During the first year of college it is easy to fall into a rut of spending 80 percent of your time outside of class in the comfortable niche of your dorm room. During an hour gap between classes, you can still manage to walk back to your room and take a nap or watch a show before heading back out.

If you live off campus, however, it seems less worthwhile to go back home, so I have tried to take advantage of the surprisingly large campus that UCR has. Hopefully my investigation will pique your interest to explore UCR for the best study spots, napping nooks and even more-bearable bathrooms to check out.

Study Spots

First off, level up … literally. When it comes to outdoor study spots, places like the HUB have a nice open space where people are always gathered eating, studying and socializing. But if you move your eyes up slightly, there are more tables on the second floor where the view is a little grander and the amount of people and noise … less grand. While you’re already near the HUB, check out the inside study lounges as well.

On the second floor, there are booths and tables with better Internet access. For less noise and less of the Panda Express fragrance, you can walk a bit further down the hall of the second floor to find more seating where there’s fewer people. I have recently discovered a couple of gardens with memorial benches, which are perfect for those of you that want to feel a little more in-tune with nature while you study.

Some memorial gardens are located around the Rivera library and by the Arts building. In addition, the upper balcony of Bourns Hall is nicely adorned with foliage for a study space that’s easy on the eyes. If you are looking for a cooler place, temperature-wise, the ground floor of the Materials Science and Engineering Building is the perfect place to retreat to.

Napping Areas

We’ve all experienced staying up for many hours browsing our Facebook feeds, catching up on Netflix or sometimes actually studying, not thinking ahead to our early morning class the next day. For those days when you just need to close your eyes before your next class, the HUB area might just take the crown for the best indoor napping area. On the second level of the cylindrical building is the lounge.

Walking in, you are surrounded with couches to sink into that face the windows, and it’s less social compared to its rowdier counterpart upstairs. There are plenty of outlets and it’s definitely worth checking out for the commuters out there. On the third floor hallway, there are long padded seats that, if you are lucky enough to snag all for yourself, could be a quiet place to catch some shut-eye.

Feeling adventurous and outdoorsy? With the weather cooling down slightly, it might be time to start taking a look at the grassy options that UCR offers. The upper balconies of the Arts building or the grass courtyard of the Business building are rather spacious making it a relaxing place to sprawl out and take a break.


Going to the bathroom is inevitable if you’re on campus for the entire day. Whether you’re washing your hands or doing whatever it is you need to do, no one actually enjoys entering the overcrowded, line-ridden bathrooms that reek. Except maybe for those occasional laughs you get from reading the back of a bathroom stall door.

Regardless, for some, it matters which bathroom you choose. If you’re having a bad day and you choose the wrong (and grosser) bathroom that ran out of toilet paper or only has half of the stalls functioning, it can really put a damper on your day.

To be frank, some of the bathrooms on campus are pretty disgusting and even creepy with the double doors enclosing a tiny, mysterious room with strange sounds and seemingly permanently broken stalls. Granted, most of you won’t be making a trek across campus just to get to the ‘best of the best’ of the bathrooms, but if you’re nearby, here are some of the cleaner and less crowded locations.

Check out the ground level of the Materials Science and Engineering Building or the third floor of the HUB to avoid the slow moving parade of students during lunch hour. If you are in the further part of campus, opt for the Psychology building where paper towels and toilet paper are always freshly stocked for your convenience.

In the end it is up to you and how you feel that day. Despite these great study and lounge spots, I sometimes find myself hiding away in one of the couches in the Humanities building where I typically wait for my counselor, or on a bench in Sproul Hall’s interior courtyard. But I guess that’s the perk of having such a large campus: it has lots nooks and crannies where you can comfortably read, study or take a breather. I encourage you all to stroll a little bit further and look a little higher the next time you are on campus and find somewhere new to get on your study grind.