Secret Study Spots at UCI
So, if I’m going to be completely honest, I don’t really enjoy studying all that much. It’s not that fun, it’s not a great time, and believe it or not, there’s actually a lot of things I would rather do than “grinding” or “finessing” for my “degree” or whatever.
And while I don’t like studying, I do absolutely love going through the motions of studying. There is something incredibly therapeutic about pretending like you’re about to make some major progress in your to-do list (even if you know you’re not).
And I’m talking about the whole nine yards. I like to get a snack (if I’m feeling extra good about myself I’ll get something healthy like almonds or dried fruit), some iced coffee (with some hazelnut flavor because I deserve it), fill my hydro flask up with ice water, and make sure I have all my chargers (both phone and laptop) with me. I’ll make sure to pick some choice athleisure wear out of my closet (off brand, because I’m on a budget but I still want to ball) and then I’ll head to my study spot of choice, preparing mentally to not move for the next 3 or so hours.
But then therein lies the dilemma; where ever should I study? What spot can satisfy my need for an aesthetically pleasing building while also fulfilling the illusion of productivity? What architectural feat will help me lie to myself that *this* study session will be THE end all and be all of study sessions?
This has been a crisis that has plagued me for all of my undergraduate years. I *think* now, I have at least compiled a list that has served me relatively well.
1. Top of Langson
A really tranquil space. Go enter Langson Library as you would usually and then go straight to either of the elevators. Go to the 5th floor; from there you should be able to find the doors that let you into the patio space. It’s a really nice view, but unfortunately no outlets. Also, because this is where the Langson offices are, the space closes at five.
2. Philosophy Courtyard
A very quiet spot. It’s nice to come here in between classes. While there aren’t any outlets, this spot provides a great view, and is nice to relax if you spend a lot of time near the Humanities like I do.
3. The Green Room
Located in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, this little café has been one of my favorite spots since I was a freshman. I really love the vibe and look of the art school in general, and the café is the cherry on top. There’s plenty of snacks to choose from, and lots of good coffee. They recently refurbished the place, and now all the tables look really sleek and have outlets attached to them. The Green Room also has really nice outdoor seating. Here’s a tip: if you ever need a quick study break, head right next door to the University Art Gallery. They usually exhibit art from MFA students and are open during the day. It’s free, and it’s nice to clear your mind by looking at some really cool artwork.
4. The Science Library
Between Langson and the Science Library, I think the Science Library is superior, hands down. This place is absolutely gorgeous when the sun is setting, there’s plenty of spots, as well as outlets at pretty much every desk. Since it’s a library, you can also bet that it’s quiet. As a downside though, I’d say that if you’re not in health sciences (like me), it’s a little out of the way. Otherwise, this is always a really solid study space.
5. Peet’s Coffee (a little off campus at University Center)
Peet’s has been my go-to lately. The coffee is strong, and it’s just off-campus enough to where I feel removed from the stress of it all while also being within <5 minutes walking distance so I could easily head on over if I needed anything. What I really love about this spot is that after a few hours I end up smelling like coffee. There are a good number of outlets, the playlist is usually pretty good, and they have their own wifi. The downside is that it’s really difficult to find seats at times so be warned!
I’d also like to give an honorable mention to the third floor of Humanities Hall. It’s a nice space, but not one of my top favorites.
Otherwise, please do visit these spaces and let me know what you think! And please let me know if you have any cool study spots of your own, or any study rituals that you have to ensure a successful study session (or at least the appearance of one!)