Everyone knows how tiring Marston and Library West can get. When you really need to focus, a stimulating environment is key. For the best study spots on campus, here’s where to go.
Located under the French Fries, “The Dungeon” is a hidden study gem in the Computer Science building, room E114. You can grab a coffee at Marston’s Starbucks on your way there, but drink it before you go downstairs. Comical drawings of torches are taped to the walls, above all the Linux and Windows computers. You can expect to see a lot of computer science and engineering students typing lines of code on their screens.
The Dungeon has three rooms, and at least one of them is almost always unoccupied. Noise levels range from silent to loud, depending on what people are working on. Regardless, it’s chill and cozy, and there are even some whiteboards to work out those longer problems. Everyone is in “focus mode,” so it’s a perfect place to crack down and get productive. It's also where you can get some great programming help from fellow coders.
You can find Pugh Hall on Buckman Drive, right across from Turlington Hall. It’s a lecture/study hall with plenty of space to stretch out and get comfortable. There are a lot of little study nooks with cozy seating that are great if you want to lie down while you study. Pugh has a lot of different levels, with quaint corners that work well for solo or group work. It’s quiet, but not too quiet, so if you want a laid-back atmosphere, Pugh Hall is the place for you.
It may seem out of the ordinary to have a chapel as a study spot, but the Baughman Center near Lake Alice is too peaceful to pass up. During the week, the doors are left unlocked, and it’s usually empty, except for the occasional piano player. The interior is gorgeous, with huge, geometric windows letting sunshine spill in, and stunning views of Lake Alice and the surrounding nature. You can set up at one of the pews and study in serenity. Lots of people like to meditate here, so if you’re stressed about some upcoming assignments, Baughman can help take the edge off.
George A. Smathers Libraries
Tired of Marston and Library West? Try Smathers! It’s right next to Library West, and it’s nowhere near as crowded or distracting. Smathers is a bit older, and much quieter. When you walk in, it’s like you’re transported back in time, or into a Harry Potter movie. The high ceilings, large beams, artwork, and furniture have an antiquated vibe, and the large tables have lots of space to spread out and work. Smathers also has the Judaica Suite, which houses old and rare literature, and has gorgeous stained glass windows and tall bookshelves. It’s completely quiet and practically empty all the time, since everyone assumes Library West is the place to be. Smathers provides you with a unique ambience in a relaxed environment, just steps away from your next class.
The Big Steps at Reitz Union
You’ve probably seen those big, grassy steps at Reitz from the bus stop before and wondered how to get across that pond. If you go inside Reitz to the first floor and make your outside, you can go down to those steps and enjoy the fresh air. This spot looks over Green Pond and it’s a calm, tranquil location that’s good for reading, studying, relaxing, or even napping… On sunny days, you may even be able to catch a tan while you gaze upon the pond and the towering trees. Despite the large amount of space, the steps remain vacant, for the most part. It’s also a nice place to eat lunch and revise notes before class, considering all the restaurants inside of Reitz.
This spacious courtyard is nestled right beside Matherly Hall, and offers lots of picnic benches to sit and relax or have a bite to eat before heading off to another lecture. There are lots of trees that give the area amazing shade, making it a chill spot to hang out at in the hotter months. The nature also provides a nice view, and cute squirrels are always scampering and jumping from tree to tree. This location is also quite centrical, being a 5-minute walk from Turlington Hall and just a few steps from Library West. Bathrooms are conveniently located nearby, as well as a couple of vending machines.
Fine Arts Courtyard
Another calm and semi-hidden location on campus is the courtyard by the Fine Arts buildings. There’s no name for it on the campus map, but right between the three Fine Arts buildings (A, B, and C), there’s an open courtyard with nice trees, picnic benches, and lots of shade. It’s much more spacious than you’d expect, and not many people frequent the location. It’s right by 13th Street, so it’ll be easy to navigate anywhere else once you go.
Between Broward Dining and Little Hall is the large stretch of green grass that is Architecture Park. It provides a peaceful view from the Architecture Building, whether you’re at the large, paved courtyard, or inside the 24/7 computer lab. During the day, you can catch lots of students lying in hammocks, hanging from trees at Architecture Park, or laying out mats to do a bit of yoga. If you’d rather be inside, the Architecture Building has a lot of places to sits, with huge glass windows to let light in. Sometimes you may even see architecture students working on their building or design projects.
Across the street from Marston Library, near Century Tower, there is UF’s Music Building. Here, you can find numerous places to sit, study, and hang out. The construction of the building allows for open-air seating, letting you feel simultaneously inside and outside. When it rains, the water falls in the middle of the building, so you can watch the rain, but still be comfortable and under cover. Oftentimes, you’ll be able to hear musicians practicing and playing their instruments, which can be very soothing during a study session.