Everyone knows you can study in the Undergrad Library, or Grainger, or the main library. Most dorms have a study area as well. I don’t know about you, but I like finding places that might not be as well known. Here is a list of what I’ve come across so far. I know there are more, but I’ve been here for just over one semester, so cut me some slack.
ACES Library: It’s dedicated to ACES students, but open to everyone. The 4th floor has a great view, especially on the west side. If you get bored, you can always fly a paper plane over the railing and down to the second floor…
President's Lounge in the Illini Union.
Siebel Center: The first floor has a café and a hang-out area. It’s usually pretty quiet in there, especially while classes are in session.
The Union: Okay, so maybe this one’s obvious. The President’s Lounge is great for silent studying. The South Lounge is also really low-key. Sometimes a brave soul will softly play the baby grand in the corner. I love hearing anyone play, so I think that’s great. Warning for people who like it pin-drop quiet: There’s always a chance that someone won’t be able to resist pounding out Baba O’Reilly or some other classic as loud as they can. But if I were you I’d risk it.
MEL (Mechanical Engineering Laboratory): Right inside the entrance off the Engineering Quad, there are tables and a café. You can also hang out upstairs where there are more tables.
Espresso Royale: There are multiple ones in Champaign, but the most accessible is a block from the Quad (corner of Sixth and Daniel). If it’s too crowded, you can go in the basement, which is meant to be used as a study/hang-out spot. How convenient…
View from the loft of Espresso Royale at the corner of Goodwin and Oregon Streets.
There’s another Espresso Royale in Urbana, on Goodwin and Oregon. Same atmosphere: music in the background, nice cocoa smells. Instead of a basement, there’s a loft, which I think is cooler anyway. Warning: The loft couches. Are. Comfortable. Don’t fall asleep and get stuck in there all night… although if it were me, I‘d be pretty proud of myself.
County Market: Yeah, I am talking about the grocery store. It’s open 24/7 and has a café right inside the south entrance. There are more tables in the loft above the café. You can become one of the cool kids—after all, how many people can say they’ve studied in a grocery store? Besides, if you get trapped because a tornado is ravaging the campus, you will have plenty of food.
Krannert Center: There’s a café (pretty standard thing around here, it seems) and a lot of open space. Most of the big events there take place in the evening, so you’ll have plenty of room if you go during the day. Krannert is a good source for entertainment as well, with shows, talks, etc. going on every week.
Lincoln Hall: There’s a slightly hidden café on the first floor (you need to follow the signs). The building wraps around two outdoor courtyards, both of which have ample seats—could be a prime spot during the warm spring months.
BIF (Business Instructional Facility): Located on the corner of Sixth and Gregory, it has a very nice common area with lots of room. Pretty sure there’s a café, too…
You’ll probably consider these next ones to be a stretch. Why bother, you say. In the words of some famous person, why not?
Intermezzo Cafe inside the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
Ice Arena: There are lots of tables in the (not cold) room next to the rink, as well as (you guessed it) a café. Actually, it’s a concession stand. The point is, there’s food. One thing I learned when I got here is people like food. Like, really like food. The great thing about getting work done in an ice arena is that if you get bored, you can go skating. There’s open skate every day.
ARC (Activities and Recreation Center): First of all, there’s a ton of stuff to do there: climbing wall, pool, hoops, cooking classes, yada yada yada. Also, there’s a café. Yep. Enough said.
CRCE (Campus Recreation Center East): CRCE has a hang-out spot right by the stairs leading up to the workout area. The TV is always on, but it’s not too loud—I’ve actually seen people studying there. Also, there’s a TCF Bank ATM in the lobby. Get your cabbages here! That’s an actual slang term for cash. I did not just make that up.
Music Building: There’s a little area on the second floor with couches and wall outlets. It’s pretty quiet (sometimes you hear notes leaking out of the nearby practice rooms), and usually no one hangs out there for more than 10 minutes. So if you really want to be somewhere obscure, that’s a good place.
Sushi Ichiban: (It’s on Wright just north of Green.) They have free wifi. Of course, it helps if you order sushi…
For a really obscure place, try the tunnel that connects Noyes Lab to the Chem Annex.
What is YOUR favorite studying place or hang-out spot? Comment below and let me know!