Places for students to study during free periods

Uni students study in a variety of places. A list of common study spots and their advantages and disadvantages have been compiled. Looking for a place to study? Check out this list!

First Floor Kitchen

Senior Brian Zilles hard at work in the kitchen. Photographed by Adam Mao.

Lined with microwaves, fridges, and a kitchen bar, the kitchen is not only a place to prepare food, but also to study. The kitchen’s combination of lunch tables and individual rectangle tables are a perfect place to comfortably communicate and discuss schoolwork with others because of its open environment.

Senior Nathan Durkin says that “There’s no one really there during the free periods.” In the kitchen, he normally works on WebAssign (an online homework platform) or studies with friends. “It’s a place where I can be loud when I’m studying with someone else.”

Aside from eating and microwaving food, the kitchen can also serve as a place for Uni students to play computer games or simply talk. Don’t try studying there during lunch though–with all the hubbub and constant beeping of microwaves, it’s nearly impossible.

The Library

Juniors Will Hechler and Izzy Gray doing homework on the library’s couches. Photographed by Adam Mao.

Many students find themselves in the library during their free time. With three rooms of varying sound levels, the library is a study spot that can accommodate students with varying studying styles.

The first room, equipped with tables, couches, and whiteboards, allows students to organize study sessions, collaborate on homework, or practice flowcharts. The second room is mainly used for Library staff as well as renting various equipment. The third room is lined on all four sides by tall bookshelves, with a single large table in the middle. This room is arguably the most quiet. Students usually use this room when they are trying to study for an upcoming test or quiz.

However, its space is quite limited and it can be hard to secure a seat.

Finally, the fourth room, tucked in the very back of the library, features five individual desks and a large table similar to that of the second room’s. The desks are used for individual homework and studying, but the large table is surprisingly used the most often for gaming, leading to the pasting of “MONASTERY QUIET” reminders on the walls.

Junior Izzy Gray says that the library “is quieter than a lot of places” and that he especially likes to do his math homework in the library. Junior Will Hechler says he enjoys studying at the tables because “there’s lots of space.” However he says that there is occasionally  “a rowdy group of people in the background” which can cause a disturbance to those studying.


Senior Shreya Gargya works on her computer in the first floor hallway. Photographed by Adam Mao.

With lockers gaping wide open, backpacks strewn along the floor, and the occasional odd smell, hallways are definitely a unique aspect of Uni. There are very few schools where students leave their belongings in the open, and even fewer that allow spoiled milk to be stored in lockers. In addition to this quirkiness, there are a number of tables, chairs, and couches that students use while eating and studying.

Oftentimes, you will find a variety of students at any period of the day that are either studying for tests or working on homework. Sophomore Angelynn Huang says that she studies in the hallway chairs because the library can become crowded and sometimes it is easy to be distracted. “I do math, chemistry, and I study for flowcharts in the hallway.”

Huang states that the lack of a desk is a downside, as well as the need to maintain a quiet noise level due to classes going on. Because of these two factors, she advises against using the hallway for group work.

Sophomore Ethan Muchnik, also found studying in the hallway, says that the hallway is “comfy.” It is also close to his locker.“There are people around here, which makes it a little bit louder, but it’s okay.” He says that one can be easily distracted when studying in a group in the hallway, so he usually works individually.

Thomas Siebel Computer Center

Couches in Siebel overlooking a beautiful grassy view. Photographed by Ethan Chen.

During their free time, many students prefer to study outside of school. One such place is at the Thomas Siebel Computer Center, known to Uni students as Siebel, right across from the north entrance of Uni. Students can often be seen going to the Einstein Bros Bagels to buy food. During finals, Siebel serves as a place for students to study and relax in between exams.

“I study at Siebel because it tends to be quieter and less crowded than Uni, and with less distractions,” says Senior Zach Hamilton.

Hamilton often studies in the couches near one of the side entrances. He thinks that studying there is very productive for him. However, he states that there are some cons. Given that Siebel is a University building that many college students take classes, congregate, and study in, there can be a lot of of foot traffic, especially during class changes. He says that Siebel is a good study spot if there are “only 1-3 college students around,” but any more becomes distracting.

Grainger Engineering Library

University students working at Grainger Engineering Library’s tables. Photographed by Ethan Chen.

Another popular study location is the Grainger Engineering Library,  located right across the street from Siebel. It was originally built on October 14, 1994, and was the biggest engineering library in the country with 92000 square feet of space, and over 300000 volumes.The library itself has five different floors, all suitable for studying.

Although it is mainly occupied by UIUC students, there are some Uni students who also use it as a study space. Senior Anna Ding likes to go there to do her schoolwork after school. She says that she likes to go to Grainger because there is “less distraction.” She also says that she “sometimes uses the computers there.”

Another advantage to studying at Grainger is that it is usually open until midnight. This makes it a great place to study after school. However, Ding cautions, “Sometimes there aren’t enough desks. It can be really crowded so then you have wander around for a bit to find a desk.” 

Grainger Engineering Library also has an Espresso Royale for those looking to complement their rigorous studying with a dose of caffeine.

What are your favorite study spots? Feel free to comment below!