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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

There is a myriad of study spots in St. Andrews, with some much better known than others. And while there is always the option of navigating the strange politics and social rules of the main library, I am here to offer a slough of alternative options, discerning the bests of different categories. I think it is easiest to assess by considering the spots with regard to both purpose and vibe.

For instance, my go-to study space is undoubtedly the Byre theatre. Its warm lighting is relaxing and perfect to coax you into some readings or essay research. There is often music playing faintly, and while it is relatively quiet, it feels social and ambient. It is equally a great place for a study date, as there are many available seats and comfortable couches as well. And with the new addition of the bottom floor cafe, the Byre covers all needs.

The next category is the chic study spot – in other words, the place you go to pretend to study. Sure, you can get some stuff done here, but you’re likely more interested in your latte than your work. For this type of study experience, I endorse Spoiled Life. Spoiled has a fun, buzzing, and beautiful atmosphere, with decent amounts of seating, fantastic coffee and pastries, and a setting unlike another. You can even take a study break by shopping around the cafe… a win-win for me. Spoiled is both a great location for study dates and perfect for an aesthetic solo trip. 

For those in deadline mode, but who absolutely detest the quietness of the library, I recommend the busy and chaotic cafes: Pret and Starbucks. These are always bustling, but are reliable for good wifi, food, and coffee, and are the perfect place to disassociate for a few hours as you get your assignments done. 

For those in search of slight chaos, but would prefer something more relaxed than Pret or Starbucks, I propose Black Sheep. It has a somewhat indie-city aesthetic that makes work both fun and relaxed, while equally giving you the motivation that propels you to finish up assignments. Not to mention it has comfortable seats, reliable wifi, and good-quality coffee and food. 

For those in search of fulfilling their light academia dreams, I recommend no other than the library in St. Mary’s quad. With its stacks of books, busts of famous academics, and warm hues, it is perfect for both getting lost in readings or writing an essay. It is an English major’s dream.

And for those in pursuit of their dark academia fantasy, look no further than a somewhat underground and neglected study spot: the reading room in the School of History. It is niche and quite unknown – often relatively empty and quiet. Yet it is extremely charming, replicating the feel of the Gryffindor common room. I cannot recommend this space enough.

Lastly, for quite an intense and quiet academic environment, I would recommend the library in the school of Philosophy. With gorgeous ocean views, the small room is filled with books, some desks, and the perfect academic energy to fuel your studies.

Rhiannon Peacock

St. Andrews '25

Rhiannon is a second year from Boston MA studying English & International Relations