As you might imagine, there is no shortage of study spots on Yale’s campus–in fact, it’s quite the opposite. There are actually so many places to hunker down that it can be hard to choose the perfect spot. Over the years, I’ve learned that different spaces are conducive to doing different kinds of work–for example, some reading rooms are better for problem sets, while others are better for group projects.
With some help from my friends, I’ve put together a (non-exhaustive) list of the best spots for doing different kinds of work. And of course, I’ve included a recommendation for the coffee you should be drinking as you work :)
Writing a paper: L&B Reading Room, Sterling Memorial Library
The cozy green carpet, large tables, and ample seating options make L&B one of my absolute favorite spots to study on campus. Its quiet, focused atmosphere is perfect for writing papers.
Coffee: A cup of light roast from Blue State Coffee, located right across the street, will power you through a couple pages of writing. And it’s easy to go back for more!
My friend Alex and I studied together in L&B practically every night our first year–I took this photo during our last study session for spring finals. Note the cup of Blue State!
Working on a small group project: Egyptology Room, Sterling Memorial Library
This small, super cozy reading room has a sturdy round table that is perfect for doing group projects. The floor-to-ceiling bookshelves make it feel especially ~collegiate~
Coffee: A dirty chai from Jitter Bus is perfect for the social vibe of a group project.
The Egyptology room also has enough space for taking a study break!
Busy work: Residential College common room
Need to write a few emails, proofread a final draft, or compare problem set answers with a friend? Plop down on a couch in your residential college on your way out from the dining hall. You’re likely to have a nice study soundtrack from someone playing the piano, as almost every common room has one!
Coffee: The only non-coffee on this list! Grab a mug of Tazo ginger tea instead from the dining hall, and mix it with lemon juice and honey.
Ah, classic Yale–in the Saybrook common room, Ben plays the piano while Matt reads the YDN.
Memorization work: Haas Arts Library Reading Room
The bright, burnt orange carpet, minimalist furniture design, and bright lighting in Haas are great for memorizing Quizlet flashcards or reviewing slides for an Art History exam.
Coffee: While drinks aren’t allowed inside Haas, stop by Willoughby’s for a cappuccino on your way in or during a quick study break.
The bright carpets in Haas are enough to keep you awake for awhile, so the whole “no coffee allowed” rule isn’t so bad…
Readings for English classes: Slavic Reading Room, Sterling Memorial Library
This smaller reading room has little tables, armchairs, and individual desks for reading. This fourth-floor room has stained glass windows which overlook the Gilmore Music Library, which I find really beautiful.
Coffee: You can’t go wrong with a Belgian Mocha Latte from Maison Mathis–it’s basically hot chocolate, but the shot of espresso will power you through several chapters of readings!
I procrastinate in Slavic by looking at all the beautiful detailing in the stained glass windows!
Group studying for an exam: Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)
This modern, well-lit, and talking-friendly space is great for doing exam review with classmates. The movable whiteboards make it particularly conducive to group problem-solving sessions.
Coffee: Grab a cup of cold brew on tap from Donut Crazy, located a literal stone’s throw away from the CTL.
The CTL is generally pretty talkative and energetic, which is great for getting through lots of review materials with a group.
Computer Science Problem Sets: Arthur K. Watson Hall
This building, where many CS professors have offices, is home to the Zoo, which is the CS department’s computer cluster. There are lots of tables, couches, and, of course, computers for doing your psets. Plus, office hours for lots of CS classes happen here.
Coffee: Grab a Red Eye from Ground Cafe at Becton Hall down the street–you’ll need a strong drink, because you’ll be up for a while…
Just another day of passing some and failing most test cases in AKW!
Physics/Chemistry/Biology Problem Sets: Steep Cafe at YSB
Steep, the new cafe on Science Hill, has beautiful indoor and outdoor seating options for finishing assignments in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Meet up with a couple classmates after lecture to get a head start on your next problem set.
Coffee: You can’t go wrong with a turmeric latte from Steep’s lovely coffee bar.
My friend Lena and I love to work at Steep–it is particularly nice to work outside on their patio when it’s a sunny day!
Readings for history and other social science classes: Periodical Reading Room
This room has long tables and super comfortable chairs for completing long readings and making a dent in your research papers. The large lamps spaced out down the tables will illuminate the pages of the enormous reference book you’re reading quite well.
Coffee: Grab a Cafe au Lait from Poindexter Coffee, located in the nearby Graduate Hotel.
I once found two of my suitemates from last year working together in Periodical. Anastasia in particular almost exclusively studies there.
Studying for finals: The Stacks, Sterling Memorial Library
Ok, hear me out. Some people don’t like the Stacks (where the majority of the actual books in Sterling are located) because they find it isolating. However, I find the individual desks located by tall windows to be perfect for the intense study period leading up to final exams. Particularly in December, when the days are short, having sunlight streaming in feels rejuvenating.
Coffee: Just trust me on this one: you’ll need a black coffee from Koffee?
Here’s Carla studying at one of the individual desks in the stacks–notice all the light streaming in through the windows!!