Parkin: The Best and Worst Study Locations on U’s Campus

By Natalie Parkin

Getting sufficient studying done as college students is crucial for our grades and futures, but finding the perfect place to study on campus can be hard. Distractions are everywhere. Friends, noise, warm temperatures or even a soft, cushy couch can all be dangerous factors when trying to study.

When it comes to the University of Utah, where are the best places to study? Which spots should we avoid when wanting to get decent work done? Take it from one student to another: After having this struggle for the past three years, I’ve done some decent study-location searching. These are what I personally, as well as some other students at the U, have found are the best and worst places for cracking open a book on campus.

Avoid …

Dorm/Apartment Bedrooms

It’s tempting after a long day of classes to want to go home, kick off your shoes and study in the comfort of your own room, but let’s be honest. Studying and personal comfort have never gone together. Your bed is soft, warm and tempting for a “quick” nap. Your kitchen is filled with “small” snacks to pull you away from studying. And your computer and phone charging on your desk are begging to be used for a “short” study break. Notice the quotation marks? That’s because we all know that “quick,” “small,” “short,” study breaks are usually a lie. Removing yourself from comfort will help your mind and body stay focused on the tasks at hand.

Marriott Library

I’m referring to certain spots in the library here, not the entire library. The campus library has many resources for students to use. However, trying to study independently tends to be harder than it needs to be. Ironically, the library is often loud and filled with friends talking and people you might know, especially the first and sometimes second floors. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially for study groups, but the social climate tends to invite distractions. It’s also filled with cafes and food centers, which tend to be loud and offer excuses to leave your studying for “just a minute.” Also, can we talk about those amazing womb chairs? Best chairs ever. Pretty much everyone who has ever sat in them has fallen asleep, guaranteed. There are quiet centers in the library on the second and third floors, and those are wonderful for studying. Overall, it’s best to avoid the loud sections in the library to guarantee productivity.

The Union

I don’t think I need to explain this one in too much depth because most students understand. The Union isn’t just loud. It’s a mad house. Especially in the food court between classes. It’s filled with locations to play games (like bowling), and there’s always some sort of event going on in there. It’s an interruption-filled building when trying to prepare for a test or get an assignment finished, and although it’s great for eating meals, it’s not ideal for trying to digest knowledge.

To Ensure Success, Try …

LNCO Communications Building

For those who have never been through the halls of LNCO, it may come as a surprise that this building has small rooms filled with closed off desks — meaning the desks have walls around them. This forces your attention stay on the desk and on the task at hand. Also, the rooms are dead quiet, allowing you to study in peace without distractions. For those of you who, like me, study best in complete silence, LNCO is your best bet.

David Gardner Concert Hall (DGH)

Did you know that a study published in “Learning and Individual Differences” found students who listened to a one-hour lecture with classical music playing in the background scored significantly higher on a quiz of the lecture material than a similar group of students who heard the lecture without music? It’s a well known fact that classical music improves brain activity. Well, DGH has an atrium and library in the center of the building filled with desks and chairs provided for students to study. Not only will the background classical music help your brain function, the atrium is filled with windows. Natural light always helps individuals feel less trapped and stuffed up in textbooks.

Lassonde Studios

For those of you who need to have a more creative environment for diving into boring textbooks, this building’s entrance lounge is perfect. Desks, creative chairs that don’t make you fall asleep and the cool temperatures are what make students frequent the spot so often to study. Another thing to note is that because the front of the building is so broad, not entirely finished and filled with sounding machines in side rooms, the steady, soft noises provide perfect white noise to help you study and stay relaxed.

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