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OPINION: No more gatekeeping the best study spots

As a “studious fool,” I value having quiet studying places that allow me to focus while still enjoying the environment I’m in, whether that be indoor or outdoors.

There are many variables to consider when searching for a designated study zone: nearby caffeine, outlets to charge electronics and a peaceful atmosphere. No study spot has all three and that’s okay.

USF offers students with many seating options on campus that are just begging to be used for reading or studying. 

Here are some of my personal favorite study spots on campus beyond the halls of the USF library:

Empty table tucked in a corner behind Student Services. ORACLE PHOTO/LIV BAKER

Nook next to Student Services

Outdoor tables are my favorite for reading or studying, unfortunately the weather does not always permit this but when it does this is my go-to table.

This first spot is so hidden and overlooked that this table is almost always empty. However it’s not totally secluded, which is perfect for if you are like me and enjoy eavesdropping on student’s phone calls on the way to classes.

Benches at the bottom level of the MUMA. ORACLE PHOTO/LIV BAKER

MUMA basement

As a frequenter of the business building, I can attest that the layout is headache-inducing. Once I got over the confusion and vertigo that is the MUMA building, I realized that the building offers a variety of study spots in its lower level.

Benches line the basement of MUMA, the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the building. 

The strip leading to the east entrance of the education building. ORACLE PHOTO/LIV BAKER

Stretch of benches by EDU building

This site has a pathetic reason for making this list, it was the midway rest point between my dorm and MUMA when I lived on campus. 

This place is where I recognized the importance of wearing walking shoes to college, but it could also be argued that had I worn the right footwear, I never would have found this spot.

I love the location because the area has optimal sound ambiance, as chattering passer-byers prevent me from being able to hear my own thoughts too loudly.

Even on the most humid of days, this spot is without a doubt one of the prettiest nestled spots on campus. 

An empty classroom with available tables in the MUMA building. ORACLE PHOTO/LIV BAKER

Empty Classrooms

Hear me out with this one. I know classrooms are associated with class time, duh, but there’s something about an empty classroom that puts me in the mindset to lock in and focus. 

I actually get a thrill from studying in an empty classroom. Maybe it’s the availability of electrical outlets, or being able to kick my feet up on the seat in front of me, maybe it’s just that I’m gambling my chances that a professor is gonna walk in and tell me that this is their classroom and I need to leave.

I would advise to avoid studying in an empty classroom if the ticking of a clock is irritating, sometimes this constant noise can be genuinely triggering.

Round table seating at Argos. ORACLE PHOTO/LIV BAKER

Argos Exchange

Argos is ideal for the snacker and chronic bathroom user, like myself. 

Everytime I step foot in this building I have to get my regular iced chai and chocolate chip cookie, because everyone knows having a little treat makes studying more tolerable. 

Argos offers students plenty of seating and food options, and is the perfect spot for those who prefer studying in large groups.

View of the bloomed pergolas near MLK Plaza. ORACLE PHOTO/LIV BAKER

MLK Plaza

This last spot is my favorite because it allows for people and duck watching during ‘brain breaks.’ I also love how adjacent this spot is to the MLK fountain, where there’s plenty of student activity.

The shade of the fairytale-like pergolas compensates for the lack of table space, take my word for it.