Finals not only mean everyone on campus
has more to do, but it also means the study spaces that have been
packed since the beginning of the semester are even more
As classes finish and exams loom, time is limited to find new
places to study.
Tomorrow and Friday are set aside by the University as
“study days” in anticipation for students’ exams
next week. Library hours will also be extended starting today.
Students face an array of choices when cramming for exams. We
follow the hypothetical situation of a student living near Central
Campus, with a final on Friday, who wakes up at 11:00 tomorrow
We shower, eat lunch, watch a little television, check e-mail
and leave the apartment at 2:00 in the afternoon.
Computers on campus, especially sites at the Shapiro
Undergraduate Library and Angell Hall, are usually full.
We begin studying at the School of Education, where we arrive at
2:30 p.m. There are numerous student lounges on the first floor,
most of which have vending machines. The lounges are well-lit,
quiet and rarely occupied. “There’s also a really good
computer site on the first floor of the School of Education,”
said LSA senior Omry Maoz.
“There’s another site on the first floor of West
Hall and there’s never anyone there either,” Maoz said.
After studying for two and half hours at the School of Education,
we decide lunch has worn off and it is time to get something for
dinner. So we pack up and head to the Michigan Union for dinner.
Afterward, we go upstairs to the Union study lounges, where we
study for the next two hours. “The Union study lounge is
really the only place I study, and it’s great because
it’s so quiet. People look at you if you make a sound,”
said LSA senior Jatin Rana.
“I like it there because it’s really quiet and also
you can get food downstairs,” agreed LSA junior Jenny
Looking for a place with a bit more activity, we have a choice:
move up State Street to Starbucks or Amer’s or move east to
the Starbucks on South University or the Amer’s on Church
Either way, we can only tolerate studying at a coffee shop for
about an hour and a half before moving to the Business School at
8:30 p.m. The main floor of the Business School has a café
that takes Entrée Plus and has outlets for laptops, mp3
players and cell phones. The Annex next to the Student Lounge is a
little quieter, and its large comfortable chairs and couches are a
At the Business School, we study until 11 p.m. and finish the
coffee we bought here, instead of at Starbucks, because it is less
expensive. At that point we decide we have moved enough and retire
to the UGLi until 3:00 in the morning.
With a solid day and night of studying, we can return home,
sleep until noon the next day and take our exam at 1:00 in the
That scenario does not exhaust all the choices on campus for
studying. The Hatcher Graduate Library is among the most popular
“I have a new love for the study cubicles, the south
stacks especially because it’s so much quieter than the
UGLi,” said LSA junior Jason Berlow. He added that he now
prefers the Grad to the Law Library Reading Room since the reading
room was divided, reserving the east side for law students and the
west side for visitors.
The Fine Arts Library on Tappan has stacks that are similar to
the graduate library but less trafficked, and should be avoided by
those who are claustrophobic. “The Fine Arts Library is
ridiculously hard to get into but once you’re in, the stacks
are impregnable,” said Engineering senior Craig
The tables at the Medical School Library, across Observatory in
the Hill area, are almost always open and allow students to study
until close to midnight before heading back to Central Campus.
“The fourth and fifth floors are the best because
it’s really low traffic, and the third floor has the
circulation and returns desk,” Maoz said.
On North Campus, the Media Union houses more niches for studying
than the Central Campus libraries and plenty of computers. One
caution to students who start late — after 2 a.m. the number
of locales drops to the UGLi and the Media Union.