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How to pick your favorite study spots

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SEPTEMBER 22, 2015

You have endless places to choose from when it comes to choosing your ideal spot for studying. Though people will have numerous suggestions based on your studying habits and personality, not every spot will work for you. We at the Clog have compiled a list of things for you to consider when settling down on a study location. Whether it’s your room, a cafe, a library or a random room in a building, consider these factors before deciding on a place to call your own. We will even go as far as to say that finding a spot that you feel comfortable in plays a huge part in your academic success here at UC Berkeley. Let’s be real, those seats at Doe Library aren’t going to magically open up when it comes closer to midterms and finals.


Some places have too many lights on, and some places just aren’t bright enough. Some places are warm, and some places are too chilly. It’s like you’re playing Goldilocks with every potential positive study spot in Berkeley. The florescent lighting in Main Stacks might be too bright, but the mood lighting in Cafe Milano might put you to sleep. Try out a couple of places until you find one that’s just right — or just one that you find acceptable enough to stay in for the three hours it’ll take you to finish your problem sets.


Some people work better in the morning, which means that their ideal studying spot will not be one that opens at 1 p.m. Most students, on the other hand, procrastinate until the night before to do all their work, so picking a place such as the anthropology library, which closes at 6 p.m. during the weekdays, would be useless. These students don’t engage in any sort of afterschool studying until they are well rested from their classes in the morning, so ideal places for them would have to close way into the middle of the night.


If you don’t find noise and excessive carbon dioxide appealing in an environment, then we would suggest that you stay away from restaurants and any popular libraries. In fact, try looking for a place that can allow you to pretend like you’re as far removed from civilization as possible. Having your own booth at the East Asian Library will provide you with this exact solitude. But if being around other productive people motivates you, by all means, fight for a seat at Doe. Don’t underestimate the effect other people can have on your studying.

Internet access

A poor Internet connection can be frustrating and affect your ability to be productive. If your work requires you to fully access the Internet at all times, we suggest that you really check out the reliability of the network before committing to studying there. Other than that, if all you’re doing is reading out of a textbook, poor Internet and cell service might even help. The amount of work you’re able to conquer is unimaginable if you’re unable to check your phone every five minutes.

Food access

Chewing gum has proven to have a positive effect on concentration. Though it’s not officially proven, some of us find that overloading on carbs help us study better as well. In this case, studying where there is easy food access, such as in a cafe, would be ideal. That way, you’re not “that person” who cannot stop rummaging through a bag of Doritos while everyone else is dead silent.

Contact Catherine Straus at [email protected].

SEPTEMBER 21, 2015