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Stauffer Marks the Study Spot…? Not Always!

By Sophie Lachapelle, 3rd year Health Studies/Devs student

Most students know – from experience – that a study spot can make or break a study session. If you’ve been around Stauffer Library lately, you know finding a place to study in that building is like trying to find a needle in a four-floor tall haystack full of books. Finally tracking down one of those study carrels is like finding buried treasure. Okay, maybe not, but when you’ve been searching for a place to sit for 30 minutes, finding a study spot is pretty close to striking gold. Luckily for us unlucky study-spot searchers, Stauffer Library isn’t the only place to cram for that up-coming exam. “Where else can I go,” you ask? Let’s go on a treasure hunt for the best study spot.

Let’s look at a map of campus.


The first thing to do when trying to find a great study spot is to do a Study Area Analysis of different places on campus. Ask yourself true or false questions about different study spaces to see if it works for you. Some of these statements can include:

  • T or F     Other people often interrupt me when I study here         

  • T or F     Much of what I can see here reminds me of things that don’t have anything to do with studying

  • T or F     I am often distracted when I study here

  • T or F     I take too many breaks here

  • T or F     I find it too warm or too cold to study here

  • T or F     There isn’t enough light to study here

  • T or F     There is too much/not enough noise here

The list can go on, depending on how you prefer your study spaces to look or feel.

The biggest thing is finding a place that will allow for distraction-free studying. In my first year, this place was my room in residence. I had a single room on a relatively quiet floor with the perfect amount of white noise from the construction outside. But a lot of my friends found there was too many distractions in residence or at home; if you’re like my friends, cross home off of the map – you won’t find your treasured study spot there. I also prefer a fair amount of background noise when I study, so the basement of Douglas Library and the study rooms in Bioscience were not ideal for me. I crossed those places off of my map.

Hunting for a study spot is a process. It can be long and arduous, and you may encounter many adventures along the way – like getting lost in the maze that is Mac-Corry Hall or confronting giant squirrels living in the trees around Summer Hill House.

If you need some inspiration, here is a list of study spots that we at Learning Strategies have compiled from student suggestions:

  • Basement of Bracken Library: Completely silent with a café close by!

  • Common Ground: Pleasantly noisy with lots of treats.

  • The Tea Room: Lots of light, noise, and tea.

  • Lounge space in the ARC: Great space to sprawl out your studying supplies.

  • Coffee Shops in Downtown Kingston: Gives you a break from campus and supports local businesses!

  • ITS Lab in Jeffery Hall: Quiet, access to computers, and lots of space.

  • Mac-Corry Cafeteria: Steady stream of background noise, and great for group assignments.

  • Stirling Library: Out of the way and generally quiet.

  • Theological Hall, 3rd Floor: Quiet, not well known.

  • Kingston Hall: Again, quiet and not often appreciated for its amiable studying qualities.

  • Bioscience Undergraduate study rooms: Kick up your feet on a couch or cozy up at a desk, your pick!

  • Kingston-Frontenac Public Library: If the novels don’t distract you, this is a quiet and friendly place to get some work done off campus.

  • The Grad Club: During off hours, the upper rooms here are a great place to get lunch and that assignment done!

  • Medical Building Lobby: Comfy couches, steady noise, and lots of natural light.

  • Lower floors of Douglas Library: Under-utilized, but great spaces for group projects and discussion.

Remember, discovering that treasured study spot might take some time, but hopefully this list inspires you to reject the ‘library-only’ study policy and try something new – especially with exams coming up!

If you’d like to know more about finding that perfect study spot, come visit our office in Stauffer Library, Room 143 and grab one of our handouts! You can also find resources on focus, motivation & procrastination, and studying strategies in our office or on our website so that you can take full advantage of your new study spot. Happy hunting!


Photo courtesy of Queen’s University under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0.