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UConn Finals Week: 5 Places To Study That Aren’t Just The Library

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

Team Wilbur Cross or Team Babbidge? There’s no doubt that no matter which University of Connecticut library matches your vibe, in the weeks leading up to finals they’re both about as crowded as the center of campus during the involvement fair. It’s completely possible to walk into the library and walk out five minutes later after checking all the floors for a seat or an unreserved room. All the people combined with the very obvious lack of seats can be overwhelming, and the last thing anyone needs during finals week is more stress! At a college as big as UConn, finding any empty space to study for finals might as well be an Olympic sport. So, based on my four semesters of experience I made a list of five spots on the UConn Storrs campus that are perfect for studying without having to deal with the crowds. Grab your laptops, headphones, and a snack, and get ready to lock in!

Gant science complex

It’s rare for a STEM student not to find themselves in Gant at some point. Whether it’s serving as a shortcut to BPB or a place to crash before a biology lecture, you’re probably familiar with the large bright foyer in the center of Gant. What most people don’t know is that this space is actually designated for quiet study. With multiple floors of seating and plenty of natural light, the Gant foyer is a great place to lock in relatively undisturbed. There are a couple of downsides though, as I’m sure plenty of people have noticed, outlets are really hard to come by just about anywhere on campus. The Gant foyer is tragically no exception so long-term studying can be tricky here if you can’t find a spot by an outlet. Regardless of whether you need a quick hour study session or a short cram before a quiz, definitely check out the Gant foyer!

Empty science building foyer
Original photo by Makeda Staton

Herbst (formerly Oak) and McHugh

This one is so good I honestly thought about gatekeeping it.  

Herbst and McHugh are two of the most commonly used buildings on campus for both large lectures and small discussions. The first-floor classrooms in both buildings are usually filled with classes, clubs, and meetings for most of the day. The remaining three upper floors, however, remain underutilized by the student body. Each floor is mostly office spaces, with long narrow hallways and a few classrooms sporadically thrown in between. The abundance of professional spaces makes it pretty quiet and also fairly empty which gives it a library feel. Each classroom also has a whiteboard or a projector that you can use to work problems out or watch review videos.

One glaring issue here is these spots are so good that clubs and student organizations use them all the time. The toughest part of studying here is finding a spot that’s not only empty when you find it but empty all night. Thankfully the screens outside the classrooms list all officially booked events for the day. If something looks like it’s scheduled and there’s nobody in the room, it’s worth taking a quick look at their socials if they have any, to see if the event was canceled.

Empty college classroom
Original photo by Makeda Staton

In and around cultural centers

The upper floors of the Student Union are home to multiple cultural centers. These spaces can provide a chill and welcoming environment if you’re looking to get some work done! The African American Cultural Center (AACC) for example, has multiple spaces with their own distinct purposes. Feel more productive with people around? Not a problem, as the AACC has a large community room where you can chat casually while you work without the worry of disturbing anybody. If you’d rather study in silence, down the hall from the community room there is a designated quiet space where you can lock in if you need to! Each of the cultural centers is unique in structure and demographic, so make sure to take the time to figure out which one is the best fit for you. If you don’t align with any of the identities represented in UConn’s various cultural centers, no worries, the majority of cultural centers also have seating open to everyone right outside their doors. These cute little lounge spots make great places to focus, away from the typical college hustle and bustle of the Union, while still feeling that sense of community.

BPB Basement

Spend a lot of time on the north side of campus? Try studying in the basement of the Biophysics Building! The Biophysics Building, or BPB for short, sits right across from North Residence Halls between TLS and Gant. If you’re an upperclassman you probably know this spot as ‘the ruins of Up & Atom’ so to speak, which (for those of you who don’t know) was a super popular campus cafe that closed suddenly. And while this shutdown came as a massive shock to students and teachers, what was left behind was a massive space with plenty of chairs and tables and a large wall of windows. Because it used to be an established campus business, there are plenty of outlets built into the floor and along some of the walls. I really recommend this spot for several hours of chemistry cramming right before an exam! The only potential problems I could think of are not finding a seat, because the space is pretty popular, or getting a little hungry. It would be super helpful if UConn opened, oh I don’t know, a cafe in that big empty space!

Old campus cafe
Original photo by Makeda Staton


I actually didn’t know about this one until halfway through the semester. I had only ever been in Monteith for my 9 a.m. calculus class freshman year, which meant I was usually in a hurry. This kept me from noticing that on every floor except the first one, there is a decently sized lounge space right off the elevator. Monteith is a great spot to lock in if you’re looking for an environment with minimal distractions, similar to the reading room in Wilbur Cross. Aside from people coming and going to class, for the most part, it stays pretty quiet with a couple of grad students passing by occasionally. Because there’s a lounge space on every floor, rarely are there any issues in terms of finding a spot. There’s also a decent amount of outlets so no need to worry about your laptop dying. The best thing about Monteith though, is that it’s actually open almost all day. I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever walked up to Monteith and found the door locked. It serves as a shortcut to the middle of campus for honors students living in Buckley or Shippee, so it opens early and closes late. Next time you’re looking for an all-day study session and the library is just a little too crowded, give the Monteith lounges a try!

Empty math building lounge
Original photo by Makeda Staton

Just a side note, the Phillip E. Austin building right outside of Wilbur Cross has similar lounges if Monteith is a little far for you!

Uconn strong

It’s been a whirlwind of a spring semester up here in sunny Storrs! From back-to-back Natty wins to the changing of the collar, husky pride has been at an all-time high! It’s only right that we all finish out the semester as strong as we started it. It’s been a spring full of wins so why stop now? Study hard, study smart, and good luck! Go huskies!

Makeda Staton is a pre-veterinary student at the University of Connecticut. She is a member of the UConn Honors Program and a member of the H2O Honors to opportunities learning community. Makeda has always been focused on the arts despite a STEM heavy academic background. She runs an art account on Instagram and focuses her writing on music, campus activities, and tips to stay grounded.