I came across a few problems after I moved back into my original home. Once I adapted to studying in the silence of my own dorm room (while campus was still open), I ran into the inability to adapt to the environment of my family.
A family of six that resides in a small apartment and a hectic finals week are not an ideal combination. There were multiple instances where my brother’s gaming rage disrupted the silence while I was doing homework. There were multiple times when my parents walked into my room during a Zoom call and asked me to come out and eat while appearing in the background of my screen. A few of those times I was not on mute, so my classmates would hear random Korean words in the midst of the lecture.
The one thing I kept thinking of every time I ran into one of the aforementioned embarrassing moments was the study spots on campus where I was surrounded by fellow college students who were there for the same reasons I was.
One of the most popular places that I found students studying in were, naturally, the libraries. I recommend Orbach Science Library over Tomas Rivera Library due to its close proximity to the freshman dorms and campus apartments. Orbach Library also has more computers and, to be frank, is less scary than the Rivera Library. Rivera is known for its horrific rumors of “haunted study” rooms and broken bathrooms. However, if you enjoy a nice thrilling experience while studying, I implore you to hit the books there. If you want absolute silence, I recommend the second floor of Orbach Library. I learned that people tend to be more talkative and interactive on the first floor. There are even tour guides who visit frequently with their microphones, causing even more noise on the first floor. However, they never come to the second floor, so students can rest easy and enjoy the silence.
If you prefer a social and interactive space as well as a spot with a cafe vibe, I recommend The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at the HUB. A forewarning: the place fills up fairly quickly in terms of seats. Students enjoy the close proximity to coffee, their classes (as the HUB is right in the middle of campus) and the chill cafe vibe it gives out. There is also significantly less seating than the two UCR libraries.
The Glen Mor Market, another popular study spot, is located right next to the Lothian Residence Halls and is only a few minutes away from Orbach Library. In addition to a small eatery and market, it also has a Starbucks so you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee or a small snack with music in the background. This could be your niche while you study. The Glen Mor Market also has an outdoor patio with tables and chairs if there is no room indoors. If you are afraid of the cold there is no need to worry because there are outdoor heaters built onto their ceiling.
Sometimes the comforts of solitude is simply the best way to get your study session flowing. As a freshman, I tried studying everywhere and eventually realized that my niche for studying was my room. Luckily, I did not have a roommate so I had the pleasure of studying as late as I wanted, played whatever music I wanted and threw tantrums whenever studying for hours was getting on my last nerve. But most incoming students aren’t as lucky, so I suggest taking full advantage of the residence halls. Each residence hall has their own computer lab and various lounges, and some lounges are specifically meant for studying. The only thing that is required is your student ID, as all study rooms will require you to scan your card before entering.
Since the transition to online courses has been extended into the fall quarter, instead of struggling to find the perfect study spot for you when you arrive on campus, know what helps you concentrate and find the types of environments that don’t break your study streak whether it be libraries, coffee shops or even your own room.