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Studying Sanctuaries: My Preferred Places to Hit the Books

George P. looks at some of his favorite study spots on campus!

George P. looks at some of his favorite study spots on campus!

Here at Carleton, there’s always a lot of work to get done. As a result, we spend a good amount of time studying and for me, where I’m studying matters quite a bit! I make sure to keep my living space separate from my working space so I tend not to work in my dorm. Also, I like to often change up where I work, so I’ve been all over campus! In this blog, I’ll highlight five of my favorite spots from classrooms to hidden musical gems.

Fourth Libe

My most common study spot is the fourth floor of the Gould Library, aka the Libe. This is the perfect place for when I want to find some friends and work in a group setting. I find the group tables here to be a good mix of socialization and locking in on my work. Also, with massive windows surrounding the floor you can always get a beautiful view of Lyman Lakes and plenty of natural light. Fourth Libe is a great place to quickly stop by in between classes or clubs with its central location and always accessible tables. Whether it’s a twenty minute stop after lunch or a four hour grind on the weekend, I know I’ll see some friendly faces and experience great vibes here. Fourth Libe is also the home of our Writing Center where you can stop by to pick up some tea and a few pencils or meet with one of our super helpful writing assistants. I also love to stop by the chess board here for a quick study break. If I had to pick one spot on campus to study in all day, it would definitely be here!

Studying in Gould Library
Always good company at fourth Libe!

Outdoor Tables

Next to the Center for Math and Computing, we have a set of tables perfect for studying outside. Despite Minnesota being exceptionally warm this winter, I haven’t been able to study at this spot as much recently, but this was my go-to during the Fall term! During Fall term, I would always go here to get some work done after my Calculus class. We have a lot of really beautiful days here in southern Minnesota and it’s nice to be out in the sun whenever possible. This spot also provides an excellent view of Lyman Lakes and the beautiful Mai-Fete Island.

Outdoor Classroom
Hard at work on a beautiful fall day!

Ground State

The Anderson Basement, or Ground State as the Physics majors call it, is the home of the Physics department. As a prospective Physics major, I have definitely spent my fair share of hours here. The Ground State is surrounded by super cool labs and white boards with equations I can’t even dream of understanding until I’m an upperclassman. I like to go to the Ground State during all the Physics office hours or PSF (physics student facilitators) sessions. They have a lot of resources for Physics students, so I’m here a lot! I always feel like I am part of a supportive community when I’m around the Physics department and it’s a great place to get in the right mindset for a tough problem set.

Studying in Anderson Basement
Late night problem set with Max!

Record Libe

One super cool spot on campus is the Record Library where we hold thousands of vinyls and CDs. The Record Libe is located right next to the KRLX studio and right beneath Sayles Cafe.  Some of my friends like to serve as Record Libe volunteers so I like to join them and bring some work to get done. You are literally surrounded wall to wall with vinyls and it’s a super cozy atmosphere. Not only is it a nice space but you can also play whatever music you want, and the speakers are absolutely unmatched! You can read more about KRLX and the Record Library here in George Wening’s blog!

Record Library
Looking at the CD collection down in the Record Libe!

Geology Room

Last but definitely not least, we have the geology room, affectionately referred to by my friends as the “Anderson fishbowl” due to the windows surrounding the room, putting all students and rocks on display. While doing our geology final last term my friends and I fell in love with this spot. With some music playing and many geology majors around for support, this was the perfect place to work on our projects. The geology room is also nicely located next to Schulze Cafe for some quick caffeination. Anderson is also open later than the Library on most nights making it my go-to spot for late night readings. You can read more about my amazing geology experience here!

Geology Coffee Hour
Fun times at the Geology Coffee Hour!


George P. (he/him) is a first-year student interested in studying Geology, Religion, and Physics. George is a native of Western Massachusetts and can’t wait to explore everything Minnesota has to offer! George’s passions include Karls frisbee, indie music, flannels and root vegetables. George also loves to be around soil, volunteering on the Student Organic Farm and hopefully working on a farm in Maine next Summer! Meet the Other Bloggers!