This is an excerpt from the Daily’s 2014 Orientation Issue. To read the rest of the issue, click here.
As tempting as it might be to hole up in your dorm room and never leave — especially in the winter — the University offers an excellent assortment of study spots for every preference.
Shapiro Undergraduate Library
The UgLi (an abbreviation of “undergraduate library,” not a crack at its lackluster facade) is a classic study spot for students. Located conveniently near many of the Central Campus dorms and academic buildings, it’s the perfect place to grab a snack and look over notes between classes. One of the best features of the UgLi is its private study rooms, which are available to check out online. These rooms are an excellent choice for group meetings and small study sessions with friends, since they are more private than most spaces in the library. If you’re looking for a quiet place to knock out a paper, though, the UgLi is probably not the best place for you, as most of the students there prefer lively conversation and some background noise to their studying.
The Duderstadt Center
The hub of North Campus study spots, The Dude is the perfect place for late night cram sessions (like the UgLi, it’s open 24/7). It’s large and spacious and boasts some of the best tech resources on campus — video equipment rentals, editing booths and the sprawling Art, Architecture & Engineering Library. Even if you don’t live on North Campus, it’s a unique spot worth checking out.
The Reading Room
The Law Library is not for everyone, but if you prefer complete silence (seriously, someone will glare at you if you sneeze), the Reading Room is a gorgeous study spot. With high ceilings, dark wood tables and sections roped off for “law students only,” it is gothically beautiful, with a feeling of high class and exclusivity. Seriously, though. You cannot talk in there.
Beanster’s is your typical campus coffee shop, but with a twist — it accepts Blue Bucks! Located conveniently in the lower level of the Michigan League (right across from C.C. Little and a short walk from the Diag), Beanster’s is the top spot for great coffee and comfortable seating. Don’t be afraid to order lunch while you’re there because their sandwiches are moderately priced and delicious. It can be rather busy on weekdays, but on Sunday afternoons the Beanster’s crowd is usually sparse and studious. The cafe boasts several desktop computers and printers, but unfortunately a shortage of working outlets, so be sure to charge your laptop beforehand.
The Tower Room
If you have a friend who lives in North Quad Residence Hall, exploit that friendship for access to the exclusive Tower Room, located on the ninth floor of the NQ residential tower. This study penthouse boasts one of the best views of campus, with walls of enormous windows. Students can play the piano in the corner during a study break and just outside the room there is a community kitchen with an oven and other cooking facilities.
The Rackham Graduate School
This hidden gem is arguably the best study spot on campus. If quiet spots are your thing, the second floor Reading Room looks like something straight out of Hogwarts and has plenty of long tables and outlets. (Be warned: do not bring food in here. You will be scolded.) The East and West study lounges are color coordinated (green and red, respectively), and are more relaxed and social. You can always find a few students taking advantage of the couches in the lounges (arguably, the comfiest on campus). The furniture is gorgeous velvet and perfect if you want to feel like Jay Gatsby as you finish your paper.