In celebration of finishing the final midterms before spring break, I wanted to use this post to pay a small tribute to some of the most wonderful and essential resources Rice has to offer: the study spots. Rice is decked out from one end to another in benches and tables, in little study booths tucked out of the way, and wide, open arrangements of tables. So, as a tribute to the long week of studying we here at Rice have just gotten through, here are some of my favorite study spots:
Fondren Library (aka Fondy)
Rice’s big, loveable library, Fondren, is my place to go when I have an hour here or there and want to get some quick work done, or if I need a spot for quiet and focused work.
First, there are study booths on most of the floors that are tucked in alongside the stacks. I like studying here when I really need to be separated and focused. There are individual study booths lining the walkways as well as the types of booths you see pictured here, which are near windows overlooking the back of the library and the quad beyond. There are also amazing study rooms on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors that can be reserved. Amazing if you want to be in a secluded area, but still be able to collaborate with one or two other people.
Another cool spot is the first floor, which has a much more open layout and plenty of options for your quick studying option. I like to study on the first floor if I’m trying to just find a desk to do some little tasks on. And the last of the places I’ll mention is the library’s sixth floor, aka Fondy 6th, the silent floor. As an English/Political Science double major who writes often and has a bad habit of typing loudly, I’ve never been up there. But some people love it for really focused, quiet work.
Residential Colleges (aka your home)
Every one of the residential colleges is set up with different places anyone can go and study. Because I’m a resident of Duncan College, I’m specifically talking about Duncan spots, but every residential college has similar spaces.
First, your college’s commons. This is the place to be if you want to collaborate with your friends on a math or physics problem set, or if you’re looking to do some casual paper-editing while talking to people or waiting for the servery to open. Except for maybe around 6am, you’ll always be able to find people in a college’s commons.
Second, college quads. Since Houston weather is great most days, you’ll want to go outside at least at some point. Duncan quad, pictured below, has a great array of picnic tables in sun and shade. Water Bonus: Duncan has the DuncTank, where you can do your readings for your history or chemistry class while listening to the soothing sound of running water.
Every residential college also has its own spots. Some have awesome open spaces on each floor, white boards and couches that are great for hanging out, convenient, and open for multiple groups to study in. Others have individual study rooms. Other residential colleges (like Duncan), have a Sundeck or other rooftop spaces. There are days when it feels really great to study while overlooking the Downtown or Med Center skyline, and I can do that here!
Water Bonus: Brockman Water Tank
Lastly, I want to shed some light on one of my favorite outdoor study spots: next to the water tank in front of Hamman Hall and behind Brockman Hall. Out of the way, this is also an amazing place I like to spend time when I want to be outside. It’s hidden between buildings, so not a lot of people are walking back and forth, and even better – it’s in the shade at all times. You can be outside while not worrying about the glare on your computer screen! What more could you want? Recommended in particular for all my social sciences and (non-theatre) humanities friends who are less likely to have class over here and ever find such an awesome spot.
Most universities are going to have their share of fun spaces you can visit when you need a place to get some work done, but at Rice I really feel like these spaces are here for me. On Rice’s big and beautiful campus, there are so many nooks, that I probably won’t ever find them all. But that’s also part of the fun of it: you can really make the most of the spaces here and make some of them your own. I recommend finding your escape, finding your focus zone, and finding the place that makes your time at Rice feel a little bit more like home. Happy studying, or more importantly – happy exploring!