Starkville serves up savvy study spots

MSU senior Hannah Covington cracks open a book on the Drill Field, just one of the many creative study spots students have turned to.

Finding the right study spots has always been a foundational part of college academic success, but with an influx of online classes and quickly-approaching end of the semester deadlines, safe, socially-distant study spots are more crucial than ever. Despite the COVID-19 related challenges, good study spots still exist, as long as students are willing to get out of their homes and try them out. 

There are several key factors which contribute to the perfect study spot. This includes the opportunity to socially distance, the availability of "study snacks" nearby and how calm and quiet the environment is. Oftentimes with roommates, an overload of work and the busy life of being a college student, it can be hard to find the aforementioned attributes in a study environment.

First up on the list for the best study spot is Strange Brew Midtown in downtown Starkville. Not only does Strange Brew have amazing coffee and drinks, but they have a spacious and charming outdoor seating area. The area is covered and is attached to the coffee shop on the side.

Strange Brew allows students to pull out their homework while sipping on a hot drink. If you like the ambience of a coffee shop mixed with outdoors then this is definitely the study spot for you. MSU students frequent Strange Brew often, and students are likely to run into a friend while tackling the demands of Canvas.  

Mitchell Memorial Library is another place students visit when preparing for upcoming exams. Food, print access, quiet spaces, computer labs and more are all available at this spot. There are many positives to studying at the library — Einstein Bagels arguably being the best, and the study rooms are a notable feature. If you want to study without other people being in your space then the study rooms are perfect. Cleaned regularly and separated from the rest of the room, these rooms are COVID-19 safe. 

Isabel Burgess, a freshman kinesiology major, said she loves studying at the library.

"It's quiet and always so peaceful. When I go to study, I can just focus and get my work done," Burgess said. 

Burgess, like many others, frequents the library because of its convenience and how efficient she is in her work while studying there. 

Usually offering many open seats, it is rare to not find a place to work in the library, making it one of the best study spots.

Even though dorm studying is not always ideal, sometimes creativity makes it work in a moment of desperation. Students can try setting up in the lobby of their dorm or clearing off their desk and laying their study materials out to minimize clutter and distraction. Dorm studying works in a pinch when there is no time to hurry off to a different location. 

Freshmen business major Curtis Johnson said his dorm is his favorite spot to study.

"No sounds, easy access to food and just the easiest spot to get work done," Johnson said.

The last study spot on this list is just any spot available outside. Since the weather is changing, this study spot is becoming less and less optimal, but at times it can be exactly what one needs. Whether it is finding a bench outside, sitting underneath the Chapel of Memories or at the tables outside the Colvard Student Union, studying outside can be relaxing and the perfect change of environment from the same old boring scenery. 

Freshman aerospace engineering major Caitlyn Stiles shared her favorite outdoor spot.

"I like to study at the chairs outside the library because it is quiet and calm. The sunlight hits so nice in the evening," Stiles said. 

These study spots might work for some and not for others, but finding the perfect spot requires experimentation. A new place to study can remedy mental blocks and boredom by providing a change of pace. With exams just around the corner, great study spots are exactly what is needed to make it through the next couple of brutal weeks.

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