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Alternative study spaces

It is a commonly known fact that the library is a graveyard of fun, happiness and love during third term. I daren’t even look at the building for too long while I pass by on my way to the Humanities building.

Therefore it has, over the last year or so, become my solemn task and earthly duty to find other places to study; places which make me feel like there is indeed light in my life and something beyond simply rolling stacks, academic journals and book-scented tears.

The lake behind Bluebell

It is well known to most that the lake has a somewhat seedy reputation at the best of times. However, it also has some excellent little places to hide away from the zombified masses. If you take the time to have to explore and walk beyond the bounds of the asphalt paths, you will find numerous benches hidden away where you can happily sit for an hour or so, to read or ruminate. A definite favourite of mine, I most certainly will regret telling anyone else to go there.

A coffee shop

It sounds foolish but working in a coffee shop is risky. However, if you go with a solid game plan and a specific time limit, a stint in a coffee shop can be very productive. Make spider diagrams, read a set few chapters, or puzzle through a page of maths things – I think that’s what maths students do, I’m a Classicist so don’t hold me to that. Best of all, you can have a 12oz soya, mixed mocha at the same time.


This does not mean procrastinate, regardless of how much I appreciate a good waste of time. Use a phone to record some notes or listen to lecture capture and just walk. I’m not an expert but associating information with landmarks has always worked for me. You can walk for however long you wish, wherever you wish and you aren’t trapped inside. Also, I once saw a deer when I was on a walk. It was great. I felt like Cinderella. I have no regrets.

Your bedroom

I have met a lot of people who say that they simply cannnot work in their own room. I am a passionate advocate for it being totally possible. Make a calm, compelling Spotify playlist, open the curtains, make your bed and keep your space tidy. This is especially useful if you worry a lot about procrastination. As good as the library can be, the journey and the stress looking for a free plug socket can waste more time than it’s worth. Training your mind to work in your bedroom will be massively beneficial in the long run.


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