‘Twas the week before finals, and all through the Swem, not a table was open, not even on the third floor. At some schools, finding a place to sit in your favorite bar would prove much more difficult than finding a seat in the library, but as every TWAMP knows, Swem becomes an almost impossible place to study during finals, especially in a group. That’s why we complied a list of alternative study spots you might not have thought of to get you through this finals season.
Grab your favorite latte from Aromas and get to work at these 10 places to study at the College of William and Mary.
1. The B School
“It’s new, there’s temperature control in each room, the rooms are spacious and mostly sound proof, there are lots of rooms available (there are some on the first floor and more in the basement), the markets room is dope they very nice computers with two screens,” junior Misha Shender said. However, he offered a few warnings about studying at the business school too. “The cafe closes at 5 p.m. so if you study late bring a snack. Also, there’s no reception in the basement,” Shender said. If you haven’t checked out the B school yet, definitely try writing that final English paper of the semester on one of their beautiful couches in front of a fireplace in the lobby. It will make you feel like the Public Ivy royalty you really are.
2. The basement of Lokal
I don’t know about you, but during finals my diet consists of pizza, coffee and more pizza. So do your poor malnourished bod a favor and study in the basement of Lokal. The vibe feels kind of kitschy eclectic yoga studio…possibly because they actually have a yoga studio off to the side of their basement lounge area. So order a green smoothie bowl and get your study on the healthy way.
3. Barnes and Noble
Raise your hand if you’ve ever avoided Swem to avoid running into every single person you know. The upstairs of Barnes and Nobles on DoG Street offers the same focused study vibe as Swem (Starbucks cafe included), but you probably won’t run into that utter stranger you bonded with at bars a month ago and now feel forced to say hi to every time you see them. If you’re feeling bold, try sitting in one of the cut out windows with your laptop (yeah I know they aren’t officially seats, but how cozy do they look?).
“My favorite place to study on campus is Swemromas. I love curling up there for hours at a time, especially because of how close I am to coffee and snacks. I really like being able to get productive work done while still in a relaxed environment where I can listen to music, talk with friends, and get up and move around if I need a break. It’s the perfect spot to finish a paper or do my readings for class,” junior Sarah Smith said. If need to finish a problem set ASAP and want the third floor Swem vibe plus coffee proximity, give sitting in the little cozy silent room attached to Swemromas a try.
5. Tucker Hidden Dugout
I came upon this place while trying to find my professor’s office in the basement of Tucker one day. Surrounded by a mural of a million different literary references, it makes the perfect place to get some final English paper inspo. Bring a cup of hot coffee and go around noon to make this spot work even during chilly Fall semester finals week.
6. Matoaka Docks
“There are so many peaceful outdoor spaces on W&M campus that most people don’t even know about. I suppose out of all of them my favorite is the Matoaka docks, but people should really look at our campus green space map made by the Parks Research Lab to see other good outdoor study spots!” junior Darrien Spitz said. You might need to look at that map for directions on how to get to Matoaka too (no? Just me?).
7. Physics Library
“It’s nice and quiet! And there aren’t that many tables so it’s unlikely you’ll run into people,” junior Tess Thompson said. Located in 151 Small Hall, most non-physics majors have not come across this spot in their twampy journey yet. So if you really need to focus, be sure to check it out. There’s a lot of natural light and cozy little nooks for you to hide out from this crazy swamp in too.
8. Basement of Swem
Attention freshmen and snobs: Swem’s basement exists, and it has a much nicer vibe than the rest of Swem. With a lowered pit style seating area, warm color combinations and an ancient looking statue in the middle, the ambiance beats that of all the upper floors with flying colors. Bring some headphones though: There’s no noise limit down there so no one quite knows whether to talk or not.
9. Crim Dell Meadows
“When the weather is warmer, I prefer to study outdoors (although I’ll bundle up and go when its cold anyways). It helps me feel more connected to the world around me. The Crim Dell Meadow is probably one of my favorite spots on campus,” senior Anatolia Hodson said. Grab a picnic blanket, a friend and a speaker and go lounge or look over some flash cards so you don’t lose that vitamin D intake just because of finals.
10. A Bar
What? Studying in a bar? Something so unheard of sounds wild for twamps like us. But hear me out: Green Leafe, Culture Cafe and College are pretty much empty during the weekday daylight hours. They’re cozy, have some sort of wifi available, and sometimes having a beer with your essay might not be the worst thing in the world.