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Image: Warwick Media Library

The best places to study on and around campus in term 3

If you’re like me and have an unexplainable inability to concentrate on work in your bedroom, then you know the pain of fruitlessly searching for a seat in the library during term 3. You’ll also know that if you don’t find somewhere to work quickly, any hopes of getting revision done that day will be dashed. So, it becomes imperative to have a foolproof list of places you can hit up when inevitably, the library, Oculus, and both Rootes and Leamington Learning Grids are packed. These ‘study spaces’ may as well not exist as everyone’s work ethic begins to increase in preparation for term 3. I will never know who those lucky souls are that manage to get seats on floor 3 of the library, but I suspect they get in at the crack of dawn. If you’re not about that life, you’re going to have to get a bit creative. So here’s a comprehensive list of alternative places on campus to help you get you through revision/exam season at Warwick.

University House is undoubtedly Warwick’s hidden gem. Yes, it’s a bit of a trek from central campus but you’ll have spent that time walking around the library anyway. There are usually plenty of spaces available in the Learning Grid and eating spaces. It’s almost like another world – you can’t believe people actually go there – but soon it’ll feel like home.

Costa on campus. This applies to all the food outlets on campus, but to me, Costa always has the best place to get some work done, as it’s not as busy as Curiositea. I’ll often go on a Sunday, when it tends to be fairly quiet. If you don’t need total silence, then this is a good place to camp out for the day, with coffee on tap. I think I’ve even done a bit of work sitting outside the Subway in Cannon Park (probably an unpopular choice though, so I won’t dwell on that one).

OC.01 basically becomes a second library

Oculus Seminar Rooms and Lecture Theatres. Okay, so this can be a bit hit and miss and isn’t always ideal. When any of the seminar rooms and lecture theatres aren’t in use for teaching, they’re free for anyone to use. OC.01 basically becomes a second library. However, it means that you risk getting kicked out if there’s a seminar on. The Oculus is a great place to study if you can find a seat – failing this, I once ended up working on the floor of the back staircase – not fun. But this is where I did the vast majority of term 3 work last year, and as long as you’re there early it’s usually a decent compromise because, let’s face it, bagging one of the comfy chairs is out of the question.

According to the University website, “LIB1 will be available for 24 hours a day throughout term 3, with the exception of the week commencing 7th May as it is being used for exams”. Instead, there are a multitude of Humanities and Social Sciences rooms that are made available for study, and the website features other useful information on term 3 study spaces. I’ve yet to try this one (didn’t even know it existed until recently) but apparently the Student Hub in the Avon Multimedia Centre up in Westwood doesn’t get too crowded so if that’s your neck of the woods (or if you can be bothered to walk all that way) Westwood is probably a good bet.

Your kitchen – for me, I need others around me to get work done, so if you’re really focused about it, the kitchen isn’t always the worst place to work. But only when there are few enough people not to distract you. Put your headphones in and ignore the occasional flatmate, then as soon as it hits 6:30pm and people start coming in to cook dinner, either go and work somewhere else or put your stuff away and call it a day – there’s no way you’ll get anything done after that.

Sounds radical, but I challenge you to try the library at night – it’s open 24 hours for a reason

Sounds radical, but I challenge you to try the library at night – it’s open 24 hours for a reason. The first and only time I attempted this was last year when I had my final assignment due. I knew that summer was round the corner and once it was done I had no exams after that.  I was desperate to get my work completed, so my friends and I went to the library at 8pm and I didn’t leave until I had finished, at 2.30am. There were so many free seats to choose from and we were all in it together. Half an hour or so before we left, another friend turned up, Red Bulls in hand, settling in for the long haul. For most people, it probably sounds like hell, but think about it: the library’s empty, Rootes is open till midnight, and your sleep pattern is probably going to get messed up during exam season anyway. Besides, in term 3 everyone basically becomes a ghost, shadows of their former selves. You might see them occasionally wander the hallways, make fleeting appearances in the kitchen. But actual conversations? Social interaction? My four friends on my course were pretty much the only humans I spoke to until at least week seven. My kitchen was always dark and empty. I wanted to relax with my flatmates after a long day, yet everyone retreated to their rooms by 8pm. It was a depressing time. So it’s not like you’ll be missing out, and you might actually get some work done!

I’m sure lots also have study spaces and workrooms you can make use of, on top of the standard cafes and the SU if you can possibly find a spot. If you’re a life scientist, or are up for the trek, Gibbet Hill can be a great space to revise; either on the grass outside if it’s warm or in the Café or Biomed Grid. Similarly, if you’re struggling to find a seat in the library, it might be worth having a hunt for spaces on the Science Concourse across the bridge. If you live in Leamington, make it your mission to try out every café from North to South. If you don’t know where to start, some student favourites are Procaffeinate, Corleone Café and Coffee Architects or check out a round up of Leamington’s best café’s from The Boar Lifestyle here.

But, with planning and creativity, there are countless places you can find

Warwick definitely needs more available study spaces, and the lack of the Arts Centre this year makes things even more of a nightmare. But, with planning and creativity, there are countless places you can find. My top tip is just to be on it: plan where you’re going to work, down to the room in Humanities, or book spaces in advance at University House and the Leamington Learning Grids.  Get there early – there’s no time to be dawdling about if you want to avoid procrastinating in your bedroom for the next eight hours.

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