By Meredith M., Resident Assistant of the Wellness House
It’s that time of year again – final papers, last assignments, and the ever important, ever dreaded exams. Many people get burnt out with their usual study spots and need a change of pace in order to stay productive. Sometimes changing up your location can improve your mood and overall outlook, as well. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of lots of convenient places to study – get out of the library and out into the world, fellow studiers!
1. Blue State Coffee – 957 Commonwealth Ave
This great little café has awesome lattes and tea, but it also offers a pretty bangin’ breakfast and lunch menu. My personal favorite is the egg white and applewood smoked bacon frittata.
2. Pavement – 736 Commonwealth Ave
Located right across from the School of Theology and the BU Central T stop, this coffeehouse is probably one of the most convenient non-BU spots to study. Pavement has amazing sandwiches and super yummy toffee cookies!
3. Pavement – 1096 Boylston Street
This Pavement Coffeehouse location is right by the Hynes T stop, so you East Campus folk might want to venture this way if you’re feeling the coffeehouse vibe but want to get out of the BU bubble for a bit.
4. Law Library Annex – 765 Commonwealth Ave
If you’re looking for a little adventure before you study, the Law Library Annex is the spot for you. Because of all the construction at the law school, you basically have to go to Narnia in order to find this place. But once you get there, a super silent, usually empty study space awaits. I’m telling you, it’s worth the trip.
5. African Studies Library – 6th floor of Mugar Memorial Library
I personally never like studying in the lower floors of Mugar (too crowded, too hot, too vanilla) but the African Studies Library on the top of the building is absolutely wonderful. Far less congested than the rest of Mugar, the ASL has study cubicles and comfy chairs and beautiful art everywhere to make your study experience as pleasant as possible.
6. Towers’ Quiet Room – 140 Bay State Road
Turn left when you get through Towers security and you will find a quiet study room with huge tables and an excellent heating system ready to motivate your best paper-writing yet. Because it’s a quiet space, you don’t have to feel bad for asking someone to take their phone call outside or stop smacking their gum.
7. 26th Floor of StuVi2 – 33 Harry Agganis Way
You’ve got the fancy chairs. You’ve got plenty of space. And you’ve got that view. What more do you need to inspire you?
8. Top floor of Kilachaund (Shelton) Hall – 91 Bay State Road
This study space is somewhat of a hidden gem to those who’ve never lived in East Campus, but the top floor of Kilachaund Hall is an awesome study space. The view of the Charles River and Back Bay doesn’t hurt, either.
9. Starbucks - 500 Commonwealth Ave
The new BU Starbucks in Kenmore Square is like a little study cave hidden amongst the tourist-y restaurants. Go down a flight of stairs under Zinga and you’ll be transported into a coffee-filled cave of efficiency.
10. Second floor of Barnes & Noble – 660 Beacon Street
The BU bookstore might not seem like the best place to go before you have to return all your rented books. But on the second floor, there are a few comfy chairs available for good, solid reading time.
11. DOS Lounge – 775 Commonwealth Ave
On the third floor of the GSU, Dean Elmore has a huge lounge right outside his office with couches, tables, and lots of floor space. Added bonus: you might get to shake hands with Elmore as he walks in and out of his office.
12. Sargent classrooms – 685 Commonwealth Ave
If you go to the upper floors of Sargent College, oftentimes there are empty classrooms (large and small) available to students for study sessions.
13. STH Library – 745 Commonwealth Ave
In an effort to get away from Mugar, I often find myself in the School of Theology’s library, located on the second floor of the building. There is a whole room filled with study cubicles, but there are also chairs and tables interspersed throughout the bookshelves. Sometimes I feel like it’s a huge game of hide and seek just to find a seat! Who said libraries have to be boring?
14. CAS classroom – 685 Commonwealth Ave
The College of Arts and Sciences is so huge that, especially on a Saturday or Sunday, it isn’t hard to find an empty room whose chalkboard you can use to write out long equations or storyboards or whatever big things you need to write out.
15. SMG Pardee Library – 595 Commonwealth Ave
On the second and third floors of SMG, the Pardee Library offers a very quiet, somewhat private place to study. Just like everything else in SMG, Pardee is a bit on the fancy side and has been very well maintained. And with a Starbucks in the same building, you can be fully caffeinated the whole time you study!
16. SHA seminar rooms – 928 Commonwealth Ave
These intimate, well lit rooms are not open on the weekends, but during the week anyone can go to the School of Hospitality and use one of these little rooms that has a white board and a nice table for group work or an expansive project. The best part is that SHA is rarely crowded, so you’ll have room to breathe.
17. Panera Bread Company – 888 Commonwealth Ave
Located in West Campus just across from CGS and Student Health, this Panera has all the best things in one place: yummy food, abundant wifi, and comfy seats. As a veteran of the five-hour Panera study sesh, I can tell you that some really great work gets done here on a regular basis. You can feel it in the atmosphere!
