Study Spots to Try During Reading Period


As finals near, you may be feeling burned out. The rest of the student body definitely agrees as this semester has been uniquely difficult in so many ways. While we can’t all be on campus this semester, for those at Duke a common sentiment is the lack of areas we can do work. Compared to previous years where study spots were far and wide and we had full reign of the campus, this year falls short. With social distancing measures in place, there definitely is a lack of study spaces. Most people find themselves studying exclusively in their rooms, especially as the weather cools down. While this may work for some people, I definitely belong to the group that needs a different atmosphere to keep my motivation up. So here are some secret study spots around campus for a change of pace. 

1: Wellness Center Patio

An outdoor option, this is an option for daytime studying while it is on the warmer side. Luckily, North Carolina hasn’t been too cold yet so there are outdoor areas that are definitely still viable. Although the Wellness Center, a popular spot for many students in previous years, is closed for students, the outdoor patio area is still open. Simply walk behind Penn Pavilion onto the path and there is a small oasis! Seats are definitely more limited here but depending on the time of day, you could be the only person in the spot. It is great for a quiet area away from crowds and plenty of nature and other scenery to enjoy while studying.  

2: Fitzpatrick Center 

I had only found out about this building about a month ago, and it’s now one of my personal favorite spots! With multiple floors and plenty of workspace at each desk, it is perfect for working with a textbook and being able to spread out. I always go directly up to the third floor where there are floor to ceiling windows and you can see a beautiful view of campus. During the day there is plenty of natural light and I personally love being able to see the sunset from here. There are multiple paths here from the chapel or from the Bryan Center, and it’s a large building so you can’t miss it!

3: Bryan Center- 1st floor

While this is a popular spot, it can be overlooked for serious studying. I find that the general bustle can be nice, especially during reading period when everyone is off studying somewhere, and there are no classes to keep me occupied. The BC is usually a bit quieter during reading period, but there are still people around if you like to study around others. With the socially distanced seating there is plenty of room to work and they have very comfortable chairs with desks attached, as an alternative to your chair and desk.

4: Bostock & Rubenstein Libraries 

These used to have such a large student presence but now are widely forgotten as great study spots! There is plenty of room, and all you have to do is reserve a spot before you go. My favorite spot is definitely the first floor of Bostock, as there is a lot of unique seating and I haven’t seen anywhere similar on campus. The upper floors of the libraries have more traditional desks and chairs so you are sure to have a lot of options, and get a change of scenery from your dorm room.