My Favorite Campus Study Spots

Blog Post

Touchdown Anna L.

In my time at Cornell, I have found that the effectiveness of my study sessions absolutely hinges on the atmosphere of wherever I’m working. Romanticizing my studying experience has done wonders for my academic stamina.

That said, finding the spots that work for you takes a lot of trial and error . Everyone has very strong opinions on where they like to work, and I wanted to share my carefully curated list of campus study spots that I particularly enjoy.

My study spots vary a lot based on the kind of work that I need to get done. When I’m doing really intense studying, I opt for the Baker Lobby. This is definitely an unpopular opinion, but I find that the Baker Lobby atmosphere gets me in the mood for some hardcore STEM-ing. The tables are big and allow you to spread out, and more often than not (depending on when the next Baker 200 lecture is), it’s pretty quiet. I like to correlate my study spaces with the subject I’m studying, so while I never did much FWS work in the Baker lobby, I practically lived there while taking Orgo.

An external shot of Baker Hall in the fall. As the sun goes down, the building has a warm glow.

Another spot that I really enjoy is Gates Hall, specifically the first floor. This is a place I like to go when I want a little bit of background noise, a lot of natural light and the best coffee and pastries on campus. The first floor of Gates hosts a Gimme! Coffee, and when I need a little treat, it never disappoints. You have to come early enough to snag a table, but I really feel like I can spread my things out and get some solid work hours in.

It’s hard for me to reveal my next location, and it’s tempting to gatekeep it, but I feel a moral obligation to inform the public about the very best study spot on campus. The Alternatives Library in Anabel Taylor Hall is by far my favorite place to sit down and get to work. It is homey and quiet, and the atmosphere can only be described as your local children’s library. There is tea available and cozy seating.

A student sits in a big comfy chair by the return area of the Alternatives Library.

If you’re wondering about libraries, I haven’t forgotten about them — I just find that the more years I spend at Cornell, the less inclined I am to study there (with Mann as an exception). I am someone who needs a wide breadth of study locations, and I have found that having many spots on campus with many different atmospheres works best for me. However, study location is a very personal decision, and if you’re a die-hard library kind of person, I can respect that. I hope this was a helpful list, and you find as much joy in these study spots as I have. Happy studying!