It’s the Rory Gilmore dilemma from season four of “Gilmore Girls,” where Rory can’t find a place to study. Her on-campus room is too distracting, the libraries have the wrong vibe and someone even steals her “study tree.” Just as Rory has to find the best environment for her to study, so do each of the students at Eastern Michigan University.
When looking for the best place to study, students have to consider the resources available to them. Students who live on EMU’s campus have an opportunity to use their room desks, study rooms, lounges and lobbies to study within the residence halls. Yet these areas have the potential to be very distracting with so many students and programs going on at once.
There’s the obvious study place: the library. While the benefit is that the library is open until midnight Monday through Thursday and it’s made for researching and studying, it may not be the best place for you personally.
Knowing your major can be very helpful in finding the right atmosphere to study. For instance, one of the benefits to being a biology or chemistry major and studying in the Mark Jefferson Science Complex is the fact that many of your professors and advisers are in the very same building.
Similarly, an English or political science major might want to consider studying in Pray-Harrold. This is especially true since Pray-Harrold has the Eagle Cafe and printers available to make studying easier.
While the building that is home to your major may seem like a good place to study, you need to also take into consideration what type of atmosphere works best for you. If you need a very quiet place with few distractions, the Science Complex really would be a good choice. Pray-Harrold, on the other hand, has many people walking around, talking, eating and waiting in line to use a printer.
The Student Center may seem very much like Pray-Harrold in its atmosphere, especially on the first floor with all the food being so readily available. But one of the benefits to studying in the Student Center is that it’s a great place for group projects. Part of this is due to the fact that it has lots of couches and tables.
“I enjoy studying at the Student Center mainly because I can get a bite to eat or coffee,” Andre Moses, from the student admissions office, said. “I can also see my friends as they walk by, which gives my brain a break from studying.”
If what you really need is an area dedicated to studying that isn’t the library, the Academic Programing Office at McKenny Hall has a new option available for students this upcoming year. Study tables will provide an opportunity for students to have resources available to make studying easier.
This can be beneficial in comparison to the Student Center because the study tables will be an opportunity to limit distractions. Historically, study tables have been a study tool made for student athletes, but now it will be a free resource for all students.
“There will be two graduate students at any given time … there will be peer tutoring, tutors from the basic classes, science instructors … and some professors,” Matt Gill, who works at the academic programming office, said.
The study tables will include areas for quiet study, group work, computer stations and workshops that focus on skill building, according to Gill.
The study tables will be open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday 6-9:30 p.m. in McKenny Hall.
Still on campus, though not quite as focused as study tables, are the Holy Trinity Catholic Student Parish and Cross and Resurrection Lutheran Church. These religious buildings welcome students to come and study, even if the students are not studying theology. Cross and Resurrection has an area with a fireplace so that students can feel relaxed as they study.
“[The church’s student center] gives students on campus a quiet place to study and build community,” Karmen Saran of Holy Trinity said.
There will be coffee and snacks made available, as well as a big screen TV for breaks. Ultimately, Saran wants students to know that the church is for students to have a spot to go.
If school buildings and religious environments don’t work for you, try working outside and see if you can find your own study tree. Once you know the types of environments you feel the most comfortable in and work the best in, you can stakeout multiple study spots around EMU’s campus.
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