5 Cool Places to Study for Finals

It’s that dreaded time of year, where students dust off their textbooks and the line at Gelbucks is out the door. Yep, it’s finals—one of the most stressful times of the year. While there are certain factors that can help you succeed during exams—eating healthy snacks, for instance, and taking workout breaks—the most crucial factor to succeeding in studying for exams is the space in which you study. When your room, or Gelman, isn’t quite cutting it, consider taking your study space elsewhere.


University Yard

U-Yard is the green space on campus, which has made it a pretty popular outdoor study space at GW. Plus, if you’re lugging a heavy backpack, it’s not too far of a walk from most places on campus. Since it’s finals, you can guarantee you won’t be the only one out studying on U-Yard, making for fewer distractions.

The Mall

No, not the one in Pentagon City (although I’m sure plenty of us would rather be shopping rather than taking exams any day.) For a change of scenery from the everyday sights of GW, consider taking your study space off campus and to the expanse of the National Mall. Not only will the weather be nice, but since you took your stuff all the way out to the Mall, you’ll be more likely to actually study.

Library of Congress

If you’re looking for a place that screams ‘study!,’ what better place than the largest library in the world? Not only does it offer a change of scene from Gelman, but there probably also won’t be noisy construction going on at the Library of Congress at most hours of the day.

Georgetown Waterfront

There are perhaps few calmer sounds than the sound of water. Take your studying out to the Georgetown waterfront to bask in the sun, hear the calming water, and focus on your studying. Looking to take a study break? Kayaking and paddle-boating are great ways to relieve stress and leave you feeling focused.


This might sound cliché, but museums—especially the Smithsonians—are great places to get away to for some studying. Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery, for example, has free wi-fi, a café, and is spacious—about 28,000 square feet. Also, it has natural lighting due to the 900-pound glass and steel canopy!

Wherever you choose to study, collegiates, HerCampus GWU wishes you the best of luck on your exams. Make sure to get lots of sleep, eat healthy snacks, and maintain your overall well-being during this stressful time! The better you take care of yourself, the better equipped you will be to handle anything finals throw at you.



Cover image: credit to Ann Marie MacVey