If you are like I was in first year, then you may be intimidated by the library and its many choices for types of studying. I had a roommate, which meant studying in my room became distracting, and studying in the library became the more realistic option. For much of first semester, I simply procrastinated studying, but this was damaging to my marks. Instead, I found my study sanctuary on the silent floors of my school’s library; however, this is not for everyone, as often, spending long periods of time in the library can lead to a study burnout! While there are many other factors affecting decisions for how best to study, generally I make a decision based around the three main sections of libraries: the silent floors, the quiet areas, and the group study floors.

Silent Floors

These floors are for those who work best in complete silence or with music played through headphones. It is expected on these floors that we won’t answer phone calls (believe me, this happens more often than you might think), or play music so loudly that others can hear it. If you want to study on a silent floor, be prepared to move to the staircase when eating a crunchy lunch and to deal with other students who choose not to follow these unspoken rules.

Quiet Areas

These areas are meant for collaboration and some chatter regarding projects, but just as on the silent floors, not everyone wants to hear gossip about your boyfriend’s mom’s friend’s cat. Save group conversations for the group study floors. These areas also require headphones for music and phone calls to be taken elsewhere. Quiet areas are generally more accepting of eating crunchy foods without leaving the area, but to study here, students must respect that this is NOT a group study or silent study floor.

Group Study Floors

This floor is for sharing ideas and working with friends; talking at a conversational rate is preferred. Check here for some great tips for working on this floor as a group. If you study best surrounded by chatter, this floor is perfect for you! Just make sure you don’t take up an entire group study table, and be sure to let others sit with you as tables fill quickly. As always, make sure to study with headphones if working alone. Even though this is the loudest floor, not everyone wants to hear your music, even if you think they might like it. This should be saved for private spaces.

These are all great study spaces any day of the week, but from student to student, my tip is to visit on the weekends. These spaces are mostly all empty (less so during exams) and can provide the kind of low-stress environment needed while studying. Another great option is to visit a public library to provide options off campus.

As with everything, to each their own. Use these tips to decide which kind of study area would work best for you, and make it into your own.

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