By Kate Arnold
As you start your time at William and Mary, you will soon realize that most W&M students have a series of study spots they swear by. Those study spots can be hard to find, but when you find a location that works for you, almost nothing else will suffice when midterms and finals roll around. To help you on your study spot discovery journey, I have listed some of my favorite spots to study on and around campus
- The Swem Basement: While not exactly hidden, this study spot is all too often underutilized. While I heard about the tiered noise system in Swem on my tour of campus, the Swem basement is something I wish I explored much sooner. Filled with art from other countries, beautiful statues, and a pit full of comfy couches and chairs, Swem basement is an incredible place to study if you enjoy the structure of a library study space with the fun and funky atmosphere of an alternative coffee shop.
2. Crim Dell Meadow: Throughout the pandemic, the Crim Dell Meadow has received some upgrades. It is now fully stocked with Adirondack chairs, bench swings, and hanging lights for all your outdoor social and studying needs. This is a great spot for anyone who likes to mix stretches with studying with breaks, as you’re sure to find some friendly faces if you take a break to wander around the corner to Sadler Terrace. The Meadow is also right next to the rock garden, the Wellness Center’s meditation walk path, and the “Spring” statue if you need to walk away from work and decompress.
3. Wolfe Law Library: Located in the Law School, this study space is a bit of a walk, but is completely worth it. This is perfect for students who work best when surrounded by silence and other students at work. One look at the law students in the library is enough to motivate any undergraduate to finish their assignments. Additionally, the Wolfe library’s resources are open for undergraduates to use, which can add some extremely interesting resources and citations to any research paper.
4. Reveley Garden: Located outside Jefferson Hall, the Reveley Garden is a new addition to campus, finishing construction last spring. This is a space full of outdoor seating for you to spread out your work, and is a short walk away from the many coffee shops of CW when you find yourself in need of a break.
5. Chancellor Hall: I wished I had learned sooner in my college career that academic buildings were open in the evenings for students to study. This is a great space for those who don’t do well in libraries, but need to work in an indoor space coded for academia. Chancellor Hall has individual and group study rooms, as well as classrooms that can be used for larger friend and study groups. I mention Chancellor in particular because as a Government major, I am in that building the most often, but other academic buildings I recommend studying in include Boswell, Washington, McGlothlin, and Tucker Hall
6. CW Tables: While not technically on campus, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful study space in Colonial Williamsburg that has emerged in the last year. The tables in CW are a recent addition to the landscape, but it has quickly become my favorite place in Williamsburg to work. Shops are mere steps away, so you can take a lunch break while you work no problem, and I have found that the hustle and bustle of families and tourists make for great background noise while I work.
7. Williamsburg Regional Library: Another incredible off campus spot! The Williamsburg Regional Library has a shaded terrace area, completed with tables and fountains. The sound of rushing water in the background and the cool atmosphere of the terrace make for a serene study location. Additionally, it is a study space few other students use, meaning you and your friends will have it all to yourself. Bake Shop is right down the street, so you can sip on a coffee while you write your papers.
Kate is a junior at William & Mary from Woodbridge, VA. She is a double major in Government and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies on a pre-law track. She is passionate about law because she believes it is a powerful tool to help others, and hopes one day to either be a public defender or an attorney for a civil rights law firm. On campus, she lets her inner legal nerd loose with undergraduate Mock Trial and Merrimac Mentors.
During her downtime, you can find Kate taking night walks through CW with friends or sitting on the Terrace. She is a total extrovert and loves meeting new people, but be warned that she is known to share lots of information about niche topics, including but not limited to: American Girl Dolls, the Amish lifestyle, Taylor Swift, and early 2000s TV shows. Kate has been a GGV OA since her sophomore year and is beyond excited to make Orientation the best experience for incoming students it can possibly be.