18. FitRec lobby lounge – 915 Commonwealth Ave
If you don’t want to sacrifice your workout schedule during finals, studying in FitRec might be a good option for you. The first floor lobby has couches and big chairs that are great for reading, plus high top tables over by the smoothie bar for writing papers or doing problem sets. And, if you get sleepy or feel unmotivated to study, jump on the treadmill for ten minutes!
19. Rich Hall Cinema Room – 277 Babcock St
Tons of space, plenty of moveable furniture for group work, and a convenient location for anyone who lives in West Campus. Perfect!
20. Starbucks – 140 Brookline Ave
For those of us looking to get off campus study, the Starbucks in Fenway, right across from the Regal movie theater, is a really great option. You don’t get that stressed-out student vibe because you’re off campus, plus you get to have yummy pastries right at your fingertips!
21. Boston Public Library – 700 Boylston Street
Get off at Copley. Turn around. The magnificent building that stands before you is our nation’s first public library. If that isn’t enough to inspire you to study, consider this: the BPL has hundreds – literally hundreds – of study seats, tables, cubicles, and chairs throughout its huge building. Find yourself a little cove and let the sheer intelligence of the place sink in.
22. South Campus Study Lounge – 520 Park Drive
Though some like to call this place a dungeon, I find its subterranean nature endearing. The 520 Lounge has lots of couches and large tables available, and it’s not a designated quiet space, so feel free to bring friends and/or work on group projects here.
23. Warren Cinema Room – 700 Commonwealth Ave
Just under C Tower of Warren, there’s a great big room that has plenty of space to study, write, or work on a group project. The Cinemas Room is like the 520 Lounge in that it’s not a quiet space, so if you’re one of those “talk-it-out” studiers, this is the place for you.
24. Howard Thurman Center – 775 Commonwealth Ave
Located in the basement of the GSU, the Howard Thurman Center is one of the most comfortable, welcoming, happy places to study on campus. The HTC focuses on embracing diversity and welcoming all kinds of students, so the vibe of the whole place is open and affirming. If you want to meet interesting people or need some encouragement before you hit the books, head down to the HTC.
25. BU Central – 775 Commonwealth Ave
Also in the GSU’s basement, BU Central has booths and tables designed for relaxing and hanging with friends. If you have a creative assignment or like lots of background noise when you study or write, then BU Central might just be your new favorite study spot.
26. CAS Writing Center – 100 Bay State Road
On the third, fourth, and fifth floors of the new 100 Bay State building, you can find couches, tables, and groups of chairs that are great for studying. However, the CAS Writing Center also offers small rooms that have white boards – and closeable doors – giving you privacy and solitude while you study. It’s easy to reserve a room and you don’t have to be a CAS student.
27. Ziskind Lounge – GSU (775 Commonwealth Ave)
If you’re like me, study snacks are essential to your productivity. Located on the second floor of the GSU, the Ziskind Lounge is right next to Metcalf Hall and is a really great place to study while you eat. The GSU food court is good for this too, but Ziskind tends to be quieter and slightly less crowded.
28. On the T
Just hear me out! If you get on the T toward one end of a line and ride all the way to the other end, you can get a solid 50 pages of reading done, if not more. It’s a great way to get off campus without worrying about travel time, since the whole time is travel time!
29. CGS first floor – 871 Commonwealth Ave
Take a right once you get in the front doors, continue on back to the study lounge area, and enjoy. CGS is equipped with a recently remodeled study area that is open to all students and very conducive to concentration, motivation, and any other –ation that helps you get things done.
30. Science Building study areas – 590 Commonwealth Ave
They’re hidden all over the building and they’re totally excellent. If you’re a non-science major struggling through your divisional science credit, this might be a great place for you to find a tutor!
31. Starbucks - 874 Commonwealth Ave
Another coffee shop, another great study spot. This Starbucks does not have a partnership with BU, which means that it carries more of the standard Starbucks items than the ones in the GSU or Warren. You can still get BU wifi in there though!
32. Hillel House – 213 Bay State Road
I think we can all agree that this building is gorgeous. The second and third floors are great study spaces for people of all faiths, and the people who work in Hillel are super friendly.
33. Bagel Rising – 1243 Commonwealth Ave
Hey, West Campus/Allston friends! This one’s for you! Bagel Rising is a great place to get some fuel before you write. The creative, upbeat vibe helps keep you inspired, and if you haven’t had their Jackson Crook bagel sandwich you haven’t really lived yet.
34. Stone Science Library – 675 Commonwealth Ave
This little gem is tucked away atop the College of Arts and Sciences building, and it’s a nice compromise between a library study environment and a more laidback nonacademic space. It’s never as crowded as Mugar, and it’s just as convenient for most students.
35. Your room! – Wherever you live
I know it might sound crazy, but you live there. You’re comfortable there. You can get work done there. Especially if you’re an up-all-night kind of studier, being in your room might be the safest and warmest option for you during these late December nights. Plus you don’t even have to get dressed!