Best places to study for finals

Photo courtesy of Sarah Skelton

By Sarah Skelton | Guest Contributor

Thanksgiving break is over, and it’s time to get serious. With the end of the semester just a couple of weeks away, it’s time to start studying for finals. However, with everybody studying, it can be a challenge to find the perfect study spot. As a senior, I have had my share of last-minute study sessions and want to help anybody who might be overwhelmed with the end of the semester.

As far as on-campus spots, Moody Memorial Library is usually one of the worst spots. Everybody wants to go to Moody, so it’s difficult to find an open seat. Even if you’re lucky enough to find an open seat, because people are constantly coming and going, it’s hard to concentrate. I would honestly avoid Moody at all costs.

If you’re looking for a silent place to study on campus, Armstrong Browning Library is the way to go. It can feel a bit ominous, but you can knock out a lot of work because there aren’t any distractions. However, no drinks or snacks are allowed, so you’ll have to pack up when it’s time for a break.

The Bill Daniel Student Center is a nice medium between Moody and Armstrong. Depending on your noise preference, you can find the perfect room for you. A good rule of thumb is the higher the floor, the quieter you should be.

Studying in academic buildings can be hit or miss. For instance, there will be a lot of students coming in and out of the Baylor Sciences Building, but it should be less crowded in Marrs McLean Gym. If you’re studying where a final is about to take place, there’s likely going to be a lot of students distracting you.

If you have a car or another way of studying off campus, this is definitely the way to go. With Common Grounds, Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits, Lighthouse Coffee & Wine and Pinewood Coffee Bar just a few minutes away, coffee shops are great places to study. There is enough noise to remind you that you’re not the only one studying, but not enough noise to be overly distracting.

In addition to the convenience of getting a coffee to help push through all-nighters, other Waco businesses offer great deals. Panera Bread, for instance, typically opens its doors 24/7 and offers special discounts for students around finals. Depending on the weather, the Magnolia Market can be a great place to study during the day too. If you go off campus, especially at night, consider bringing a study buddy.

Regardless of where you decide to study for finals, be sure to actually study where you’ll be the most productive. Even spending a couple of hours studying in a quiet place will be more effective than spending all day and night in a place filled with distractions.

Good luck and study hard, but don’t stress too much about finals week. Remember, Christmas break is right around the corner.