With the school year finally upon us,  the return to Emory University marks an even bigger transition than the start of a new year typically does. Heading back to campus after over a year of virtual schooling is incredibly exciting; however, there are of course challenges ahead.

After this year of distant learning, it’s time to get reacclimated or introduced to study spots around campus. There’s never a shortage of spaces for every type of learner, and this list is only a sample of what you can expect to find around campus. 

Matheson Reading Room 

The Matheson Reading Room within Candler library — accessible via the bridge from the Woodruff library — is one of the most popular study spots at Emory, and with good reason. This space offers a silent study environment, which is great for focusing and getting work done. Even beyond that, the environment in the reading room is perfect for studying. Filled with large communal tables and desks, as well as some comfortable armchairs, the reading room is likely what you imagine when you think of a library on a college campus, so you’ll also feel like you’re on the set of Harry Potter.  Because of the environment in the Matheson Reading Room, I find it to be one of the best places on campus for quiet study.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Reading Room is just one of many great places to study within Woodruff library. As you increase in floor levels at the library, the study spaces become more quiet. If you’re craving more collaborative spaces, head to the ground floor; however, if you need individual space, the stacks on the top floors will likely suit you best. None of these spaces, though, will be as silent as the Matheson Reading Room, which can be accessed via the third floor or the bridge from Woodruff library.

Cox Computing Center 

If you’re in search of a more casual, relaxed vibe, the Cox Computing Center is the place to go. With seating options ranging from tables for group study to bean bags, as well as options for gaming and food, this is one of the most comfortable laid-back study spots on campus. Another perk of the Cox Computing Center is that it is very centrally located, making it easy access from anywhere on campus. It is a great location for studying in a group or doing work with friends.

Pitts Theology Library 

If you’re looking for a change up in your quiet study spaces, the Pitts Theology Library offers another great alternative. Located just off the Quad, Pitts is one of my favorite places to go when I really need to focus and get work done as there are often less students. With plenty of carrels and tables, there is a healthy balance of individual spaces and quiet group spaces. There are also outdoor tables right outside of Pitts, which are a great option when the sun isn’t too harsh. Overall, it’s one of my favorite places on campus for when I need to get some serious studying done.

The quad is perfect for a mid-day study spot. (Lauren Blaustein)

The Quad 

The Atlanta weather often does not disappoint, so it’s important to take advantage of the outdoor study spaces around campus. With the shade provided by the Quad, this area on campus is the perfect place to study with adirondack chairs or your own blanket to set up camp. The Quad offers prime outdoor study real estate with its vast size and mixture of sun and shade. Getting to view the beauty of campus can definitely be the perfect medicine for any stressful work.  While there are many outdoor spaces on campus, there is nothing like studying on the Quad — and everyone should also take advantage of a free bench around campus when they can.  

All in all, you really can’t go wrong with any study spots you find around Emory. Whether you like to study in groups or in quiet, inside or outside, you’ll be able to find a space on campus to feel comfortable and get work done. Explore campus in the early weeks of the semester and find out what feels best for you — it will set you up for an easier transition and a great semester.