Alternative Study Spaces

by Caroline Andrews

Stressful times upon us

With midterms abounding, paper deadlines creeping up, and Netflix still existing, many Barnard students need study spaces that provide both a space for focus and an environment that doesn’t heighten the already-too-high stress levels of this time of year. But where can you go when Butler gives you the heebie jeebies and you don’t want to get too emotionally attached to Lehman Library? Here are five lesser known study spots that can help you crack through that next paper.

While the Diana Center offers a great conversation spot in Liz’s Place, and a more focused environment in the third floor reading room, the two lower levels offer a comfy place to dive into a book. The LL2 of the Diana Center has many couches, chairs, and ottomans that provide a great space to work on group projects. Or even a comfy chair to dive into a book while enjoying a snack from the Diana Center Cafe. While the lower levels are not the place for quiet studying, it is a great place to unwind and chat while trying to get through a few pages of reading.

Mmmm, coffee…

Another great spot for the scholar who enjoys some chit chat is Max Caffe on the corner of Amsterdam and 122 Street. If you are willing to splurge on a nice cup of coffee, and endure the walk from the quad on a chilly day, you are in for a treat at this cozy spot. With an independent coffee-house vibe and friendly service, Max Caffe is a nice retreat from campus while still being able to power through a problem set while enjoying a cappuccino.

If you are looking for a traditional library but would rather not make the rounds through butler in an anxious search for a table, three great alternatives are the NoCo library, the Teacher’s College library, and Uris Library. NoCo, on the corner of 120 and Broadway, offers spacious cubicles, bountiful monitors, and a great view of Riverside Church from their tables on the second floor of the library. Similarly, the Teacher’s College is a quiet, generally not overly crowded, study space with helpful librarians and a convenient Everett Library Cafe for a quick study break snack. Finally, Uris Business Library, right behind Low Library on Columbia’s campus, is the perfect spot for the studier that wants a focused environment but not complete silence. This library has study rooms for group work, balconies with great chairs for snuggling with a book, and larger tables for working on papers and problem sets.

Hopefully with these extra study spots in your repertoire. The next time you are about to have your third slumber party with Butler this week, you can have the change of atmosphere you need to power through this mid semester slump.

Image courtesy of stumble.upon and

Caroline Andrews is a Staff Writer for the Nine Ways of Knowing


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