Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
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 VCU chapter.

Despite voluntarily being in college, studying is still a dreadful task. Starting is always the hardest part of the process. It doesn’t have to be a totally painful process. The environment that you study in can influence your study session. There are so many options on and around VCU’s campus. 

While having cute stationery is fun, the entire setup of your desk matters when it comes to curating a study vibe. Stickers on your laptop, a fun home screen and a personalized planner motivates me to get on my laptop. Setting up with headphones, a coffee (or tea if that’s your preference), a cozy outfit and a curated Spotify playlist are all essentials for setting up the right environment. 

The most obvious choice is Cabell Library. It’s also the most popular option, so it’s usually crowded, especially during the day. Being able to reserve a room can guarantee a solid study space. My favorite place in the library is Starbucks, not just for the coffee, but for the atmosphere. It’s great if you also prefer to focus in spaces with more background noise. While I haven’t used the basement of the library much it is great for impromptu group work. I personally prefer to go to the 3rd floor for a quiet space to do work. The 4th floor is a great space for a complete silent environment as well. 

If the weather is nice, studying outside is another fun option. Monroe park is a very popular spot but it can get crowded depending on the day. Internet access is also not the most reliable in the park. It would be a better spot for a reading-based assignment. Outside of Shafer Court and the Student Commons are other options for an outdoor studying session, with better internet access than Monroe park. 

There are other buildings on campus as options for study spaces. The Academic Learning Commons building doesn’t have much seating but it is very quiet. The Student Commons is a popular space in general. The main floor is great for a noisier environment. The upstairs is usually quiet and empty. 

Having a space at home is important too. Similar to setting up an enjoyable studying environment, making your studying space at home an appealing place is so important. I have a mini lamp, stickers, plants, posters and fairy lights. You can add anything that makes you happy when you look up to it in your environment. I prefer to study by a window. However, I wouldn’t recommend that if you’re going to get distracted by people watching out the window.

I have a few favorite places off-campus for studying. A bit far from campus is the well-known Lift Coffee. I love their outdoor seating. Another great coffee shop for studying is Blanchard’s, which I am biased for. It’s usually quiet with minimal outdoor noise and comfy seating. 

In general, the environment you’re in can impact you. Specifically for studying, choosing an environment that channels your inner Rory Gilmore or Elle Woods can make it easier to get started.                                     

Salma is a junior at VCU majoring in digital journalism and minoring in psychology. She loves iced coffee, going out with her girls, and watching old movies.