Now that I have been a college student for nearly two years, I think I have a solid understanding of the pros and cons of different study spaces. As an engineering student, a lot of time is spent with our noses down wrestling with tough concepts and long assignments. Early on, I was spending a lot of time in the same bland spaces, which would lead me to dread going to do school work. But as I was introduced to new spaces, I learned to look forward to the daily grind! Here is a breakdown of some of the places I have studied at these past two years.
Some people seem to love Leavey library. They swear by it, and visit it multiple times a week. I would frequent Leavey often as a freshman, but it was always an awful experience for me. The space itself is very densely populated with students who are all there for the sole purpose of finishing work and leaving as quickly as possible. The static artificial lighting leads to a sense of hopelessness and desperation as the days turn into nights and there is no end in sight when those tough weeks hit you hard. I only go to leavey when I know I’m up for a very long night frantically finishing procrastinated work by myself.
Cafe 84 is open 24 hours a day just like Leavey, so its another great option for if you know you’re in for a long night. The vibe is much better than Leavey because of cordial atmosphere. There is a Starbucks on the first floor, and many open tables where you can sit with friends or sit with a stranger! Although this space is great, I went here too often sophomore year and now I can’t really enjoy it anymore (I wore it out :(….).
Doheny is beautiful building situated right in the middle of campus. The main study space students usually use is called the LA times reference room, and it has an antique and established vibe. The large tall window panes allows for lots of natural light to illuminate the grand room, which sets the stage for the right state of mind when doing work. This library closes at night, so no late night study sessions can take pace. But its central location means it’s the perfect spot for getting some work done during the day in between classes and other commitments! I usually spend anywhere between half an hour to two hours during the gaps in my day so that I can be productive in a beautiful space with other like minded students.
There are so many other smaller and nicher places to study on campus, a majority of buildings have great spaces where there are usually a couple students getting work done. It’s up to you to find a hidden spot ;).
Last but not least, my favorite this semester has been going to coffee shops in LA and studying there! This is a gamble, because not all coffee shops will have outlets, or some might be too crowded and busy. But generally, exploring different neighborhoods and drinking great coffee sets the mood for a pleasurable study session. All while supporting small businesses! The atmosphere in coffee shops are usually vibrant and energetic, since the people you share the space with might be catching up with friends, reading a book, or also getting some work done too. My goal this semester is to explore as many LA neighborhoods and coffee shops!