Finding the right study spots on campus

Hey Marauders! Today I will outline the best study spaces on campus and break them down by circumstance. I will provide recommendations for the best times to use them and why.

Learn more about Mac101

These blogs are part of Mac101: Introduction to University Life, a collection of events, workshops and more to support your university transition.

July 12, 2023

By: Nabeelah (McMaster Graduate, Biology, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour)

There are many great spots on campus for a variety of types of studying and it is important that you have the necessary information to select the place where you will be most comfortable and productive. 

When you want to study alone:

Mid-term season, exam season, lab reports, and every in between, there are times when your workload gets heavy. You may be learning a tough concept or simply need a quiet place to focus and work. These are the perfect places for a silent and productive environment. 

Mills library is perfectly situated at the centre of campus. There are many great options in Mills to find a place to study, but when you really need to focus, look no further than the 6th floor. This section is a large and entirely quiet area perfect for intense focus. Generally, everyone tends to be respectful of the silent zone rules.

Tip: When breaks are required there are food options nearby at MUSC.

The basement in Thode is another great silent study option, and it is generally easy to find a private area due to its large size and less central location on campus.

Tip: It will be more convenient for those on or near the west side of campus.

When you want to study with friends/in larger groups: 

Sometimes when studying you know you’re going to have to talk through problems, you may have to discuss roles in a project or just chatting with friends because that will allow you to enjoy studying more. For these instances, the quiet study is not the place for you.

Instead, checkout PGCLL’s M floor lounge for immaculate group study vibes. PG’s M floor lounge is ideal for group work as it has long tables, booths, etc. 

Tip: What further sets this space apart from others is its natural light, modern furnishings, very comfortable setup and food options on the floor below.  

Another great option is Mills’ learning commons. You can access this space either by going to the 2nd floor of Mills from the main entrance or from outside the library at the learning commons entrance. This space is also sectioned into large tables perfect for group work and welcomes conversation.

Tip: This spot tends to stay open later than many other places. 

When you want to study late:

I always recommend getting enough sleep and sticking to a functional sleep schedule. But I also realize that sometimes you may find yourself up late and need a place to study. Maybe you’re bored with your room, maybe your roommate is trying to sleep or whatever your reason is; if you find yourself looking for a study spot late at night make sure to consider these options.

Firstly, if you have access to one, don’t sleep (pun intended) on the residence study rooms. This is a great option to get some late-night studying done.  

Tip: These options will be your most convenient and will be open for you 24/7. 

If you don’t have access to a residence study room, another good late-night option is the 2nd floor of MUSC. Most of the internal services, food, stores, etc. in MUSC will be closed but the building/study spaces are generally open 24/7 during exam season.

Tip: There are also vending machines and water fountains available.

When you want a nice change of pace: 

The last space I will cover today is the health sciences library glass room. This space is divided into tables that are perfect for groups and individual seating. This space is bright and airy and has an abundance of natural light compared to any other indoor space on campus.  

Signing off

To sum up, hopefully, this info helped a lot in detailing good study spots on campus and when might be the most opportune time to use them. Most importantly, however, is that you find a place where you are comfortable and somewhere where you will be the most productive. Try out the list, don’t be afraid to switch things up, and good luck with your academic endeavours.

Nabeelah student blogger

Nabeelah (she/her) is the program support assistant for the Student Success Centre’s (SSC) academic skills team. She has recently graduated from the Biology, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour program here at McMaster University. Outside of school, she loves to play tennis, bake and hang out with friends and family.