A&L Desk recs: Where to spend finals season, aside from Moody

Graphic illustration by Grace Everett | Photographer

By Emma Weidmann | Arts and Life Editor

Late April, the season of looking around in Moody Library for a seat next to an outlet, standing for half an hour in the Starbucks line and eventually just scrolling on TikTok instead of doing work. If you’re looking for an escape from the same old finals season drudgery, here are our recommendations for the best study spots — far, far away from Moody.

Emma Weidmann | Arts and Life Editor

My favorite place to get work done is Pinewood Coffee Bar on Austin Ave. For one, I like the drive through neighborhoods with old trees and some seriously interesting buildings. But, I stay for the coffee and the good environment. Pinewood plays vinyl records behind the bar instead of streaming digital music over its speakers, which I think adds something special to spending an afternoon there.

The one drawback is that it often crowds fast, so you may be stuck sitting outside. Even then, I don’t mind it as long as the weather holds up, since the outdoor seating is pretty in its own right.

Another good escape from Moody Library is the fourth floor of Carroll Science Building. Washed in natural light, this is a perfect place to flop down on the couch, plug in your headphones and get productive. What makes this spot ideal is that there may not be very many people there, since the Carroll Science stairs are like something out of Dante’s “Inferno.”

Olivia Turner | Arts and Life Writer

If you’re like me when it comes to study, I don’t mind a little background noise, which is why the Garden of Contentment right outside Armstrong Browning Library is the perfect spot for me. The gurgling fountain and the sound of the breeze rustling in the trees above makes for great white noise, plus the place is so lovely and peaceful.

While the outdoors are not always ideal for study, the Garden of Contentment provides the perfect mix of sunshine and shade on temperate days. As a fan of fresh air and serene ambience, I tend to gravitate toward this garden especially once finals roll around.

Another spot that makes for a good study sesh is the Bill Daniel Student Center, and I’m not talking about the dining area. The upper floors of this building have plenty of rooms perfect for group study, with lots of comfy couches and softer lamp lighting. If you’re lucky enough to find an empty room on the second floor, these spaces are pretty as well as private, filled with fancy chandeliers and intricate artwork. Just don’t get too distracted from your studies by these lovely surroundings.

Maximilian Diehl | Arts and Life Writer

Honestly, as much as we all love to complain about Moody, it’s a really great study space most of the time. Beyond Moody, the best study spots on campus are the couches in the Barfield Drawing room on the second floor of the SUB, and the third-floor hallways of Draper/Old Main.

For Barfield, the energy and lighting are both really nice, and the added atmosphere of someone hammering away on the piano is either entirely distracting or shockingly inspiring. To the dude that plays Hans Zimmer’s “Cornfield Chase” every Tuesday, thank you. The Draper hallways are definitely quieter, and the great lighting and views are also a draw. As a bonus, maybe you’ll see a cat in the courtyard below.