Due to the precautions taken at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for COVID-19, students are spending more and more time in their rooms, studying for online or hybrid classes. While it’s great that the university has taken these safety measures to keep students and faculty safe, sometimes students want to find a place to take class that isn’t in their bed.
Last week, I set out to find the best places on campus to attend Zoom classes and study when staying in my room is just too much to bear. Here’s a list of my favorite studying experiences.
5. Nebraska Union Greenspace
While it's still pleasant and sunny outside, it’s good to take advantage of the fresh air and take a class outside. I set up a blanket on the grass by Selleck and the Union and had a lovely afternoon attending class and studying. However, many things need to go right in order for this spot to work out.
Advantages: Fresh air and sunlight are good for students who normally spend their days indoors. It’s easy to study with friends while social distancing. If you are alone or six feet away from others, you can de-mask and take in the fresh air. There are a variety of spots on campus where you can study outside.
Disadvantages: The temperamental Nebraska weather can easily make it too hot or too cold for this option. If it’s too sunny outside, it can be hard to see your computer screen. There can also be plenty of distractions, and if you’re attending a class where you need to actively participate, it can be hard to hear if you are in a busy location.
4. Coffee Shops
While most coffee shops aren’t exactly on campus, there are plenty just a short walk away. Some of my favorites are The Coffee House, The Foundry and The Mill. They’re often a quiet, cozy place to attend class if you need to reward yourself with coffee for a little extra motivation. However, your bank account might not thank you after one too many trips.
Advantages: Coffee and snacks are always available and are a good tool to keep you awake and focused during class. Coffee shops are usually quiet with just a little bit of background noise on weekdays.
Disadvantages: It’s better for those muted-mic, video-off kind of classes due to the active buzz of people around. Going to a coffee shop isn’t something one could do everyday, otherwise your bank account will suffer. They can also be very busy and loud on the weekends.
3. Nebraska Union Food Court
Upon my quest to find the best Zoom spots on campus, I stumbled across a room I had never seen before on the east side of the food court in the Union. There were many spread-out tables, and, although there were quite a few people in there, the room was calm and a great place to sit and study.
Advantages: There’s lots of energy in the room due to the amount of people there, but it’s still quiet. It’s a good place to eat lunch while watching class or studying.
Disadvantages: It’s a secluded space, so it’s not the best location to attend a class that requires lots of active participation. Nobody wants to know what you got for No. 5 on your physics homework while enjoying their Subway sandwich.
2. Study Rooms in Knoll, University and Eastside Suites
One of my all-time favorite places to study and watch lectures on campus has always been the study rooms in the suites. The rooms on the corners have large windows that provide tons of natural light, and you can usually have a room to yourself. However, this spot has some setbacks.
Advantages: This spot is perfect for Zoom classes that require participation since it is a private space. It’s quiet and you don’t need headphones.
Disadvantages: You can only access the suites if you live in a residence hall on campus or if you go with a friend who does. It can get cold or warm depending on if the sun is shining in, due to the floor to ceiling windows.
1. Love Library Study Rooms
The best and most convenient place I have found on campus to study and attend Zoom classes are the Love Library study rooms. The advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages on this private space that any student can access.
Advantages: The study rooms are private spaces for those who need to participate in class. You can get rooms for just yourself or for multiple people. They are comfortable, with cushioned chairs and lots of room to spread out. Many rooms are available for a variety of uses like attending Zoom classes, studying, holding a meeting or taking an exam. Easy access to Dunkin Donuts always makes classes better.
Disadvantages: Unless you are very lucky, you need to reserve the study rooms ahead of time at go.unl.edu/scheduleit.