Throughout the semester, students at the University of Michigan have developed their own distinct habits of studying; some of them prefer to study in noisy environments like the second floor of the UGLI, while others prefer silent environments such as the Law Library or Hatcher Graduate Library. However, whenever finals rolls around I notice that students unify in their studying habits as everyone is suddenly in desperate need for a silent environment. Thus, for all of my peers who want to study in peace and tranquility, I will give you my tips.
But before I begin, I ask you one favor: BE RESPECTFUL OF THE ENVIRONMENT YOU ARE ENTERING! I say this because these study spaces were not built overnight. Students have upheld the sanctity of these environments for decades. Hence, it would be rather disrespectful to behave in a way that ruins these environments in any way, shape, or form.
Kresge Library, 4th Floor, Ross School of Business
The fourth floor of Kresge might be the biggest hidden gem at the University of Michigan. Not only will you find a perfectly silent environment to study, you will be very comfortable as the seats are completely adjustable and soft. On top of that, the lighting is outstanding and the amount of free space puts the Reference Room in Hatcher to shame. Go here over anywhere else if you live on South Campus. You won’t be disappointed.
The Law Library, University of Michigan Law School
This library is well known for its beautiful murals, gothic feel, and its bizarre similarity to the cafeteria of Hogwarts. Furthermore, it probably isn’t much news to you that this library is where people go to “get work done” (I think a tour guide said that to me). Choosing to study in this library is a great choice if you get there early. Most of us forget that come finals time, the Law Library reserves half of its seats for Law students only. Thus, as an undergrad, you will end up hopelessly looking for a seat if you get there even the slightest bit late (12 O’ Clock plus, yeah I know). While I personally find the Law Library’s environment to be inspiring, I will only study there during finals week if I get up early. Something many of us do not like doing.
Reading Room, Hatcher Graduate Library
When entering Hatcher from the Diag do not go upstairs to the reference room or the stacks. Rather, go to the reading room on the first floor and find a seat. Most people have never even heard of this space, but don’t tell anyone about your newfound spot. This place is another hidden gem on Central Campus that must be preserved. You will thank me later.
Study Halls, Rackham Graduate School
The Rackham Graduate School features three study spaces which are silent and incredibly comfortable. If you plan on using your laptop when studying, then head into either the West or East study lounges. However, if you are looking for a place to read in utter silence, then head to the reading room where no electronics are permitted. For those of you who don’t know where this building is, just stand in the Diag and look towards the flag pole; yeah it’s that giant white building in the distance.
Side Note: Don’t Study in The Stacks or The Reference Room
You are probably wondering why I don’t recommend either the stacks or the reference room, and it really hinges on the fact that neither of these environments can be considered silent. Emily Coyle, fellow Consider Blog Contributor, illustrates the problems associated with studying in the stacks extensively in her recent blog post. Thus, I recommend reading Emily’s article if you don’t want to accept my word on faith. Nevertheless, I have disliked the reference room ever since the first time I attempted to study there. Not only are the tables way too high, the chairs are beyond uncomfortable and the door at the entrance makes a loud click every time someone enters or exits the room; and this happens a lot. Hence, avoid these spaces at all costs.
While I never lived on North Campus, I have taken my fair share of classes in Computer Science up there; hence, I have become acquainted with North Campus’s study spaces as I used to spend a great deal of time coding in the “Dude”. While the Dude is a monstrosity of a library, you may be surprised to discover that only two areas are designated “silent study areas”. Nevertheless, if you live on North and need a place to study in silence, then go to the Duderstadt’s basement. It is arguably better than the 4th Floor of Kresge Library due to its close proximity to both Mujo’s and UGo’s. Thus, this study space not only offers you complete silence and comfort, you are merely a two second elevator ride to coffee and food.
East Side 2nd Floor, Duderstadt
Much like the basement, the East Side of the 2nd Floor of Duderstadt offers students silence and comfort when studying. I recommend getting to the “Dude” a bit early and grabbing a spot in this area as space is limited. However, it will be well worth losing the extra minutes of sleep as the basement can be depressing due to the absence of windows. Hence, if you are lucky enough to get a spot here, then you will be blessed with views of the outdoors on top of all the benefits associated with the basement. What more could one need during finals week?
By: Jeremy Lash
(Photo by MC Quinn under a Creative Commons License)