Sometimes in that mid-semester haze, we all forget there’s more places to study than Butler on this campus,and find ourselves lost when there’s not an empty seat in sight in Ref. Luckily, Staff Writer Kiana Taghavi has done all the hard work and compiled a list of alternatives. If you know any other great study spots, leave them in the comments!
It’s Saturday morning. You’re up before 11. You’re feeling somewhat motivated, with a grande iced coffee in one hand and Plato’s Republic in the other. You text your friend, and both of you begin your forty-four minute trek to find a spot to study. Just a single spot to study.
You’d think that at a distinguished university like Columbia, students would constantly be reveling in cozy nooks, aesthetic library ceilings, and spacious, ultra-modern tables. Instead, some students, like me, have been facing a pressing campus crisis: a lack of study spaces.
Every time I decide to work in Butler, I waste at least thirty minutes shuffling between floors, hunting down a single open seat. At this point, I’m pretty content with sitting down on the ground of Butler 5, laptop charger plugged into the wall, backpack messily strewn across the antiquated floor, infinite particles of dust hitting my face every time I turn a page in my poli sci textbook. It’s a look.
With the help of my lovely Bwog family, I have compiled a list of places that won’t require an odyssey to find a spot to sit at.
- The Starbucks on 111th – spacious with an abundance of tables. (Overheard: they were playing all old Taylor Swift jams there on Monday night).
- Artopolis Espresso – a personal fave, delicious brunch, friendly staff, good vibes all around.
- The Lerner piano lounge, before noon – comes with a Broadway (and pigeon) view, filled with real people rather than study robots.
- The bottom floor of NoCo – great lighting, comfortable chairs.
- The basement of Avery – can usually get a table, quiet, sky lights.
- The street-level lounge of Law Library – comfortable couches, friendly noise that is conducive to studying.
- Carman Lounge – just like how Carman Hall doesn’t get better, Carman Lounge never gets dark, bright lights 24/7, spacious, a fitness center right next door if you ever need an instantaneous physical jolt.
- The East Asian Stacks – very warm and quiet, but dimly lit.
- The Sulzberger basement lounge – a warm dorm lounge (that only gets really busy during the night).
- The Gottesman Libraries (at Teachers College) – has two treadmill desks and an ergonomic design.
- LeFrak – smells clean, reminds a Bwogger of her aunt’s immaculate house.
- The papyrology and epigraphy room on Butler 6 – small, studious, solemn.
- Butler 8 cubicles – the ultimate example of function over form, the total opposite of But Caf.
- Altschul Atrium – comfortable chairs, lots of natural light, perfect for napping, open until 2 AM every night. (Disclaimer: only like two of the outlets in the whole room actually work).
- The 4th floor of Barnard Hall – the best armchairs on campus, excellent place to do reading.
- The 5th floor of Diana – nice for group work, rarely as crowded as most of the other floors.
- The Brooks Lounge (Barnard) – cozy, has great lighting and pretty windows, resembles Butler “without the horrible atmosphere.”
I have learned to avoid Columbia’s busiest study spots, especially Ref, from noon to midnight. After 12 AM, there is hope, as it seems to empty out. But why not shift the Butler-dominated status quo, find our own niches that will provide consistent study-centered spaces, and invest our time in fulfilling our NYC bucket lists instead of hopelessly wandering through campus parameters with a watered-down iced coffee and a tired back?
just looking at this makes me stressed via Columbia University