The 4 Best Study Spots on Campus

As a college freshman for a little over one month now, living in a new state and attending a new school has meant re-inventing my day-to-day rituals. From finding a new iced coffee stop to even a new pharmacy to buy a bar of soap, I’ve spent the past month familiarizing myself with every center, room, and corner that this seemingly large campus has to offer. Surprisingly, finding a comfortable, quiet study spot for quick reading sessions and late-night paper submissions took longer than I thought.

After some exploring, I’ve come down to my top four study spots on campus for those in need of a McKeldin Library break. While everyone holds their own distinct study habits, these are what work for me.

Photo by Hannah Goldberg

1. Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

If you’re someone who needs complete and utter silence while working, you’ll find the Clarice School of Music to be among the most peaceful places on campus. You can sit practically anywhere within the building, from the Applause Cafe to the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library - my personal favorite. The Smith Library is a “no-talking” zone, making it a perfect independent workplace.

Photo by Hannah Goldberg

2. Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center

For someone who never had any classes in ESJ, it took me way too long to discover this study heaven. The glass building located on McKeldin Mall allows students to sit in an array of comfy chairs in what seems like the most well-lit building on this whole campus. And why not study right next to the Food for Thought Cafe where you can purchase the spicy chicken pesto panini? What can be better than studying in a well-lit building with a panini in hand? If you want more of an outdoor study scene, ESJ even has a spacious courtyard on the side. Photo by Hannah Goldberg

3. McKeldin Lawn

While this study spot only works during certain seasons, the McKeldin Lawn is the perfect place to get work done if you want the scenic route. Snag a comfy spot under a tree - especially with the leaves changing - and get some work done while being able to watch everyone rush to class. You can even get away with a quick nap. If there aren’t any protests or club fairs happening on the lawn, nobody will wake you up. Being the absolute center of UMD, the lawn is peaceful, comfortable, and beautiful. It’s hands down THE most insta-worthy spot to study.

Photo by Hannah Goldberg

4. Tawes Garden Plaza

I’ll admit if it weren’t for the weekly UMD Farmers Market, I probably would have never discovered Tawes Plaza as a study spot. But with the alluring smell of iced coffee and fresh banana bread, I found out just how peaceful the area can be. Tawes Plaza has many benches surrounding the main fountain, allowing anyone to sit, relax, and work. Many come to read a book next to the fountain or check their email under the trees. It’s also located in the middle of three academic buildings, so whenever it’s a poor weather day, you can still enjoy the view while inside one of the buildings. If you’ve never been by Tawes, check it out, especially on Farmers Market Wednesdays.