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Best Places to Study on Campus

William Ferguson studying outside STU.

Midterms are upon us! Whether you’re cramming for your exams or brushing up on the basics, odds are you’re spending an ever-more dedicated amount of your time polishing the information in your brain right now.

There are so many study styles, from social to solo. No matter how you prefer to brush up on your education, MTSU’s campus has a ton of great spots that are worth checking out.

STUDENT UNION BUILDING

Student Union Building (Photo: Darby McCarthy)

(Photo: Darby McCarthy)

Located on the eastern side of MTSU’s campus, the Student Union Building is a hub for study spots. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong here. There are outdoor patios on every level of the building that provide casual people watching breaks in between cram sessions. There are plenty of spaces indoors, too. Beyond the well-known dining areas, on the second floor is a cozy room with a fireplace that’s first come, first served.

Convenient for anyone who spends a lot of time in/around: rec center, honors building, COE, Scarlett Commons apartments

Pros: food in the same building, bookstore in the same building, near to red and blue bus route stops.

Cons: farther distance from the classic side of campus, more people are aware of the options provided by this building so securing your favorite spot is a touch more competitive, louder atmosphere (if you prefer a quieter place).

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 9p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

WALKER LIBRARY

James E. Walker Library (Photo: Darby McCarthy)

(Photo: Darby McCarthy)

James E. Walker Library has many locations within its walls and options for whatever kind of studying you need to do. It is the most intuitive choice for anyone coming to MTSU with the intent to study. The library offers Zoom rooms and study rooms, but you can also just grab a seat in any of the floors main sitting areas, so long as you’re quiet and respectful of the other students around you.

Most of these options are meant for individual studiers, but the fourth floor has a general study space where you and your friends can hit the books together, so long as you don’t get too loud.

Convenient for anyone who spends a lot of time in/around: Bragg, Deere Hall, Nick Hall, BAS, COE, LRC, or the new Science Building.

Pros: Computers, printers, dependably quiet, reservable rooms for guaranteed space, Starbucks on the first floor, centrally located on campus.

Cons: The study rooms are not sound-proofed and the internet connection in the Zoom rooms could use improvement. All volume-dependent assignments should probably be tackled elsewhere.

Hours of operation: Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.

WALNUT GROVE

Walnut Grove (Photo: Darby McCarthy)

(Photo: Darby McCarthy)

If you prefer a solar recharge in your study routine, there are tons of outdoor locations free and available to use. Walnut Grove is especially great because it comes with a remarkable view and plenty of room. This is the field traditionally used for tailgating, after all.

This location is one of the best spots on the west side of campus.

Walnut Grove is also home to MTSU’s lucky horseshoe, which can’t hurt when mentally prepping for major tests.

Convenient for anyone who spends a lot of time in/around: Peck Hall, JUB, KOM, Lyon Hall, Monohan Hall, Rutledge Hall, Todd art building, Wiser-Patten Science Hall

Pros: Lots of space, near to a red/blue bus stop, fine for group study or solo study, no need to reserve the space ahead of time.

Cons: Windy days and rainy days can be more challenging.

THE NEW ACB (ACADEMIC CLASSROOM BUILDING)

Academic Classrooms Building (Photo: Darby McCarthy)

(Photo: Darby McCarthy)

If you’re the sort of person who wants to hide in plain sight, nestling into a bright corner of the shiny new Academic Classroom Building might be what you want to do. The building was finished just last year and is home to much of the Psychology Department. However, you don’t have to be in that field to utilize the space for learning. Every floor has a lobby area that is always a respectably quiet volume. This is not the study setting for gabby groups.

COE

College of Education (Photo: Darby McCarthy)

(Photo: Darby McCarthy)

This is a hidden gem of a location. The COE has a lobby that feels very fresh and modern, in a way that is not at all distracting. Head to the second floor, and if you so choose you may go out to the balcony for your Zoom meetings and essay typing. The balcony is covered, so a little rain won’t be able to slow you down, unless it is paired with a particularly windy spell.

There are outlets for charging your technology available outside, but the outlets there aren’t always reliable. This may be important to factor depending on your computer’s battery life and the volume of work you have to do. However, if much of your necessities involve classic textbook reading, this could be a perfect place.

Convenient for anyone who spends a lot of time in/around: Cummings Hall, BAS, Bragg, LRC, Corlew Hall

Pros: Lesser known study spot (less competitive seating), quiet but a tame group could make themselves at home studying here.

Cons: Not near western dorms, not a ton of spaces if everyone did suddenly begin to take advantage of this space.

SCIENCE BUILDING

Science Building Photo: Darby McCarthy

(Photo: Darby McCarthy)

The new Science building is a great study spot for even those who aren’t enrolled in the study of sciences. The lower level has a good amount of spaced out group seating options, as does the second floor. The layout of the building feels different than many of the others on campus. If you seek roominess to your environment, this is the place for you.

Convenient for anyone who spends a lot of time in/around: Woodmore, Judd Hall, Gracy Hall, Beasley Hall, Sims Hall, Smith Hall, LRC, Davis Science Building, Deere Hall, Nicks Hall

Pros: Not as populated but plenty of space, a fine choice for group-study preferences, near the library and Starbucks

Cons: Not near to convenient parking unless you have a red or a white pass

KEATHLEY UNIVERSITY CENTER (KUC)

Keathley University Center (Photo: Darby McCarthy)

(Photo: Darby McCarthy)

Home to Dwight’s Mini Mart, McCallie’s Dining Hall, and counseling services, the KUC is an excellent choice to go and park yourself for a full day. It’s a building with a lot of history – one of the oldest on campus – and it’s pretty centrally located.

There are lots of seating options, but they can tend to fill up quickly!

Convenient for anyone who spends a lot of time in/around: LRC, Davis Science Building, Todd Hall, Wiser-Patten Science Hall, ROTC Hall, Jones Hall, BDA, Wright Music Building, Saunders Fine Arts Building, Corlew Hall, Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building, KOM, Peck Hall

Pros: Location, access to food, good for people-watching and ambient noise.

Cons: The Wi-Fi can be spotty in places, lots of people are aware of this space so there may be more competition for your favorite spots.

MCCALLIE’S DINING HALL

McCallie's (Photo: Darby McCarthy)

(Photo: Darby McCarthy)

McCallie’s recently found a new home last year. Though it’s technically a part of the KUC, it deserves its own specific mention because you do have to pay to get in, but the view and the value are undeniably good.

Convenient for anyone who spends a lot of time in/around: LRC, Davis Science Building, Todd Hall, Wiser-Patten Science Hall, ROTC Hall, Jones Hall, BDA, Wright Music Building, Saunders Fine Arts Building, Corlew Hall, Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building, KOM, Peck Hall

Pros: Buffet-style eating, food aplenty, people who prefer talking and ambient background noise will find it here, centrally located.

Cons: Have to pay to enter, Wi-Fi is a bit slower here.

Hours of operation: Breakfast: Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Saturday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Lunch: Monday to Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dinner: Monday through Thursday and Sunday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

And that’s the unofficial guide to some ideal getaways for those of us who are (or prefer to be) campus-bound! What do you think? Did I miss any? Have you discovered any of these for yourself? Let me know your own favorite corners of campus.

Note: the ACB is not listed, but the building is located in the construction area denoted on this map just northwest of the STU.

Author Darby McCarthy is currently an undergraduate student at MTSU, majoring in Journalism in the College of Media and Entertainment. The views and opinions expressed above are her own.


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