Most students this semester are participating in online classes from their homes and are seeking new areas to engage in classes and coursework.
Students shared their favorite places on campus to study and attend virtual classes along with tips for coping with virtual learning.
Third floor balcony of the Brown-Lupton University Union
Cristian Padilla, a senior economics and political science double major, said the balcony on the third floor of the Brown-Lupton University Union is his preferred place to study on campus.
He said it is typically unoccupied by other students, quiet and offers a stunning view of the Campus Commons.
While seniors are not required to live on campus, Padilla is the assistant hall director in Waits Hall so he spends much of his time on campus.
Online learning has not changed the way Padilla studies, but it has affected where he chooses to study. He finds doing classwork away from his dorm breaks up the monotony he is experiencing this semester as a result of virtual classes.
To compensate for the significant time she spends indoors and on a computer screen this semester, Mya Estrada, a sophomore strategic communication and writing double major, said she enjoys reading and doing classwork in the Commons.
Estrada described the Commons as her ideal place to study because it is peaceful and offers a much-needed opportunity to step away from her laptop.
Estrada recalls information best when she copies notes from her computer into a notebook. With her notes, she no longer depends on internet connectivity or a sufficient laptop charge, so she is able to be flexible with where she studies for classes.
Carmen Vermillion, a first-year music major with an emphasis in vocal performance, also chooses to use the Commons as a place to study. For Vermillion, the background noise from other students and the sound of the water from Frog Fountain enhances her focus.
“Weird Study Spots”
Jess Meyers, a junior nursing major, began to explore locations beyond the library to do homework as a first-year.
She eventually added an Instagram story highlight to her page titled “Jess’s Weird Study Spot of the Day,” featuring 50 non-conventional places to study across campus, including staircases and on top of trees.
Meyers received many positive comments regarding the stories, so during her sophomore year, she created a new highlight to compare these locations titled “Study Spot Showdown.”
“The winning spot ended up being one of my craziest ones: putting up a hammock in the stadium!” Meyers said.
Meyers can’t identify only one ideal place to study but said her favorite places are the third floor of the Tucker Technology Center, the lobby of the Beasley, the lobby of the Fine Arts Building and the Student Memorial.
When looking for a good study location, Meyers said the most important aspect is ensuring the surroundings mimic the level of focus required. She also recommends creating study groups for accountability and to avoid feeling lonely.
“Studying alone all the time can isolate you not only academically but also emotionally, and it can make you burn out fast,” Meyers said.
After the shift to online learning in the spring, many students struggled to find a balance between academic and home lives when attending classes from their personal living spaces.
To cope, such students embraced the flexibility of virtual education to discover new locations that were less distracting and offered the opportunity to step away from a screen.