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FROSH 2021: Campus study spaces

By Ava Zardynezhad, September 6 2021—

Like it or not, as university students, we are bound to kill a lot of time on campus. While much of this time will be wasted looking for a spot to sit, for many, this time will be spent studying. So here’s a list of places you can study around campus. 

Main Campus

The Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL): 

This University of Calgary institution is where many students will go in search of an empty seat. During the hours of the day, the search is not very fruitful, but it’s a risk worth taking. I would recommend studying anywhere above the 4th floor of the TFDL. The upper floors are often quieter and there’s more room for individual study time. If you’re planning to spend the day at the library, be sure to get there early — that would be before 10 a.m. Don’t bother looking for a spot between the hours of 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. You will not succeed. The TFDL is ideal for studying in the late afternoons. There’s access to power outlets almost everywhere in the building so it’s the best place to sit and study for students. I repeat, this is not the best place to go to between classes because you will end up spending more time looking for a place to sit and study than actually studying. 

The Law Library: 

I don’t hate the Law Library. This is one of the quietest places on campus. There are plenty of seats and they’re sufficiently spaced out. There’re outlets galore. Spaces are more limited than the TFDL, but the library doesn’t usually get too crowded. My only issue with this library was that it was always so far from my classes. But, if most of your classes happen close to Education Tower or Murray Fraser Hall, this would be an ideal study space. 

The Atrium:

Personally, I really enjoyed studying at the atrium. I loved being surrounded by trees, plants and statues while I studied, especially back when I was taking a classics course. During the day, the Atrium gets super busy, especially around lunch time. However, early mornings and late afternoons are great for studying here. The atrium has a few fundamental issues. It can be chilly inside so be sure to bring a jacket. The chairs are not ergonomically ideal for studying, so you can’t spend long hours sitting down. There is also a serious shortage of power outlets and tables. Overall, the Atrium is a peaceful place to study, where there is a bit of ambient noise, for those who can’t study in total silence. I will say, this is a great place to catch up on reading. 

The Sustainability Resource Centre:

The SRC is located in the Science B building and is an underrated study space. You’ll probably pass by it many times on your way to class or to MacHall and wonder, “What is this peculiar glass room? What purpose does it serve?” Well the SRC serves many purposes. If you’re passionate about issues of environmentalism and sustainability, I’d highly recommend checking out their website. In the context of this article though, this is a great study space for many reasons. There are a few communal tables you can sit at and study with friends. There are enough power outlets to go around and the lighting is everything you’d dream about. There’s some ambient noise, since this isn’t a quiet study space. Lastly, the room never gets that crowded. Keep in mind, you do have to sign in and sign out when you enter and leave the room. 

Social Sciences Basement:

I personally don’t recommend studying here. The Social Sciences Basement is often too crowded and loud. There isn’t enough light and because it’s a main entrance into the university, it’s always cold. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a last resort. It’s definitely a place to sit where you don’t have time to stray too far from the lecture halls in Science Theatres. Like any other place, the seats in this basement are often filled to the maximum during lunch hours. You also won’t have access to a charger here. I will admit, I have spent many mornings before class and many hours before exams studying and reviewing here. It can still serve as a decent study space. 

Arts Lounge:

My feelings towards the Arts Lounge are mixed. This space can vary between being crowded and relatively empty, so discretion is definitely advised. However, the space is perfect for studying. There are many tables you can sit at, plenty of outlets as well as access to a sink and a microwave oven. This is also a great place to study with friends. Beware of distractions if you decide to study here. 

Foothills Campus 

The Health Sciences Library: 

The Health Sciences Library will always have an empty table for you. This is the prime study space on the Foothills campus. This library is very quiet, especially if you sit at the back. There are group study tables as well as individual desks. There are also individual study rooms available. You have access to desk lamps at some of the tables and the space is outlet heaven. Do not take this space for granted. My only advice would be not to sit under the vents, because it can get a little chilly at times. 

The “Lounge Across from Foothills”: 

After four years at Foothills, I can’t believe I don’t actually remember the name of this lounge. This lounge is right across from the Feasby lounge and by the Indigenous, Local and Global Health Office. There are many tables available for studying here. The lounge also has adjustable tables in case you like to stand and study. There is also an empty classroom here that, when not booked, serves as a fantastic study space. This lounge is much quieter than the Feasby lounge, making it a better study space. 


An Empty Classroom or Lecture Hall:

You will find that throughout the day, there are many classrooms that aren’t being used for classes. These empty classrooms are perfect spaces for studying. Sometimes this means sitting in your classroom before your lecture starts. This is nice because you don’t have to run between buildings to get to where you need to be. I’m not sure how much of an option this will be in the upcoming year since the pandemic is still very much a reality. However, if the opportunity exists, seize it. 

These are some of the common study spaces I’d recommend using over the course of this upcoming school year. Now, keep in mind, the key about the best study spaces is that most of them are hidden gems and personal finds. Don’t be afraid to explore the campus and discover what spaces work for you. Best of luck! 

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