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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

Welcome back! For the first time in two years, we are all officially back to school completely in person! It’s a huge adjustment for most of us. Personally, I am in my third year (that’s junior year if you’re American) and this is my first time on campus. It is also my first time on campus with SO many people around. The few times I was on campus in the past I could basically go into any library or building and find a quiet spot to sit and study. Well, that’s not quite the case anymore! I have found some pretty good study spots on my campus (McMaster University) that I want to share, and if you don’t go to the same school that’s okay! I have some general tips to help you out!

How to find a good spot:

  1. Go up. I’ve discovered that the higher up you go in a building, the quieter it gets. A lot of buildings have study rooms (or even just empty classrooms) on every floor and most people tend to stay on the first three-ish floors!
  2. Study rooms. I know this is obvious, but libraries will have study rooms that you can pre-book. If you look ahead in your syllabus and plan out when you have midterms or exams, book study rooms at the beginning of the semester for your busiest times so you have a guaranteed spot.
  3. Buildings that don’t have food. Many buildings will have some kind of café or quick snack grab place, but the ones that don’t have food will be much quieter! Eating is one of the top social activities on a university campus so if there isn’t an available eating space in a building, people typically aren’t going to spend time there unless they have a class.
  4. Outside. (As long as your electronics are charged) outside is a great place to study. Go to the outer side of campus (rather than the middle) it’s usually not as busy. Find a nice spot on the grass to sit down and study–the nature and fresh air are just an added bonus!

Spots I like at McMaster:

  1. Mills Library: a lot of people don’t know this apparently, but it has a 6th floor. Not all elevators or stairs go to it. But it is a quiet zone so even when it is busier, it’s dead quiet!
  2. McMaster union student center/ Kenneth Taylor Hall basement. They’re all connected underground so in my brain it’s once place, but there are a ton of smaller classrooms down there and it’s usually really empty 
  3. MUSC upper floors: the top floors at the student center have a bunch of lounges with comfy chairs (not great for studying, but there is also a nap lounge for a break from all that studying!)
  4. Health Science Library: maybe it’s just me because I am a science kid, but I love the health sci library over the others. It has an open layout and a lot of natural light
  5. If I’m going outside, I like to go behind Edwards Hall and University Hall. That general area is often pretty quiet and has a lot of nature, making it a peaceful study spot.

This year is a huge change for any university student. We aren’t in the comfort and quiet of our own homes. Finding a study spot that works well for you at the beginning of the year is so helpful! Hopefully with this you can go get your study on!

Virginia Howard

McMaster '24

Virginia is a first-year social science student! You can find her at home studying or playing with her two little kids, or out travelling the world or dancing!