Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Five great study spaces

When asked what one of the fundamental issues within UTSC’s student services is, the answers usually circulate within one sphere of nagging and complaints. My number one is a crowd favorite: Study Space! Or rather, lack of it. I have found myself whining so much about my inability to study properly on campus, that once I got over the complete shock of actually WANTING to study, I decided to jot down a list of place I believe would benefit the greater populace here at Scarbs. These are study areas that are tolerable during the DAY as well as after hours. Commuter students have the chance to get some work done in an environment that isn’t as hustling and bustling as Hogwarts.  You may find that may of my suggestions require sitting on the floor, or stealing chairs and couches. Fear not, what is education without mild theft here and there? We’re in Scarborough friends, we must adapt.

Five great study spaces

  •         Quiet study rooms in the MW (now the social sciences wing), they are located on the 3rd and 4th floors. Science students rarely have the opportunity to spend time in the MW, and when they do, they pop in and out of their late night classes as fast as their worn out bodies will take them. The MW has study rooms that are more conducive to concentration than those in the library; heavier doors and thicker walls. If you can manage to grab a spot there early on in a jam packed day, consider yourself lucky, there aren’t many and (guurll) they are POP-U-LAR.

  •        The stacks. Our library is usually crowded and let’s be honest, people book study rooms for many purposes OUTSIDE OF STUDYING. My greatest pet peeve: the lone guy sitting in a 10 person study room going hard at his homework. It’s impressive and inspiring... BUT STOP HOGGING 9 OTHER SEATS. Unless these students are clinically proven to be claustrophobic or something, it is necessary that students NOT be allowed to book the larger study rooms for just them. My personal solution to that is studying upstairs in the stack, and I am often surprised by how few people do the same even during the day. Yes, pop culture teaches us to use the dusty old areas of a library for the best kinds of ‘fun’, but if you can get over whatever may or may not have happened in those stacks last Valentine’s Day, it’s a good idea to give it a whirl. The stacks near the back have a lot of outlets and chairs, and most importantly, IT IS QUIET OVER THERE. You can here a pin drop, you can hear yourself procrastinate and log onto Facebook. It’s actually a wonderful place to study, and keep your productivity in check. Also, you can eat a foot-long sub and not worry about people noticing you chew like and animal and spill ranch sauce or meatballs all over yourself.

Well, if Mr. Prez can do it...

  •           The hallways in the Science Wing. Most students know where these are, the eerie orange lockers (with an unusual amount of anarchist movement stickers and memorabilia on them), and all the clandestine lecture halls reserved mostly for science students, and the occasional French class. It is not the classrooms that are great, but all those wide, open corridors that no one visits unless they absolutely have to. It’s always fruitful to just drag one of the tables from the Meeting place into a hallway, and set up camp there. The general guarantee is that you probably won’t be disturbed, there’s lots of lighting, and once in a while, you may find a leather couch hanging out somewhere near you. DO NOT TAKE A NAP ON IT.

...Unless you're a genius like her and brought a cushion with you
  •         The second/third/fourth floor of the AA building. For some unknowable reason, the Arts and Administration building seems like a gigantic waste of space most of the time. There are too few lecture rooms and too much space for people to dance to Gangnam Style. However, this place is the Narnia of the UTSC campus, the place where a lot of the magic happens and study spaces are available at will! First off, the second floor is  rarely visited after 5 p.m and has benches and floor space that will motivate you to study your life away. The tutorial rooms are usually not locked and can be accessed frequently. Moving on, the upper floors belong to the department of visual and performing arts, you will find little ‘lounges’ where students either chill on couches, study on couches, or sleep on those same couches. The important thing to take away from this is that those areas are ALWAYS QUIET. The hallways are big if you want to just plop down on the floor and get started. On your lucky day, you may even be serenaded by some fantastically talented person practicing their Mozart four rooms away.

  •         Student Lounge. Not the little gamer-corner right upstairs in the student centre, but the corridor to the left, where the health and wellness centre is. Honestly, nobody ever goes there, except for sick students, and pretending-to-be-sick-so-I-can-miss-my-tutorial students. There is a gigantic, unheard of conference room up there that can both be booked, and walked into at any time, especially if you are with a group of friends and need a private space. If not, many students often take a chair or couch from the outside lounge and make their own study space there. Precedent would say that it helps.

Midterm season is fast approaching, for many of us it is already here! It may actually be time for us to accept that we desperately need to crack a book open or maybe log on to portal for the second time this semester. Try checking out these study spots and see if you get any work done there. At the very least, a change may just help our somewhat rusty study habits.


  1. This was great Maha! Your blogs are almost always really helpful and very well written! Keep dishing out the useful tips :)

  2. this week's use of gifs/pics was superb.


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