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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, May 25, 2024

Surviving exams, papers, projects, oh my!

Midterms. Papers. Projects. Group projects. How many major assignments and exams are on your schedule this week?

If you responded to that question with an agonized groan, a sleep-deprived weep or an animal-like grunt, you may be looking for a place to go to buckle down and study. But where to go? If your schedule looks like mine, you’re probably pretty busy stress eating Oreos or banging your head on your desk right about now. So, to put off doing a mountain of poli-sci reading—errr, I mean, to save you the trouble of thinking up potential destinations—I’ve made this list weighing the pros and cons of the top study spots around campus. 

Helen C. White/College Library

Pros: College has everything. Need to crank out a 10-page paper in one night? Head to the quiet room. Want to tell yourself you’re going to study when you really just want to play M.A.S.H. and make cootie catchers with friends? Scout out a nice big table in the Open Book Cafe. 

Cons: All the “pros” I just listed? Everyone knows them and flocks to College. As a result, your trip to College will go like this: After wasting 20 minutes unsuccessfully foraging for a spot close to some outlets, you relegate yourself to a table near the trash, where you will spend the next five hours exchanging judgey glares with a stranger as you inhale Subway smell through one nostril and garbage-can wretch through the other. 

Memorial Library Cages

Pros: Isolating yourself in a dimly lit metal box probably eliminates a lot of distractions. It can also be nice to have the space to yourself.

Cons: You are alone in a dimly lit metal box.

Coffee shop on State Street

Pros: You can enjoy a nice, hot drink as you plug away at your assignment. Plus, if you end up at the right location, the shop might play music that no one’s heard of, which will make you feel really cool while you study.

Cons: LOLSIKE  CAFF-EINE OVERLOAD!11!! COHERENTSENTENCES R4LZRS!!!111!! Also, after three songs, that indie singer starts to sound like a mopey goose. 

Coffee shop on Monroe Street

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Same as above, except everyone around you is over 40. 

Memorial Union

Pros: Memorial Union is comfy and homey. You can get yourself a tray of cheese curds and settle down in the Rathskeller by the fire…. It’s just so cozy….

Cons: If you come on the wrong day, you might not be able to hear your own thoughts over the sound of—TOUCHDOOOWN GREEEEEN BAAAY—a blaring sports broadcast. 

Union South

Pros: The building is new, shiny and spacious. You can find everything in there. Need to use a computer? Use a big-screen Mac. Looking for a snack? Why not treat yourself to a juicy burger? Want to bowl while you study? Perfect! You’re in the right place.

Cons: Union South’s sprawling options can turn into endless distractions that take my mind off of work. It’s not that I’m not interested in writing my geology lab report about the pet rock I’m raising in class. However, the thought of scaling a climbing wall then eating a plate of nachos before going to see a free movie does have a certain appeal.


Pros: This Lakeshore library is kind of like a less crowded version of College. It’s furnished with the same study stuff—big tables, group rooms, industrial-grade printers—but due to a lower traffic volume, the place seems less gross. This means your chances of contracting pink eye while studying are probably half what they would be at College.

Cons: Steenbock is out past Ag Hall, so unless you live on Lakeshore, getting there can be kind of an odyssey. But silver lining? Once you’re out there, you’ll be inclined to stay for a while to make the trek worth it. 

Let Rachel know what you thought of this list by meeting her at College to make cootie catchers later tonight. Or send her an email at

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