The Best Study Spots on Pitt's Campus that Aren't in Hillman Library

As I sit down to write this article I am overwhelmed with the stress and joy of just finishing my Sociology of Gender midterm. How did I do, you ask? Well, because it was harder than I anticipated, hopefully I pulled off an A. Now, even though the first round of midterms is over me, I know it is not for some people. I see people studying at the tables near Einstein’s in Posvar Hall and walking up the steps to Hillman Library where they will most likely spend their night. But, this is not where you want to study if you are striving for that 4.0 grade point average or just trying to get by.

The Hillman Library located across from the William Pitt Union is a place for socializing and not getting work done. There is an urban legend that at one point Playboy ranked Hillman as one of the top places in the country to meet and interact with the opposite sex. I can remember one specific time where I tried studying on the first floor, bad mistake number 1, and a boy trying to give me his business card interrupted me. As tempting as his job of ‘Entertainer/Entrepreneur’ was, I decided to pass. But this is not something that has only happened to me. There have been several instances where these types of exchanges have occurred to my friends and other people on campus. So, now you wonder, where should I study? Look around! Pitt is a huge campus with many buildings, tables, nooks and cubicles that will give you the quiet time you need to devote all of your attention to your studies.

After a long day, you decide you want to start studying but need to get out of your dorm or apartment and it is almost sunset. The perfect place to escape to is the thirty-fifth floor of the cathedral. It is in the honors college and once you step off the elevator you will be in for quite the surprise. There are comfy chairs and the sound of silence is something that I believe you cannot get anywhere else on campus. If you travel around the corner and through the doors there is a room that is surrounded by windows. Looking out, you can see almost to downtown and when the sun is setting there is no other place more peaceful to study. This place is definitely somewhere you should consider checking out!

During the day when you have nothing going on or just in between classes, the sixth floor in the William Pitt Union is a great study spot. Many people don’t know about this place but it has a plethora of tables and chairs and rooms. There are three rooms that are blocked off by glass walls and once inside, it is virtually impossible to hear any noises coming from the outside. This place is great because it is centrally located. You don’t really have to travel far in between classes if they are located down the hill. Also, you can easily walk downstairs, grab food and bring it up while you are studying. But just a tip about this place, get there early and leave your things throughout the day! Many people, especially Greeks, know about this and will try to get a spot in one of the closed off rooms early. Another great aspect of this study spot is that so many people use it and come in and out each day, leaving your study materials in the room to save your spot is a common act. No one will take your things and you will be able return to your quiet study room at your convenience.

Another great place to study is the small library that is located on the ground floor of Benedum Hall, the medical library, and the business school. All three of these locations house individuals who are very committed to their studies. Every time I have studied in these locations I almost feel obligated to have my head stuck in a book. These people don’t get distracted. Being in these locations has that certain effect on you where it is a ‘do as you see’ type thing. A few tips for studying in these locations, make sure your cell phone is on silent! The worst thing would be your Justin Bieber ringtone going off while your neighbor is cramming for the MCATS. If you’re into jamming out to Pandora while you work, make sure only you can hear your music. We have all been in that situation where we could hear every word coming out of the ear buds of another person.

All of these places around campus offer environments that most students miss because they are stuck with the idea that the Hillman Library is the place to be. Take advantage of these study spots and I guarantee you will do better on your midterms, or any exam for that matter. Club Hillman is a great way to meet new friends, but not such a great way to ace that test you have had looming in the back of your mind.