Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Patricia Chen ’20

Vancouver, WA • Neuroscience View Profile

A Beginner's Guide to Study Spaces During Midterms

Midterm season is perhaps the most stressful time of the year. Unlike finals, midterms are not accompanied by a gracious reading period, which is the final week before exams when classes are not in session.

As a result, students fight the universal battle of effectively managing regular coursework, extracurricular activities and test preparation. On top of everything, there’s the need to practice self-care, including eating regularly and getting enough sleep, for peak performance on the day of the test.

It’s a lot to ask from anyone. But there’s something unexpected about studying that comes from all the chaos.

I like to study in public places. There is a sense of camaraderie in a crowded study room, knowing that everyone is going through the same experience and working towards similar goals. However, with more than 5,000 undergraduates scrambling to find study spaces, popular locations fill up quickly. In the early days, this left me stranded with no place to go.

So, I started exploring, stepping into uncharted territory, visiting buildings that I would normally never have a reason to enter. Over time, I’ve collected quite a list of nontraditional study spaces. But for now,  I’ll just give you a couple of examples of what I believe to be the most underrated study spaces on campus.

Woolworth Music Building

If you’re not a music major or an arts student, chances are you didn’t even know this building existed. Nestled under the shadow of the Frist Campus Center and among the trees near Prospect House, Woolworth is a perfect space if you’re looking for a smaller crowd. Inside the Mendel Music Library are cubicles and, though not many, spacious tables. This is my favorite study spot when I need room to lay out all my work.

Lewis Center for the Arts Complex

This brand-new building on campus channels a contemporary look. Although the place wasn’t designed to be a study space, Lewis Arts Complex has artsy and comfortable seating areas, perfect for the kind of work that only requires a laptop. Make sure to check out the small library on the 6th floor of the Arts Tower. This space, which looks like it came straight out of the Disney movie "Beauty and the Beast," boasts a legendary view with an intimate feel of being surrounded by books.