Study Spots on Campus Explained with Emojis

The studying reality changes in college. Before I just assumed I would study in my room. I mean, it’s what I did in high school, and it worked pretty well. Then I actually got to college and had my first ever roommate! That’s right folks, I had never shared my room until my freshman year of college.

She was a random roommate, so I didn’t know her that well. We got along, but we certainly weren’t BFF material. Realization set in: it’s hard to study in a room with someone else in it. It wasn’t her fault. My concentration just wasn’t on calculus. It was on the food she was making or the perfume she was spraying.

Luckily, UW Madison does not lack places to study. There’s over forty libraries on campus, plus all the other nooks and crannies you can find. Each study spot has its perks, and it might take a while before you find “the one”. You’ll know the one when you find it.  Time basically stops and you will have gotten more done in an hour than you did the past two days combined.

Here’s a breakdown of the four most popular study spots with each spot’s perks and downfalls explained using everyone’s favorite language, emojis.

1. College aka Helen C. White Library

Perks:

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Sit by the massive windows facing Lake Mendota for some of the best views on campus and to de-stress whenever you look up from your notes.

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College was made for marathon library sessions. Get your mid-afternoon (or midnight) pick-me-up at the cafe located on the first floor they also sell grab-and-go snack items!

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Downfalls:

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Watch your battery life. It’s really hard to find a place to sit that also has a nearby outlet. I expect an outlet war to break out there any year now.

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Most sections are designated as loud. If you are trying to read or get some serious work done the temptation to people watch can make it hard to concentrate.

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2. The SAC aka The Student Activity Center

Perks:

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The SAC has many different kinds of study areas. You could sit at a table, a desk, a couch, a cubicle, or even on a giant carpeted stair case. Choose your own study adventure.

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You can eat at the SAC. There’s even a microwave for you to use on the third floor. Don’t worry if you forgot your own snack; you can get something at the vending machines.

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Downfalls:

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It always seems to be a million degrees. Definitely wear layers in the winter so you can take off your bulky sweatshirt.

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It can get really crowded. Like walking around two or three times to find a seat crowded. However, this usually only happens during peak library times.

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3. Steenbock Library

Perks:

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There are superb cubbies to submerge yourself in if you like to be isolated when you study. Literally forget everything else but Biology exists for a couple hours.

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A computer lab located on the first floor that has (you guessed it) computers, printers, and scanners. The computers have a ton of software downloaded on them you might need for your coursework.

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Downfalls:

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Most sections are designated quiet study areas. No picking up that call from mom in the middle of memorizing your flashcards.

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With the comfy cubbies and designated quiet areas dozing off becomes a reality.

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4. Memorial Library

Perks:

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Holy outlets, Batman! You will not be left wandering around looking for a spot where you can charge your laptop. Outlets practically grow out of the walls.

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I know I already said that Steenbock had great cubbies, but Memorial takes it to a new level. They’re called the “cages”. You can actually lock yourself into them if you please. No external stimuli will be bothering you here.

Downfalls:

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I’ll admit, I kinda cheated using this emoji. Just an FYI, Memorial doesn’t allow food. Hunger pains may drive you out of the library at any time.

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If you are a late-night study-er, maybe skip Memorial. It’s only open until midnight.

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Don’t worry if none of these libraries appeal to you. Or if some of the perks are actually downfalls for you, or vise versa. Not every student is going to study great in every environment. Check out some of the other libraries on campus to find the perfect mix of what you need. You can sort by subject, hours, and other features! And let me know if you would like to see any other study spots added to the list! I haven’t even used all the emojis yet.

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