Come exam time, the second floor cubbies in Green Library and the booths of Meyer are overflowing, and a bit more creativity than usual is required when choosing a place to hunker down and hammer out looming assignments. Asking a Stanford student about his or her favorite study spot can be like asking a magician to reveal his secrets, but some were willing to divulge their cherished study spaces for the greater good.
Privacy and quiet are key factors for most students in choosing their perfect location. Libraries other than Green and Meyer can be good choices: distractions can be avoided without descending into the spine-tingling depths of the South Stacks.
“The Cubberley Library is an intense environment to get work done,” said Kersten Schnurle ’11 M.S. ’12. “There aren’t that many people there, and it’s centrally located.”
Another peaceful, relatively under-utilized spot is the patio on the second floor of the Law School.
“I like to study there, next to the fountain,” said Chana Rabinovitz ’13. “The trickling sound is nice. The first floor with all the tables is usually social and noisy, but it seems like the second floor is understood to be a place to study.”
Students seeking more isolation might do well to think even further outside the box and outside the confines of a building.
“I don’t really study that often,” joked Theo Roth ’14. “But when I do, it’s in a nook or on the roof.”
Seclusion does, however, increase the chance of succumbing to the bane of all college studying: falling asleep. For students who need to be held publicly accountable to stay awake, a busy and visible location–like campus eateries or outdoor spots that put people on display–may be the best choice.
“I think any of the counters at CoHo are pretty good, because people can see if you’re actually working,” said Akiko Kozato ’13. “Any place you can fall asleep is a trap.”
— Ann Tyler Moses