by Niclas Hammontree

The age-old conundrum of where to study. When it’s time to do some reading, or write a
policy memo, or even finish some coding for a research project, I always feel like Goldilocks
when trying to find the perfect spot to sit down and focus. Some places are too noisy, others are
too quiet. Some have a view, others are intentionally lackluster. Whatever atmosphere suits you, I
have the spot for you.

If you don’t mind a little noise and you like an atmosphere with some hustle and bustle, I
would recommend going to one of several coffee shops on or near campus. If you want to stay on
campus, I would recommend finding an open armchair near the Jittery Joe’s in the MLC. There
are ample footrests and outlets, so don’t be afraid to set up camp for a while and knock out some
assignments. The location puts you in the middle of campus, and there will be plenty of
passersby no matter what time you’re there. If you are looking for something off campus, 1000
Faces Coffee is a great option only a few blocks from North Campus. They just opened up
limited seating for the first time in years, so now is a great time to venture over there. The coffee
shop itself has a more modern feel to it than say the more snug atmosphere of the downtown
Jittery Joe’s (which is another notable option, but it’s often hard to find a seat). It’s a popular
spot, not just for students but also other Athens residents, and in my opinion has the best coffee
in town.

If you prefer a spot that’s a little quieter but not completely silent, I recommend the
Jittery Joe’s on the first floor in the Law Building (I promise there will be more options other
than coffee shops). Somewhat of a secret spot, this location is right on North Campus across from
Caldwell Hall. The seating is not the most comfortable, but in my experience, it makes me sit up
straight and maybe even focus better. The law students in suits going by make for a motivating
environment, even if you’re just doing some reading on two-level game theory. On the side of
less secret spots, the first floor of the Main Library is always a great option. There you can find
comfortable seating, ample outlets, and you’ll probably find someone you know (aka a potential
study partner). If you prefer to be outside when you study, I recommend finding a bench near
Herty Field. Located in a beautiful area of campus, and right next to SPIA HQ in Candler Hall,
this spot is so picturesque that you’ll wonder why you hadn’t studied there before. If you enjoy
feeling like you’re in a movie that’s set at a college, it’s the place for you.

Now, if you need total silence to get stuff done, but you’re tired of being in your room,
there is one spot that I think would be perfect. Of course, you could always try to find an open
room at the MLC, but we all know the likelihood of that happening. Instead, I’ll tell you my
personal favorite spot. If you go to the top floor of the Main Library, and walk along the South
wall of the building, you’ll find these humble little alcoves with just a table and two chairs.
However, what makes this spot my favorite is the view. It is, after all, one of the highest points
on campus, and the windows look out over all of UGA and Athens beyond. You are unlikely to be
disturbed in the recesses of the library, as it is almost impossible to stumble upon these spots if
you weren’t looking for them. They are obscured from view by the countless shelves of books,
and it’s the perfect spot when silence is a necessity.

I hope this array of study spots gave you some new ideas for where to go the next time
you need to write an essay on audience costs or the shortcomings of realist international relations theory. This huge
campus of ours and the city surrounding it offer plenty of great sites to sit yourself down for a
few hours.