Alternative study spaces on campus

By in Culture

April — what a time. It’s the month when winter transforms into spring, when the birds begin to sing, and when the horde of procrastinators who should have started studying weeks ago swarm the Murray Library. This spring-time migration often leaves Murray congested, rowdy and not conducive to any meaningful studying. Good thing there are alternative study spaces on campus where you can get some work done.

The Health Sciences Building has a lot to offer for your study sessions. First off, the building is huge. There are five primary wings to the building, and each of them is equipped with common areas and private study rooms. If one wing is too crowded, you can simply move on to another wing.

However, the Health Sciences Building can be a pretty daunting place. It’s usually crowded — thanks, Tims — so finding a spot for you and your study crew can be difficult. If you’re like me and rarely spend time in the Health Sciences Building, then the building can also be terrifyingly labyrinthine. So, if you plan to study there, remember to bring a lamp, a week’s worth of provisions and a map.

If the Health Sciences Building is a little more clinical than you like, the Gordon Oakes-Red Bear Student Centre is another great place to study. Like Health Sciences, Gordon Oakes boasts a mixture of private and communal study spaces. What’s more, the windows that encompass the building and the skylight in the roof provide some of the best natural light on campus.

Alternative Study Spaces - Jeremy Britz
The sculpture garden is an unconventional place to study on campus.

Gordon Oakes has a lot going for it in the way of amenities as well. On the second floor, there is a fridge, a microwave and an oven that are all for common use. This building may also have some of the comfiest chairs on campus to boot.

But, the hidden gem of study places on campus is the Spinks Addition, attached to the Thorvaldson Building. Spinks is quiet, comfy and always clean. In my opinion, the higher up you go, the better it is for studying. The view from the fourth floor overlooks much of campus and allows for some of that necessary day-dreaming. The best part of studying in Spinks, however, is that you can literally study in an ivory tower.

Now that it’s April, you also have the opportunity to study outside, weather permitting. The obvious place for an outside study session is the Bowl. Essentially situated in the centre of campus, it’s ideal for studying, and all of the amenities that campus offers are within a short walk. Moreover, when the flowerbeds begin to blossom, you get all of that fragrant, fresh air that can clear your head for your studies. The main downside to the Bowl is that it is typically crowded and rowdy. Plus, you have to deal with all those damn Frisbee players.

If you are looking to get away from the racket of campus life, but you still want to be on university grounds, the sculpture garden is your best bet. Located near the Education Building, and far away from the bustle of campus activity, the sculpture garden is one of the most tranquil study spaces.

The garden is also one of the most unconventional places to study, as it is filled with dozens of unique and thought-provoking sculptures. Additionally, you can see the Saskatoon skyline and parts of the river from the garden, a view that may even surpass the view from the Spinks Addition.

At the end of the day, studying in an alternative space breaks up the inevitable monotony of the study-and paper season. And, if none of these options are enticing to you, the good old Murray Library always has your back.

Tanner Bayne

Photo: Jeremy Britz / Photo Editor