Bender Library is pretty amazing. All of our librarians have master’s degrees and truly know all the best ways to make studying and finding what you’re looking for a breeze. But aside from Bender Library, AU has a lot to offer in terms of awesome places to study. Whether you need to get work done in an environment that’s dead silent, a little busy, or somewhere you can spill your coffee without feeling guilty, check out some of the best spots around AU’s campus.
If you want somewhere quiet…
Obviously the first place on this list is the silent floor of Bender Library. It can get pretty intensely quiet. (It’s almost scary. If people can hear your music through your headphone, you will get glares and no one will be happy.) If you have to be completely devoid of visual distractions too, try sitting in one of the cubicles if you can get one (be warned: they’re usually pretty full.) And of course, make sure you’re close to an outlet!
The McKinley lounge and Ward Circle Building classrooms are also usually pretty quiet, especially on the weekends when there aren’t classes going on and you don’t have to worry about that loud ten-minute in-between period. Of course, total silence isn’t enforced, but there isn’t usually a huge ruckus going on in there, which makes it a great place to get away and get some homework done.
If you want somewhere cozy…
The SIS building has stairs to study in that are wide enough to stretch out on, and outlets galore! It’s usually pretty quiet, but has just the right amount of background noise. It’s the perfect place to go if you have to finish up a reading for class or want to read a book in your free time. It’s also the perfect place to just check Facebook and not actually do any work.
American is part of the National Arboretum, which basically means that the outdoors of campus are beautiful. Getting outside to curl up comfortably with a book is one of the many pleasures of going to a school that prides itself on the many trees and plants that help make the campus so alluring. Behind the McKinley building is this great patch of lawn with some flowers. It isn’t as busy as the quad and it’s just a little set away from the rest of campus, which is perfect for some alone time.
Right outside the tunnel is a great garden with benches that aren’t usually too full. This is also an ideal spot to eat lunch with your friends when you want to sit outside but don’t want to risk your pants getting dirtied with mud.
If you need copious amounts of coffee during your study hours…
Of course this is the most important category of this list!
The Dav is pretty much a go-to spot if you want that busy but cozy coffee shop atmosphere, and you’re always just a step away from refilling your mug. Unfortunately, the popular AU spot gets pretty busy – especially in between classes. If like medium to loud background noise while studying, then getting a spot in the Dav is a must! But beware – if you want to grab a cup of coffee in between classes, you’re better off trying somewhere else on campus because the line will be out the door. Try stopping by Eagle’s Nest for a quick cup after class.
Studying anywhere in SIS is going to give you great proximity to the Dav. I especially like sitting at one of the tables outside on a nice day.
The Mudbox, located on the bottom floor of the library is a great place to get coffee and do some homework. It’s usually pretty quiet even though talking is permitted, and there are plenty of tables and comfy couches down there.
Mudbox full? No worries! Snagging a spot anywhere in the basement will put you within close proximity of coffee and snacks.
Of course, how could we forget Starbucks? Starbucks, like the Dav, is pretty much always busy and you always have coffee close by to get your caffeine fix. Starbucks is also great for people-watching. Or doing that word-find puzzle up on the wall. I still haven’t found all of them, which is surprising considering how much time I spend there.
Last but not least: the Battelle Atrium is not only a great place to get some studying done alone or with a group of friends, but it also has free coffee available on Thursdays at 3 pm. Oh, and if you’re a science major, there are science study hours on Wednesday afternoons from 3-5 pm!
If you want to spend more time hanging out than studying…
Of course the quad is going to be the best place to just roll out a blanket and spend some time with your friends! There’s always something going on while the weather is still nice, whether it’s the farmer’s market on Wednesdays, a club or Greek organization tabling for an event they’re having, or just people playing frisbee, the quad is a great place to hang while the sun is out. Make sure to get all the “quadding” in that you can before it gets too cold!
Another great place to hang out outside with some friends is the Woods Brown Amphitheater, right outside Leonard Hall. There are concrete seats, so you don’t have to get your pants dirty but you can still enjoy the peacefulness of sitting out on the grass on a beautiful day!
And of course, some favorite spots to just hang out with friends inside on a rainy day or when the weather starts to get cold: the Dav, Starbucks, and the lounge seats in MGC.
Photo credit: cover, and courtesy of Elaina Hundley