Best Places for Study & Relaxation

11 Oct

Work hard, play hard. That’s my personal motto this year. I am always speed-walking through campus to classes, cramming last-minute study sessions into my schedule before tests, and trying to enjoy myself and have fun, too.

While it may be one of the greatest times in our lives, college can also be an exhausting experience. What helps get me through the hustle and bustle of everyday campus life are those niches and special spots on campus where I can either focus on schoolwork or relax and take a breather.

It’s important to remember that we both need a little down time at some point, so I’ve created a list for you of my favorite places on campus from the “Most Relaxing” environment to a spot that’s “Most Hidden.”

8th Floor of Optical Sciences Building

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The Optical Sciences building is by far the most aesthetically pleasing building on the UA campus. The surrounding smooth-pebbled rocks and glass modern art sculptures give the outside area a very zen feel, while the inside is filled with natural light. If you’re looking for a place to take a breath and get away from all the rush-and-go of pedestrian congestion and speeding golf carts, head up to the eighth floor and circle around to the study lounge area where you can enjoy this magnificent view of campus:

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The Optical Sciences study lounge provides comfortable couches, large study tables, and a glass enclosed patio area. If it’s not finals week, there’s usually only a few people in here so you can spread out your books and take up two tables without feeling too guilty.

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As weird as it sounds, my favorite part about this unique place is the nearby microwave and sink. It makes it easy to microwave my Quaker’s Real Medleys Oatmeal (it has dried fruit in it, making it the best oatmeal ever). Then I can sit down with a bowl of hot oatmeal and get my study (or Netflix) on.


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If I’m not in class, and I’m not at work, then I’m probably sitting in a booth at Pangea. Pangea is my ultimate hang out place because it provides a comfy environment and delicious food. The colors inside are neutral and pleasing to the eye, and the booths are large and numerous. What makes this restaurant special from all others on campus is that the menu changes every 1-2 weeks, so you never get bored. They have an everyday pasta bar with ravioli and spaghetti, but they also serve different cultural foods from Chinese to Indian in their “World Fare” section. I love the World Fare section the best because they always have at least one delicious vegetarian dish.

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Pangea is usually poppin’ during lunchtime, but there’s always an open booth or table somewhere. The downside to studying here is that it gets pretty loud, so make sure you bring some headphones to tune out the background noise and crank up our latest Spotify playlist.

5th Floor of Science and Engineering Library

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If I have a major test coming up and am looking to get some serious studying done, I go to the library. There’s something about being in an environment surrounded by books that motivates me to get work done and not procrastinate. I like the Science and Engineering library the best because it’s the one closest to the Student Union, so it’s usually the most convenient to walk / bike to or from classes. The fifth floor is the highest floor of this library, which means it is the quietest floor.

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When midterm time rolls around (which is right now), my friends and I engage in intense study session and lock ourselves in a study room until all our work is done. The study rooms are the best place to be in any library because they have outlet access, large tables, and whiteboards. Make sure you reserve a room though, otherwise another group could kick you out!

Shady area between Koffler and Bio Sciences East Buildings

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Sometimes you have this awkward 30-minute gap between classes. It’s fitting that I have mine going from the Koffler building to Bio Sciences East because there is a wonderful outdoor break area right between the two buildings! Although it’s just a simple walkway lined with trees and benches, the shrubbery and high tree branches make it feel like you’ve stepped out of campus and into raw nature. This area gives me a shady spot to relax and distress; a spot hidden away from the crowds of people.

Orange Grove Trees Walkway 


I’m sure you have all walked through this line of orange grove trees at some point this year. It looks pretty insignificant, but for me, it’s 30 seconds of peace and escape. It allows me to step away from the hustle and bustle of campus life and take a brief mental rest. But if you do enjoy this beautiful walkway, don’t eat the oranges on the trees, they’re not edible!

Heritage Hill 

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One of the most known spots on campus to meet and hang out, Heritage Hill is always a popular place to be.

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The grassy knoll is a great place to lay out and catch some rays, take a nap, read, or socialize. Grass is rare in Arizona and Heritage Hill provides luscious grass yearlong to enjoy. Personally, I like to sit there between classes and people watch while eating lunch. The weather is beautiful right now, so take advantage of the outdoors before the winter cold sets in, because winter is coming. I would suggest gathering up some friends during lunch and having an old-fashioned picnic; don’t forget the blanket and napkins!

– Kaelyn Garner

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