Soak up sun with these outdoor study spots

By Shelby Peck | Staff Writer

March is here, and that means Waco’s six weeks of pleasant and enjoyable weather are upon us. If your midterm week before spring break was anything like mine, you probably saw too much of study spaces, like Jesse H. Jones Library.

Now, it’s time to take advantage of the sunshine and cool breeze while it’s here to stay. Take your studying outside.

Besides the fact Baylor’s campus is incredibly beautiful and offers plenty of outdoor study spaces, spending time outside holds many benefits to your well-being. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, time spent in nature lessens the risk for mental illnesses, like depression, encourages exercise and brings more awareness to taking breaks while working.

Being outdoors also lowers your level of cortisol, the stress hormone that tells the body how to respond to internal and external stressors. As college students who are busy juggling classes, work, social lives and trying to keep ourselves fed, it is vital we maintain both our physical and mental well-being.

Simply switching your study spot to an outdoor location for the next few weeks can help you take care of your health and get your daily intake of vitamin D. Here are a few suggestions for the next time you need to get out your laptop and do some homework:

Pinewood Coffee Bar Patio

Pinewood’s contemporary outdoor atmosphere is just as good as its house latte. Located on Austin Avenue, a short drive from campus, Pinewood is the perfect place to access some free Wi-Fi, bring your dog and hit the books.

Baylor Science Building Steps

If you’re like every other Baylor student and can’t ever find a table in the BSB, head outside to the steps in between the BSB and the Student Life Center. Not only can you hear the peaceful fountain running, you can also grab Starbucks before you start studying.


This might seem like a recommendation for tourists, but there is no denying the patio at Magnolia is truly beautiful. Make sure you arrive early to find parking and sign up for Magnolia Perks to receive 10% off your coffee order.

Armstrong Browning Library Garden

Another on campus option, the garden next to Armstrong Browning offers a quiet and beautiful place in nature to work. Invite a friend and sit at one of the tables to experience some shade during a study session.

Common Grounds Backyard

A Baylor staple, Common Grounds, offers a cozy ambience with plenty of seating and espresso. Don’t worry about a lack of lighting during nighttime studying either, as the cafe string lights in the backyard are there for all your homework needs.

No matter which option you choose, each location offers the opportunity to increase your well-being, even while doing homework. Treat yourself to some coffee or tea, don’t forget your sunscreen and get outside.

Shelby Peck is a junior journalism major from Houston with minors in religion and history. In her second semester at the Lariat, she looks forward to using her position to discover and share more of the Baylor community and its mission. Shelby aspires to lead and love well wherever her career in journalism takes her, whether it be a nonprofit or a baseball stadium.