Studying 101: where to study and how to do it


Dana Porter Library

Dana Porter Library (DP) offers seven floors of study space divided into three distinct zones: silent, quiet, and group study areas. On the main floor, you can seek research assistance from the librarians at the Research and Assignment Help Desk. The Circulation Help Desk can also help you issue books and address other academic inquiries or concerns.

The main floor of DP also features Browsers Café, where you can grab a coffee or snack during your study session. Only WatCard, Visa, and Mastercard are accepted.

Water refill spots – 0

Noise level – 1/5

Mathematics and Computing Building (third floor)

The MC Comfy Lounge, located on the third floor of the Mathematics and Computing building, lives up to its name with comfy armchairs and the Math Coffee and Donut (CnD) next door providing a range of delicious snacks including coffee, soups, and patties.

On sunny days, soak in the sunlight on the CnD’s balcony and enjoy the scenic view of the Peter Russell Rock Garden while studying or taking breaks.

Water refill spots- 2

Noise level – 4/5

Envitonment 1

Also accessible from the Arts Quad, Environment 1 (EV1) houses the Environment Student Society (ES) Lounge and the EV1 courtyard. The ES Lounge, located on the basement floor of EV1 right beside the Environmental Studies Coffee Shop, is a lively spot to freshen up your study routine with a little sunlight. In addition to the cafe right beside it, the lounge has a microwave and various seating options like high chairs next to outlets, couches, and tables for group work.

In the winter, check out the courtyard on the main floor, a warm, quiet, and slightly humid space which doubles as a greenhouse for the plants inside.

Water refill spots – 1

Noise level – 3/5

St. Jerome’s University

If you didn’t know, the university colleges are open for any UW student to study in regardless of co-registration! Cross the bridge in front of the SLC to get to St. Jerome’s Academic Center (SJ2), the lobby of which is quiet, spacious, and often not busy, all the makings of a productive study space. If you’re looking for something cozier, St. Jerome’s library provides several bookable study rooms as well as seats throughout.

Water refill spots – at least 2

Noise level – 2.5/5

Waterloo Public Library (Uptown Waterloo)

If you’re looking for an off-campus study spot near the university, head down the ION from the UW Station to Willis Way Station, where a five-minute walk northwest will lead you to the Waterloo Public Library.

Here you’ll find a peaceful environment perfect for studying. You can also borrow a book for leisurely reading, for which you’ll need a library card, free to obtain through the self-service kiosks or with the help of a librarian.

If you feel hungry after a productive study session, the nearby Waterloo Square offers a range of restaurants and eateries to satisfy your cravings — everything from burgers to boba.

Water refill spots- 0

Noise level –1/5

Study Tips

  1. If you’re having trouble with a specific topic, reach out for help! If you’re too shy to approach professors in class, consider using office hours or class Discords to engage with classmates in a more comfortable environment.
  2. Don’t forget to take care of yourself both physically and mentally by getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, and staying active with regular exercise. Imagine trying to study for exams when you’re sleep deprived — you’ll be fighting an uphill battle just to stay awake, let alone retain information.
  3. Try the Pomodoro Technique — set a timer for 25 minutes of intense studying followed by a five-minute break. After four cycles, take a longer break. This method helps maintain concentration and prevents procrastination by breaking study sessions into more manageable chunks.
  4. Write a clear to-do list with tasks ranked by urgency and importance. Even better, team up with a study buddy to hold yourself accountable. Crossing tasks off the list provides a sense of accomplishment and reduces procrastination.