Five places to study at UMass

By Brandon Sides

(Chelsey Powell/Daily Collegian)
(Chelsey Powell/Daily Collegian)

As finals week approaches us all, it’s important to remember that W.E.B. Du Bois Library will be packed. But have no fear, dearest student, I’ve compiled a list of the best study spaces across campus for your grade point average’s benefit.

1. Bartlett Hall Lounge: This place has it all: comfortable couches, free books lined up along the walls, informational posters of campus happenings and – just added – a desk full of Macs. It’s the perfect place to sit back, relax and catch up on that journalism homework you’ve been putting off.

2. The Roots Café: Although no longer open 24 hours a day, the Roots Café has established itself as a go-to-place for a hungry student. It has luxurious bathrooms, modern furniture and the most delicious meals across campus. The Commonwealth Honors College has that hustle and bustle that practically forces the wheels in your brain to turn and you to crack open those books.

3. W.E.B. Du Bois Library: You thought I’d leave this one out? No chance. This place is the second-tallest academic library in the world, after all. It has floors and floors of books, loads of maps, study corners, cubbies, tutors, helpful librarians, inter-collegiate loaning systems, a café, easy-to use elevators and a plethora of stairs to keep your brain juiced in between sets of math logic. Just make sure you get there early, because (as I’ve mentioned) this place fills up fast. Excellent views of the Pioneer Valley are included at no extra charge.

4. The Recreation Center: You must think I’m joking, right? Well, study after study shows that exercise and healthy food improve academic performance. There’s no better place to go than the rowing machine or the basketball court to give your brain a change of pace. Feel free to enjoy world-class lockers, showers, machines, free weights and music.

5. Your nearest pillow and blanket: Another curveball, but this one’s just as important. Studies show that pulling all-nighters do not work. You must get your sleep on a normal schedule, and it’s even more important to do so as finals approach. Remember to go to bed on a regular schedule, stay away from the television, refuse to read before you snooze, wake up at a regular hour and refuse to sleep for more than 10 hours each night. Purchase some ear plugs or listen to soft music before you go to bed to help you relax.

Well, that’s all I have for you as finals approach. Feel free to carve out your own niche here on campus – this is UMass after all, and there’s something here for everyone. Other places to go to are Isenberg School of Management, Orchard Hill or the Southwest Beach. Also consider heading into Amherst Center to snuggle into your local coffee shop.

Good luck during finals.

Brandon Sides is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]