spring 2017 and is now home to the Architecture Department.. The building has plenty of spacious classrooms equipped with computers where students can have a meeting or study in groups. Post & Bean Cafe in the John W. Olver Design Building has recently opened, serving a variety of coffee, pastries, and sandwiches for students to choose from.
Elm Classrooms @Commonwealth Honors College (CHC)
Inside Elm Hall, there are classrooms where students like to study, especially students who live in the honors dorms. It's a very clean, quiet place to study until late in the night. As a former resident in Elm Hall, I definitely took advantage of this study space because I found it difficult to study in my room where I usually relax and sleep. Occasionally when I had many exams in a week, I would study until 2am in the classroom and be back in my room within 5 minutes. Also, Roots Cafe is only steps away for some late night munchies.
Located in downtown Amherst, Amherst Coffee serves a variety of coffee, wine, and freshly baked pastries. The coffee shop has a decent amount of seating at booths and tables where students can either hang out or study together in this awesome environment. One day, I arrived at Amherst Coffee with all my study materials and my laptop a few minutes before 7pm and by the time I settled down with my cup of coffee, it was 7:05pm. This was when the employee told me that the wifi turns off after 7pm and it put me in a very difficult position. Do I stay or do I leave? I ended up staying and enjoying the experience; the coffee was excellent and the ambiance was great. I felt extra boujee studying in a nice coffee shop like that so it was nice treating myself while also getting work done.
When you're looking for a study spot, I think it's important that it's in a comfortable setting because studying requires a lot of effort and concentration. Studying in uncomfortable spaces can be very distracting and students may feel unmotivated to continue studying. These are the study spots that I would highly recommend to people who are struggling to find a good place to study so go ahead and try them out!
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