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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

As finals come upon us, it’s time to start the grind. I don’t know about you, but my dead week is going to be full of studying, writing essays, and more studying. The hard thing when you’re studying so much is that sometimes one place can get old quickly. I find it important and helpful for the pacing of my studying to move around throughout the day and start at a new place each day. Here are a few of my favorite places to study, whether it’s full-on lock-in mode or a light study. One of these places is sure to fit your studying needs.

1. Jean Hargrove Music Library

One of my most favorite places on campus to write and study is the Jean Hargrove Music Library. I started going there freshman year because of its proximity to my dorm, but I have grown to love the vibe it has. There are many large windows allowing for lots of natural light. I always like to be in a place where I can see the outside world around me, especially when writing. I feel like it makes me think more creatively! The library also has four different areas within it so you can change up where you are sitting if you need a change of pace. I highly recommend the music library if you have never been!

2. CaffÈ Strada

If you are looking for a place to do some light studying, I would recommend Caffè Strada located at the intersection of College Avenue and Bancroft Way. I like studying here when it’s sunny outside so that I can get my vitamin D intake and feel productive at the same time. However, it’s typically very busy and populated, so it can be a little noisy, which is why I recommend doing some light studying here. If you’re looking for a place to study in the sun, I recommend Caffè Strada.

3. Free Speech Movement Cafe

On the same note as studying in the sun, I also recommend the Free Speech Movement Cafe located on the third level of Moffitt Library. They have both indoor and outdoor seating, but I love their outdoor seating. It’s not quite as loud as Strada because the seating is a little more spread out, so I feel like I can focus and be more in the grind mindset rather than light studying. If you’re looking for a little more focused setting but still want to get your vitamin D in, I would highly recommend Free Speech!

4. Main Stacks

Now, if I really need to focus and have no distractions I go to Main Stacks. I would rather go to Main Stacks over Moffitt, I think, because of the lighting. Main Stacks has a much warmer tone of lighting, while Moffitt’s lighting feels much colder to me. But that could just be a me thing! Main Stacks is located underground, so there are no windows to distract you, and the amount of books around you is rather inspiring. If I need a place that will allow me to be completely focused, Main Stacks is the place.

I know finals are a stressful time, but hopefully this will help you find places to go when you don’t want to have to think of a new place to go! Good luck!

Ellie Buss

UC Berkeley '26

Ellie is a Sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley double majoring in English and Media Studies. She is currently a staff-writer for the Berkeley chapter in the editorial department. Ellie has experience in media, film, public relations, and writing. She enjoys writing personal blogs and essays in her free time as well as articles about all things pop culture. After graduating, Ellie aspires to enter the media and communications industry where she can continue to share stories. When Ellie is not writing, she loves dancing, and is involved in three dance clubs on campus, listening to music, watching movies, spending time with friends and family, and eating ice cream.