With the new school year dawning, every student is going to have to start doing something that they don’t want to do (besides going to class): studying. In my time at MSU I’ve done loads and loads of studying. I’ve studied outside, inside, at the library, in my dorm, at dozens of coffee shops, at a bookstore, and even at a few bubble tea shops. Here’s a small list of places to go to study that can help kickstart your year.
- The Engagement Centers
They are home to the advising offices for students in the Exploratory Preference major and are located all over campus. My personal favorite is located on the second floor of the Union (as pictured below), but there are also offices in Hubbard, McDonel, Holden, and Brody Halls. These areas have large spaces to study, tons of tables and seating, good Wi-Fi, and printers in the same room. All of these positives make the Engagement Centers one of my favorite places to study. Plus, with so many options, one is bound to be a little bit close to where you live.
- The RCAH Offices in Snyder-Phillips Hall
Oh, where did the time go? I remember back to being a freshman just coming to MSU as an RCAH (Residential College in the Arts and Humanities) student. While this residential college is probably the least widely known at MSU, competing with the likes of Lymon Briggs, James Madison, and the Residential Business College, it is home to many creative and driven students. Located on the second floor of Snyder-Phillips Hall are the offices of professors who teach RCAH classes. Situated right in the middle of all of these doors is a large table and many comfy chairs that are perfect for studying. In my experience, there are never a whole lot of people using this space (until now), and it is very relaxing and quiet. Just be careful because the door into the office space does lock around 8 pm every weekday, and the space is not open on the weekends. My friends and I would often stay there until well past midnight on weekdays because once you’re in, you can stay in for however long you want to.
- Benefactors Plaza
Located near the Broad Art Museum and identifiable by its many pillars with the names of people who have donated large amounts of money to MSU, is a scenic garden area fit with a beautiful fountain. I’ve taken a blanket here many times and have sat with friends out on the grass to do some work. This is a great place to go if you’re craving fresh air and sunshine or just wanting a little change of pace from the typical study areas. Additionally, you can bring snacks or a full lunch and hang out here when you’re needing a little break from the stress that school often causes. There are a few obvious downsides to this location, such as no charging outlet for your laptop, but it can be a really refreshing area, and I always leave this spot feeling more energized than before. The Wi-Fi is also pretty spotty, but if you sit in the right spot you’ll be all set to go. Make sure to take a look at the slightly disturbing, but nonetheless impressive bird statue located in the corner of the garden.
- A Secret Garden
Another stunning outdoor location is a garden area in the middle of the Chemistry, Biomedical and Physical Sciences, and Biochemistry buildings. This place is slightly harder to find than the Benefactors Plaza because it is sandwiched right by all of these science buildings. I remember having class in one of these buildings last year, but sadly cannot remember which one it was to be exact. You can simply walk directly through one of these buildings to get to the garden, or you can take a walkway off either Shaw Lane or Wilson Road that will allow you to arrive at this oasis. I think that this location is a little bit better than the Benefactors Plaza because it gets less traffic, has more benches, and has better Wi-Fi. You are also within walking distance of many buildings in case you need to charge up for a hot minute. Take a peek at this spot and you will not be disappointed.
- Espresso Royale
I know what you’re thinking, everyone knows about Espresso Royale. You’re right, but it’s a good starting point to get used to studying in business establishments. Espresso Royale is a mere example, there’s also Blue Owl, Starbucks, and a dozen other lesser-known coffee shops around the East Lansing area. I would be careful when discovering new places to go because you will need them to have Wi-Fi (and many of them don’t). I personally like Espresso Royale because they have absolutely amazing muffins and their iced mocha is totally awesome. The outdoor seating can be nice, but if you can snag a spot inside, it’s even better. Go to Espresso, and then go to whatever other coffee shop your heart desires.
Kristina Osterman is a senior pursuing a double major in Professional Writing and Communication. She wants to eventually become a fantasy and realistic fiction author but is currently aspiring to work in public relations. When she’s not focusing on her career, you can find her dancing, knitting, embroidering, or reading. She is a member of Orchesis Dance Company, an intern at the CREATE for STEM Institute, and a Peer Assistant at the Engagement Centers here at MSU.