Campus Power Rankings: Study Spots

Need a place to study that isn’t your dorm? Check out this guide written by someone who wandered through all the buildings on campus, to experience them all so you didn’t have to.

Arthur Lakes Library: if you want a place to study, go here. The library is a tried and true location for all types of studying. There’s computer labs, single desks, and large tables – it’s easy to forget that it’s a library as well. When you need a break from studying, venture into the countless shelves of books. The world around you quiets, and it’s just you with some ancient-feeling texts. Step into a land of history, and maybe you’ll discover an enticing read. Or it’ll be a book older than you. Who knows? Power level: the ancient books and ambient studying energy mean you’re sure to get work done.

Mines Market: If you end up camping out for a few hours in mines market milking that meal swipe, you’ll notice how empty it gets at 3 in the afternoon, or at 9pm. It’s a strange sort of aloneness, like walking through Target at 1am after having forgotten your grocery list. Power level: reminiscent of cryptids and late-night odd feelings.

Brown Building (West): While the east side of brown is laid out like a maze of halls, there’s many different spaces to study in the west side. By Blaster’s Brew, there’s some tables perfect for group work, having the vibe of a coffee shop with the gentle conversation and the grind of the espresso machine. The study rooms down the hall are more isolated, perfect if you need somewhere quiet. A little further in the building is a small study hall, complete with those small lights on the table that remind you of old libraries. It seems as if there’s always someone there, no matter the time of day (or night!). Sometimes, there’s even live music, thanks to the upright piano & guitar tucked into the corner. And there’s even seating outside, which is quite popular when the weather is nice. Power level: the do-it-all building, the 4-in-1, a type of study space for any preference.

Periodic Table: A well-known spot for Mines regulars, and there’s usually plenty of space during non-meal times. Just don’t get too distracted by the smell of food…. There seems to be a sense of hurriedness here, of finishing assignments, prepping food and drinks, last minute cramming. But on the weekend, it’s relaxed. Calm. Removed from the flow of space time, you can just sit down and get things done. The quiet din of music overhead will fad into the background as your start to focus. Power level: The tried and true study spot, you can always come here to do some work.

Student Center: Outside of Periodic Table, the atmosphere shifts. It’s a more professional zone, and you gain a sense of purpose. The styled chairs and tables, big windows, and hanging lights are reminiscent of space in a tech startup office. But the music coming from somewhere you can’t tell, with just enough echoing to feel like an empty K-mart, it has an interesting style. Power level: Could also possibly be removed from the space-time continuum.

Kafadar: With all the snow we’ve been having lately, it’s hard to imagine wanting to study outside. But, think back to those warmer days, when the sunlight dappled through the trees, slackliners found their balance, and people picked Kafadar as the place to chill. There’s a certain feeling about studying outside, fresh air giving you new life, being connected to the world around you… Wait. What homework was I working on again? Power level: enough outside enchantment to bring you into a nature induced daze momentarily, if you’re not careful.

Coolbaugh: One of the bigger buildings on campus, it has a lot of study space built in. There’s nooks and crannies on every floor with chairs and tables, even a (possibly fake) potted plant or two. The best part about Coolbaugh, however, is the large atrium-type study area on one side of the building. It takes you to a place where collaboration is possible. Power level: Just enough science in the surrounding area to make you feel smart, like you know how to do the homework.

Alderson: At the right time of day, the rainbow mosaic lights up the entrance, blessing your studying journey ahead. Alderson has a few spots, chairs in the hallways, desks at the end of the halls. The gentle hum of the HVAC is a force of white noise. There’s really a sort of old academia vibe, a sense of books and chalkboards that hits you the moment you walk in. Power level: reminiscent of time in high school, if you had studied there.

CTLM: aside from the giant computer lab and specialty printers, one unique thing about CTLM is the breakout study rooms that are not only large enough for a small group or a job interview, but they also have a computer and whiteboard. Other seating has a wonderful view it into the parking lot, which I suppose you could people watch from. Power level: pretty nice, even if it is split in half.

Marquez: If you wander all the way down to the hall, you’ll find these wonderful groupings of chairs overlooking the street below, facing South Table. They recline just enough to be featured on the Snorediggers Instagram page, and have some potted plants that feel like the waiting room for… something. Power level: good for a quick study, or a quick nap between classes.

Engineering Hall: While you might not want to study inside this building, there’s always some multicolored chairs outside and a few tables perfect for those last minute design group meetings. You’ll also probably meet a new squirrel friend or two. Power level: enough green grass and lawn chairs to be at a barbecue.

Hill Hall: Another building that’s slightly maze-like in structure, hill hall is a relatively quiet, chill corner of campus to study in. It has the added bonus of potted geraniums in sun-drenched window sills. Power level: study by a window and recharge your battery.

Stratton: While the basement of Stratton doesn’t have much to offer, the upper levels transport you into a whole new world. Sure, it’s really all office buildings, but the deco lighting, the ornate wooden banisters… if you want to feel like an elegant someone from a decade past, study here. Power level: Almost stunned me when I walked in, not at all what you’d expect. I suspect it’s a space slightly removed from the current timeline.

Chauvenet: Sure, there are a few study spots here, a table big enough for a group work session, and even a computer lab – but good luck finding them. If you can make your way though this maze of a building, hopefully the spot you do find works. Power level: unsure.

Berthoud: While there’s rocks around every corner, there’s not many places to study. Sure, there’s sometimes a chair in the hallway or a couch in the corner, but they weren’t really designed for… studying. Cool maps on the walls, however. Power level: enough stairs to make you feel like you’re in Hogwarts.

Engineering Annex: This small building offers not much in the room of space in general, but if you look around you might find some chairs and even a little table, a computer or two. The gentle din of students collaborating behind glass walls for design class is wonderful white noise. While the atmosphere is distinctly reminiscent of an office waiting room, it’s usually not too busy or crowded, even if it is a bit small. Power level: serious cozy nook vibes.


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