Oh, joyous memories of studying among people, instead of inside these four walls!

Nothing will help you stay focused like the perfect study spot. It can be really hard to study in your room, with all your distractions. Your brain thinks of it as the place where you rest and relax, which makes it even harder to focus. Living in the halls in my first year, I found it really difficult to get anything done, Since there was nothing in my room except a bed and a desk, all I wanted to do in there was relax and watch movies – I needed to get out somewhere to focus. Having a whole new place to go to study resets your brain into work mode; you associate it with study, and study only, which puts you straight into the mood.

If you’re going to be living in the halls, most have dedicated study areas. My hall (UniHall) has both a silent study space and a group study area where talking is allowed. Once I started going down there study, it really changed my mindset – not only did I get more work done, but I was able to work for longer, and actually retain information during exam season (shocking, I know). The downside is that these floors don’t have enough space for the whole hall to be in there at once, so during busy times, like before mid-semester break and exam season, it’s almost impossible to get a seat. Unless you’re a med student; that lot seem to be in there twenty fou hours a day – when do they sleep? Also, it’s nice to have places where you can go to work in between classes, instead of trotting all the way back to your hall. Take it from me; you do NOT want to tackle the UniHall Hill more than you have to.

To celebrate our return to in-person learning, here are my favourite places to study on the City Campus. Since navigating finding your way around can be pretty tough in your first few weeks, I’ll point out where each spot is on the campus map so you can find it without any trouble. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to finding your way around quicker than you think.

The Sixth Floor of the Library

Silence, charging ports, and gorgeous views – what more could you possibly want? The library floors at Uni are increasingly quiet the higher up you go – Floor 1 is for group work, and Floor 6 is totally silent. There are groups of four individual desks, next to huge windows and outlets. During exam time, this place really fills up, so you’ll want to become an early bird to get a seat. If you’re wanting to talk or study together, the lower floors will do the trick. If you need music to focus, you’ll have to use your headphones.

As a side note: don’t underestimate the value of good-old-fashioned book research when writing your essays. The library has some great information, and you’ll impress your lecturers with your effort. Okay, nerdy advice over, back to the list.

The Comfy Chairs in Arts 1

Outside the lecture theatres on the bottom three floors of Arts 1 are these super squishy couches that are awesome to sit on. People are only ever coming and going en masse right before and after lectures, so it’s usually quiet and peaceful. The downside is that there aren’t any tables, which is fine if you’re using your laptop or reading a book for class, but not great if you’re making notes. You’ll want something a little more steady then. But, these chairs are super comfy, and there’s almost always some available on at least one of the floors.

The Courtyard of the Music Building

Here’s an important lesson for any incoming student to learn; the subject name on a building basically means nothing. You’ll have Classics lectures in the Science building and Chemistry lectures in the Business building and Psychology tutorials in the Law buildings. The only reason they have those names is because that’s where the academics from that faculty have their offices. As such, any student can go into any area. It’s all up for grabs. So, why not take advantage of the gorgeous outdoor seating the music courtyard, AND hear some violinists practicing their gentle tunes? Paradise. There’s even flowers.

Anywhere in the Owen G. Glenn Building

OGGB is Capital F for FANCY. It was built pretty recently, and it has all the trimmings – vending machines, big windows, nice carpet, vending machines, cool water fountains, did I mention the vending machines? I love vending machines. Anyway, there’s also a nice little cafe on the ground floor that has some really yummy stuff. Plus, the building is fairly centrally located, so it’s probably not too far to go to your other classes.

The Tables in the Engineering Building

This area has huge windows that let in tonnes of natural light – plus, you can procrastinate by watching the people walking by on Symonds Street. There was a massive addition to the building that only finished at the start of this year, so it’s super new and really cool to hang out in. There are solo tables, but also big ones for group work. Since this isn’t a silent area, it’s great for studying with friends, or working on group projects. But, the table space is limited, so you might miss out when things are intense. But, you know what always has space? The great outdoors! Speaking of which…

Albert Park

In the warm months, some outdoor study on the green grass can be exactly what you need. Albert Park is the perfect place to get some reading done, or chat about a group project, or even rehearse a play. (Yes, I have done that before, and yes, you look quite strange doing it, but it’s really fun.) The fresh air will do wonders for your morale and your health. It’s not an ideal place to use your laptop, and you shouldn’t go there at night, but in the daytime, it’s a perfect summer treat.