To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Hoot Recommends: study spots

Welcome to Hoot Recommends! In this series, members of The Hoot’s editorial board talk about their favorite or least favorite things on campus and in life. In this edition, we’ll be talking about our favorite study spots on campus!



I had often heard that working in your room wasn’t a great idea, and up until last semester, I more or less ignored the advice. I always found myself working at 2 a.m. in my bed, and though it definitely wasn’t my first choice, it kept happening, and kept working. However, after struggling with a particularly rough essay, I found myself lagging beind in a classroom after the class was over, trying to add progress to my paper. 


And for some reason, working in that setting was extremely helpful! Maybe it was the fact that the assignment was for the class that just ended, and my thoughts were still fresh from the lesson, but I was able to make quite a good deal of progress sitting at my desk. Since then, I’ve found myself drifting back to the classroom when I need to work. 


The large tables make for great places to work with friends, work with groups on projects assigned in class or to just spread out all of your supplies and texts for easy access. Furthermore, the projector allows for a variety of uses, including projecting slides from class to review and hosting group review games. The main issue would be finding a time when the class is free, but once you do, it serves as a great space to work!




I really like to study in quiet spaces, because it helps me stay focused on whatever I’m working on rather than getting distracted and pulled into conversations around me. For that reason, I love to study in the dungeon (AKA Goldfarb 3). 


I love the peace and quiet that comes along with studying in the dungeon, but sometimes I need to jump on a Zoom call. When I do need the ability to make noise without being judged, I study in my room. It comes with the added benefit of access to all of my snacks, which is arguably better than peace and quiet in some scenarios.




I find myself appreciating different spots on campus depending on the type of studying I need to complete. If I really need to complete a paper or cram for a test because I’ve procrastinated and/or forgotten about it, I love the dungeon which is located in either Farber or Goldfarb 3. The nice thing about the Brandeis library is that it gets quieter the further you go down, so it’s easy to find a spot for you. 


If it’s a nice day outside and I want to get some fresh air, I will usually head to the balcony within the Mandel Humanities Center or the Shapiro Science Center. Mandel has a great view of campus, while the Science Center has a stunning view of Boston and beyond. Or, I will sit by a tree by Usdan. 


I have just a few more suggestions. The next would be Goldfarb 2, just up the stairs. It’s never too crowded because there aren’t that many tables, so if you can snag one, you will get some great studying done. 


Finally, I have to appreciate my room. If I need complete and utter privacy and want to interact with absolutely no one, my room is the only place for that. While I don’t ever recommend doing work in your bed, if you have a nice desk or couch, it can make for a really great private student spot.




So pretty much everyone else has said their room. I tried to think of something different for some variety, but it is difficult because I am someone who is also often getting work done in my room. Specifically I like to be in my bed so I can be comfortable while I work. I know some people think they can not focus there, but I work best when I am in a relaxed way of sitting. It is freeing. Also, the beauty of my room is that I can be totally alone and be free to do whatever I want. It is my own space to figure everything out and work through everything. Furthermore, I am someone who likes to talk things out when I’m working, and that can lead to weird looks if I do that in public. The peacefulness of my room is where I thrive, it is where I get my best work done, and it is where I am typing this recommendation right now.


If I had to name another spot, I would have to say that a good spot is in a booth at Sherman dining hall in the middle of the afternoon. If you are ever getting lunch, bring your laptop with you. Once you are finished eating, pull out your laptop and headphones and get to work. If it is around 3 p.m., you’ll get a decent amount of quiet while also having good lighting. You get to be almost alone, but still in a big space. Plus, the booths are always a nice place to sit, as you can turn it into your brief cozy area. So instead of wasting the time of walking from the dining hall to your next destination, set up shop and get to work.




I am a big fan of the Farber mezzanine for group studying. It is a little gross, but the ability to use a big whiteboard and pull your chairs into a circle, plus the general buzz around you makes for a fun study session. Plus, you’ll probably run into someone else in your class at some point. If I really need to put my mind to things, I use my room or Goldfarb 2. My room is a good place to ensure I’ll never be distracted by any of my friends, and I think Goldfarb 2 has an atmosphere that’s really conducive to productive studying.


I also think studying outside is severely underrated, especially during spring semester finals. If it’s a nice day, studying outside can give you a real serotonin boost. As an added plus, I feel like when I’m studying outside I really need to commit to the “college brochure” aesthetic, which actually helps me to get more done.




So those are all nice and good. But I think, with all due respect to my fellow editors, finding a pleasant, cozy spot to study is frankly just boring. Personally, I like to study under intense fear of being hunted to death by eldritch horrors beyond my comprehension. Thankfully, I go to Brandeis, so this is pretty easy to do. If you’ve ever found yourself exploring the underbelly of upperclassman housing at the edge of Lower Campus, you may have found an interesting sight between the back buildings of Ziv Quad and the Epstein building—one that may have made you go OH GOD WHO IS THAT out loud. 


You see, nestled within the trees in this remote periphery of campus there is, inexplicably, a statue of a man dressed as a typical farmer who at first glance really does look like a guy ominously standing there (and who our copy editor Michael Sun ’26 swears has moved since last semester). And this, dear readers, is where I like to study, in the small hours of the night, preferably in a sleep-deprived state, constantly looking over my shoulder to double-check that the strange statue man is still there. But hey, my papers always turn out pretty decent so who am I to complain?

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