If you’re a student at the University of Texas at Austin, then you know all of the hotspots for studying around campus: Perry-Castaneda Library, The Union, Medici Roasting, Flawn Academic Center, etc. There’s only one problem— you’re never the only one planning to spend your Monday morning at the PCL or a couple of hours at a coffee shop after classes. These places get crowded fast, and it can be difficult to find an open spot and get work done with all the extra noise.
I asked around and did some branching out this week to compose a list of some underrated study nooks on campus. Here’s my top 10 picks for the best “secret” study spots at UT.
1. Life Sciences Library
Let’s start with the libraries. The Perry-Castaneda Library is the largest and most visited library on campus. With six floors, you would think you wouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to sit on a weekday afternoon… wrong. There are lots of other great libraries on the UT campus, such as the Life Sciences Library. One of my friends described this space as having a “Hogwartsy vibe” and after visiting, I can confirm that is 100% true. Located on the second floor of the Main Building, this library is open most days until 5pm and usually has plenty of available seats.
2. Architecture and Planning Library
Another location is the Architecture and Planning Library in Battle Hall. This historic building has several long tables and excellent lighting, making it a great late-night study spot.
3. PCL 3rd and 4th Floors
The third and fourth floors of the Perry-Castaneda Library are actually pretty great if you’re trying to get some independent studying done. Most people crowd on the fifth and sixth floors, so it can get pretty tricky to find seating up there, but if you don’t mind working in silence, the lower floors are perfect for distraction-free zones.
4. Major Building
Did you know that UT students have 24/7 access to their major’s building? All you have to do is enter through the building’s “celebrated entrance” using your UT ID. This ensures that only students have access in order to enhance the safety of studying after hours. These buildings are a great place to study in the evenings, especially since you’ll find that many students are at the PCL, Union and other popular study places late at night.
5. Lucky Lab
I’m a heavy coffee drinker, so I’ve already tried most of the coffee shops on the drag and on campus. Although Medici Roasting might be my favorite place to get coffee, it certainly gets tough to find somewhere to sit. The coffee at Lucky Lab is great as well, and for an added bonus, there are several tables outside to sit and study.
6. Engineering and Education Research Center
I’ve heard good things about studying at the Engineering and Education Research Center. This building is stunning and has big, beautiful windows that let in plenty of natural light. The facility has study rooms, project labs, and multiple tables, desks and comfy couches to use.
7. Welch Hall
Welch Hall is right off of Speedway and has both indoor and outdoor study spots. Once the weather cools down a bit more, there are plenty of covered tables in the courtyard that are great. If you prefer studying indoors, however, there are options for that as well.
8. Norman Hackerman Building
The Norman Hackerman Building has lots of open tables and lots of windows overlooking campus. This location is a lovely place to study and isn’t too packed.
9. Empty Classrooms
Many people don’t think to study in empty classrooms. If you’re doing late-night or weekend studying, most classrooms are unlocked and unoccupied. As long as you are courteous and leave the room in the condition you found it, empty classrooms are a great place to study.
10. Dorm Study Rooms
For those of you living on campus, take advantage of the study lounges in your dorm! If you’re like me and have trouble studying inside of your dorm room, study lounges are a convenient place to camp out. My dorm has a study lounge on each floor, which is awesome for nights I don’t want to leave the building. The study lounge on my floor isn’t too crowded and usually pretty quiet, so I am able to get a lot done when I’m there.
If you plan to study anywhere on or off campus in the evenings, be sure to bring a study buddy living in or around your building, or take advantage of the safety resources offered at UT. SURE Walk and UT Night Rides are great resources that provide ways for you to get back to your home— on or off campus— as safely as possible.
Featured image by Nicholas Muniz