When it comes time for finals, all some students want to do is find a quiet, secluded area to study and focus. Others may crave a lively environment where they can openly discuss readings and homework with classmates. Still others might need to have constant caffeine available to stay awake through the long review sheets and never-ending chapters. Truly, whatever you are looking for, the University offers numerous places to study and can accommodate any type of student.
For those looking to venture beyond the library scene, Ann Arbor has many coffee shops perfect for getting work done. Two Starbucks and two Espresso Royale coffee shops, one of each on South University Avenue and State Street, offer snacks and drinks to help you keep your focus.
“Libraries are too quiet for me. I work much better when there are things going on around me. I like doing work at Starbucks because it has a really nice atmosphere,” said LSA and Music junior Jessica Sachs.
Geoffrey Silverstein, a junior in the School of Art and Design, agrees with Sachs.
“I’m a real fan of working at coffee shops. They’re civil, but I can’t concentrate in really quiet spots like libraries. Plus I can fuel caffeine needs all night,” he said.
Coffee shops are also perfect for meeting with professors or GSIs to go over last minute notes and lingering questions.
For students with cars, Silverstein recommends moving further away from campus to get stuff done.
“I go to Panera Bread Co. (down Washtenaw Avenue) or a book store. They aren’t as crowded, and I find that I am less likely to cut my study time short if I take the effort to go somewhere,” Silverstein said.
Sometimes just the thought of leaving your dorm room is enough to make you give up on the idea of actually getting work done. For those comfortable in their own dwellings, each dorm offers great study and common rooms open 24 hours a day.
“Each study room has a different atmosphere. Some are very homey, and South Quad has one that looks like a diner, which is better for group studies, while others are better for individual study,” said LSA sophomore Peter Hasiakos, a regular visitor to the dorm study rooms.
“It’s a lot less tense than the library but since it’s in the dorms it’s easy to get distracted. However, I’m less likely to go to the library because it’s an unnecessary hassle when I can just go study downstairs,” he added.
But for students willing to leave the comfort of their dorms and needing to get some serious studying done, there is also the traditional college study location — the library.
The University offers the Shapiro Undergraduate Library, which is ideal for group studying and contains numerous computer rooms open for use. The Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library has a large reference room on the second floor that is open to students.
“One of the good things about going to the library is it often keeps you from getting distracted. It’s hard to stay on task in the dorms with TV, Internet and friends to distract you. But the one thing that defeats that purpose of going to the library is when you go there just to see people,” LSA sophomore Robbie O’Brien said.
Students looking for a quieter study location can head over to the Law Library, located in the Law Quad on Monroe St. The library, with its long conference tables and no talking policy, is an ideal location for students who need to study for a big exam in the morning.
Now that the weather is finally showing signs of spring, students can take advantage of the sunlight and warm weather and study outside. The Diag and Palmer Field tend to overflow with sunbathers and studiers alike from early April up until finals.
“I try to (study outside) because there’s nothing like sunshine to make studying so much better,” said LSA junior Ylinne Lynch.
Lynch spent yesterday afternoon sitting on the “Sunday Morning in Deep Waters” fountain near Burton Memorial Tower and preparing for a paper. In cooler weather, she said her studying spots include the Fishbowl “late late at night” or the Michigan Union Underground.
Like Lynch, Kinesiology senior Tammy Spadafore also took advantage of the warm weather by bringing her computer to the Diag yesterday.
“It’s nice outside and not cooped up like inside,” Spadafore said.
She added that despite the many distractions on the Diag, including student groups, sunbathers and frisbee-players, she was able to stay focused.
“It’s actually quite peaceful,” she said.
Spadafore, like other students, took advantage of the wireless Internet access that is available on the Diag.
“Surprisingly, you have wireless (on the Diag). I didn’t know until I turned my computer on,” she added.
Yet instead of working on her paper, Spadafore said she ended up “playing around online.”
Whatever your study style is, Michigan has a variety of options within walking distance that can make any student feel at home. Now that know you know where to go study, there’s no excuse to be unprepared for finals.
— Weekend Magazine Editor Ashley Dinges contributed to this report.