The Hidden Gems of Study Spaces at Illinois

When finals roll around at the end of each semester, you're likely tired of your usual study spaces. The last thing you want to do when figuring out where you're going to study for final exams is go to the same place you have the whole semester for twice as long as usual. Lucky us, we go to a huge school with lots of options of places to go and hole up while we study for those dreaded final exams. Here are a few of my favorite study spots that I've found are quite the hidden gems when it comes to studying. 

1. The Psychology Building 

The psychology building is a great place to go if you’re looking for a big open space with lots of natural light. I stumbled upon the center court study space on the main floor of the building when I had a class there freshman year. I was so amazed with how quiet it was there and found it to be such a hidden gem of a study space. There are really only tables for 1-2 people so if you’re looking to focus and hone in on your work independently and without outside distractions, the psych building is a great option for you. 

2. Espresso Royale at the UGL 

The Espresso Royale at the UGL is another one of my favorite spots. While it’s usually pretty busy, the cozy booths and comfortable atmosphere is something I haven’t found elsewhere. There are a few bigger tables for collaboration with groups or smaller tables for individual work. I’m someone who really likes to listen to music while studying, so if you like background noise, there’s plenty of it at Espresso. Plus, the smell of coffee (and actually consuming coffee) keeps you awake and working hard. 

3. Bookstore Starbucks at the IUB 

The bookstore Starbucks is one of the first study spots I found here on campus that I’ve always loved. It's a bit more of a well known space however, so get there early to find a spot at a table because it’s been consistently busy since the Starbucks on Green St. closed! This is another great space for studying if you like background noise and movement while you study. Again, there’s constant access to coffee if you’re in need of it. However, it closes at 10 PM everyday, so if you’re looking to study past then, be sure to hit the UGL or the Union afterwards. 

4. CLASS Lab at the Union 

This one is definitely a hidden study space I discovered earlier this year. The ICS Class Lab at the Union is a really cool space that I’ve found not many people know about. It’s downstairs near the food court on the lower level of the Union. There’s computers, a technology help desk and study rooms that can be reserved for a few hours at a time. It’s a really bright, open and fairly new space that’s open for studying until midnight most days. Definitely take advantage of this space for all of the free technology access and a little-known space to take a trip to during finals. 

Hopefully you've found a new study space you'll like for this finals season. These are all great spaces to bring your work - and let's be honest, your coffee, too - to work hard in a quiet space or one with a little more background noise. One of these will be the perfect change of scenery from the Main Library or your dorm room or apartment. Good luck on exams and happy (almost) winter break! 

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