Pros and Cons of Campus Study Spaces

Rebecca Munday, Staff Writer

“Depending on how much work I have depends on where I go,” says Brendon Hines, a commuter student on campus.

After interviewing him and three other students majoring in different fields, it was clear to see that while everyone has their own favorite places to study, there are similarities in the benefits and disadvantages among choice study spaces.

This article will examine the benefits and disadvantages of the most common study spaces on campus: both floors of the library, the Learning Commons and the student’s home or dorm.

The pros of studying on the first floor of the library include: the quiet atmosphere, which makes it feels easier to accomplish work; the proximity to the research librarians; the availability of physical books and the bathrooms.

The cons of the first floor of the library were usually attributed to the lack of access to food and comfortable seating.

One student was displeased that the coffee tables were often much lower than the chairs themselves, which made it hard to get comfortable for reading.

Another student said that because the first floor of the library was not as quiet as the second floor, it was seen as distracting.

The benefits of the second floor of the library include: being the quietest study space on campus with the the least amount of distractions; being the least crowded study space. On the other hand, “Sometimes, it puts me to sleep because it’s too quiet,” said Hines.

Another student, Truc Nguyen, prefers the quiet.

“Quiet is better,” said Nguyen.

The pros of the Learning Commons are its computers and study rooms, which are useful for group work.

One of the work areas in the Learning Commons. Photo by Madison Watkins.

On the other hand, everyone who was interviewed deemed the Learning Commons as too loud, too distracting, too busy and too crowded.

It also isn’t as well advertised as the other places on campus. One of the students interviewed, Zahra Pleasant, said, “it doesn’t come to mind to go study there.”

Studying in a student’s home or dorm is beneficial because it’s convenient, they can control their stimuli, to an extent, and it’s more comfortable and relaxed.

In the words of residential student Nora Cook, “I can study in my own space.”

However, the students did mention several distractions to studying in their home or dorm. The cons of studying in one’s home or dorm are it being easy to fall asleep since a bed is nearby and it being the most distracting of the study spaces.

Cook said, “I distract myself too easily in my dorm.”

“You basically just have to see what environment you prefer,” Pleasant said of how she learned which study space she liked the best.

Now that you have this list of pros and cons, it should help you make that decision about which study spaces on campus you prefer in preparation for finals week.