(*Image of Dana Porter Library [above] is courtesy of the University of Waterloo)
In the past three years, I’ve studied at several locations on campus. Here’s a list of my favourite study areas, in no particular order:
MC 6th floor: There are no classrooms on this floor, which explains why it is typically quiet, but there are a number of study spaces. This floor hosts the offices of professors and graduate students. There is also a sofa aligned in one of the hallways for easy snoozing. The only downside is that the Wifi on this floor does cut off from time to time, so if you’re cautious about your data usage, remember to turn off your data when streaming movies.
MC 4th floor: Many math and engineering tutorials are held on this floor. The lecture rooms are unlocked and there are usually empty rooms. If you plan to use the rooms at night, do be aware that the custodial staff will clean the rooms from 10pm-1am so make sure to keep things appropriate.
M3: Usually closed during the weekend, M3 contains three good study areas: the main lecture hall and two silent study areas. In my experience, there’s usually a handful of students studying in the main lecture hall (outside of class hours) whereas the silent areas are typically full. My only criticism of the silent areas is that the chairs are tethered to the tables, which restricts mobility. However, they do have a comfy couch.
QNC, 2nd floor: There are a handful of tables that are almost always packed but super peaceful. However, the 3rd and 4th floors contain a couple tables that remain consistently unoccupied. The first floor has several tables but I personally dislike the dim lighting and their close proximity to the building’s entrance and classrooms. The bottom floor also contains study places along with a piano. Sometimes, during the evening, you can even hear students playing the piano. Unfortunately, QNC is locked at night.
RCH 3rd floor: Engineering students live in RCH, some say. The rooms on the third floor are almost always open.
DP, basement and main floor: The basement contains sofas and a number of study tables. This is my go-to spot to study. The back section on the first floor (next to the AccessAbility room) also contains individual study desks that overlook the outdoor path leading to STC and the Engineering buildings.
DC library: This is the second main library on campus and is usually packed with people. However, it is open 24/7 during exams time. You may want to check out the second floor of the building too for a couple study tables, although the lighting is damp.
STC, 2nd floor: I’ve only been here a couple times at night. It is quite peaceful although the Wifi quality may not be consistent. There are more study spots on the main floor.
SLC, 2nd floor: Another silent study area. Since it’s in SLC, it is close to the Tim Hortons downstairs.
EIT: Lecture hall 1015 is nicely lit and there are often a couple students studying here at night after lectures are finished. I remember studying in the lecture hall from 4am-8am along with two other students when cramming from my database finals.
AL: This building is open only during weekdays; however, almost all the lecture halls are empty after 9:30 pm.
HH (new building): Like AL, this building is only open during weekdays. However, the lecture rooms are not only smaller but also cozier, with adjustable chairs and polished desks. I remember recording speeches and using the whiteboards to practice interview questions in these rooms. Very few students use these rooms after 9:30 pm.
ENV2: I’ve only been here a couple of times so can’t say much about the quality of the study rooms. However, there is a peaceful study room that contains various species of plants. It looks nice. I’ve heard there are a number of quiet studying rooms in ENV3 but haven’t tried them out yet.
E5/E6: The study area on Floor 3 is peaceful during the early hours on weekends and directly overlooks E5’s main entrance, Ring Road, and DC. Floors 4 and 5 contain a couple small tables to study. E6 has several large tables on its 4th and 5th. However, E6 is locked during evenings.
TC: After the main round of interviews are finished (typically two months into the term), you can book to use the rooms in the basement floor. This is a good place for group study sessions. Remember to checkout before 7pm when TC closes.