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My Favorite Study Spots

November 30, 2017

With the end of the semester and finals quickly approaching, you’ll probably see a lot of UR students surrounded by books, paper, and a laptop trying to get ready for finals week.  If you’ve ever set foot on campus, you know that University of Richmond is absolutely stunning.  That being said, I thought I’d share with y’all just some of my favorite spots to sit and grind out all the work that comes with being a college student.  

1. The Lib (aka the library)

I guess this one is a bit more obvious and self-explanatory being that the library is probably the most popular spot to study on any college campus.  But let me just tell you why I spend, quite literally, 75% of my time here.  It’s nice because it’s open 24/7, but after 10 PM you have to show your student ID to get in and out.  (This is really important to me, security wise, because I visited my friends’ college libraries over break and they quite literally let anybody in their library 24/7 and wow ~stranger danger~).  I should also mention how I’ve stayed in the library into the wee hours of the morning (we’re talking like 4AM) and I’ve never felt unsafe walking back to my dorm, which is absolutely fantastic.  But back to why I love the lib:

Once I’m done with classes for the day, nine out of ten times, you will probably find me on some floor of the library.  Usually, I’ll go down to the basement level, where whispering is allowed but loud discussion isn’t, because it provides the perfect balance between quiet and not-too-quiet.  

If I really, really need to get stuff done (i.e. finish up a paper that might be due in less than five hours), I’ll go up to the second floor of the lib where it is dead silent and opening the zipper of my backpack sounds like the loudest noise on earth.  I’ll have to admit, the first time I went up to the second floor, I was intimidated by the silence.  After a while, I have come to appreciate it as it allows me to actually focus and get work done a lot faster.  

Although whispering and absolute silence is great, sometimes I need to talk to my friends and collaborate on projects.  This is where the first floor comes in handy.  I absolutely adore this floor.  It has whiteboards, outlets, printers, computers, couches, etc which is great for working on group projects or just brainstorming your ideas on big board to get all your thoughts out. My friends and I are always here on any given day from the hours of 4PM until about 9PM, so it’s a great place to have study group sessions with you and your friends.  The first floor is also fantastic because it’s where 8:15, the Richmond version of ~Starbucks~ is, and I would be lying to you if I didn’t admit to spending about a quarter of my dining dollars on Black Bottom muffins (warmed up, of course) alone.  

2. Tyler Haynes Commons

Let me say two words: the lake.  It’s beautiful.  It’s majestic.  It makes you appreciate nature and it makes you forget for a split second all the work that you put off until the last minute.  Tyler Haynes Commons is the building that sits over Westhampton Lake, and every time I walk through it, I still catch myself staring out the big windows in absolute awe.  Our campus is freaking beautiful.

I like to stop in THC in between classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I’ll grab a chicken caesar wrap from Tyler’s and go sit at a table facing the lake to get some quick work done.  I’ll have to admit, it’s not the quietest of locations, but once you put in your headphones and start getting into “work mode,” the extra noise dies down.

I’ve found that this is a nice place to read or write.  When facing a case of writer’s block, I’ll look out at the lake and space out for a bit until an idea for the next sentence hits me.  While I would not go to THC to study for a big exam, I would recommend if you have a small amount of work for a single class or just have time in between your day to relax, eat, and be productive all at the same time!

3. Passport Cafe/The International Center

Ask any Richmond student and they will probably tell you that Passport Cafe is one of their favorite spots to eat on campus.  Quite literally, I’ve probably spent half my dining dollars on Passport alone, but I can’t help it!

I’ll typically stop by Passport to study on Fridays, the day I have no classes.  I head towards the Carol Weinstein International Center (the main building Passport is attached to) around noon to grab lunch, typically a sandwich or some sushi with a iced vanilla latte.  If the weather’s nice, which it usually is, I like to sit out in the courtyard near the big globe fountain and do some homework.  Sometimes, I’ll see my friends heading to class and they’ll stop by and chat, which is nice because it provides a quick study break.  The sound of the water flowing from the fountain is really calming and provides a sort-of ~white noise~ to drown out all the other hustle and bustle that comes with being in the International Center.  

If it’s a bit too chilly to sit outside/if i forgot to bring a jacket (this Californian is still adjusting to the concept of always bringing a sweater everywhere), I’ll sit inside the actual cafe, itself.  Seating is limited though, especially during lunch hours, but around 2PM, not a lot of people are there so you can sit, eat, and focus.  

So with two weeks left until finals, you will probably find me at any one of these three locations either thriving, stressing, crying, or laughing.  Hopefully, I’m thriving...

Hey everyone! My name is Noella and I'm a freshman at the University of Richmond.  I was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in Orange County in a city that’s 20 minutes from Disneyland (but I just tell everyone I’m from LA because it’s easier). And no, I do not run into celebrities all the time and yes, it is true that California’s definition of winter is any weather that hits below 70 degrees.  I’m an avid coffee drinker, chocolate eater, and deep sleeper.  I also tend to go out of my way and intentionally take alternate routes just to ask people if I can pet their dog.  Anyways, I think I want to major in political science and international studies with a minor French, but who knows.  We’ll see where this journey takes me.  

Why UR?

Why a liberal arts college?  Because I knew I wanted a small classroom setting rich with opportunity.  I wanted to be a unique individual, not just a number among thousands of other students.  Why Virginia?  Because I wanted to experience “real” weather.  Because I wanted to see if I could survive on my own.  Why Richmond?  Because I couldn’t bear to be stuck in the middle of nowhere;  I needed to be at least an hour away from a major city.  Why UR?  Because it took every single answer to the questions above, combined it together, and added a touch of “home.”  It’s where I belong.