The Study Spot Lineup

As deadlines approach, The Stand examines our local study spaces.

Although we are still early on in the semester, it is never too early to start thinking about revision. As a university town, St Andrews has a wealth of places to study, but some are better known than others. It is often said that the growing university population is in need of more study spaces for students, but if you look carefully, you can avoid the scramble for library spaces. To give you a hint, here is a closer look at some of the study spots in town.

Main Library 

We all know the library. A massive concrete building in the centre of town, it sticks out like a sore thumb when surrounded by beautiful medieval buildings. Despite its car park-like exterior, it is surprisingly pleasant inside. With plenty of self-study space as well as computers available to use, it is one of the most practical and largest study spaces.

The library is open until 2 am, so perfect for those who like to burn the midnight oil, and also has a well-stocked café for that caffeine fix. Some students, however, find the library too crowded and stress-inducing, especially around the end of term. 8/10

St Mary’s Library / King James Library 

A hidden gem, this library is located within the School of Divinity on South Street, but is open to all students. For those students who came here imagining a Hogwarts-esque environment, this is for you. It is aesthetically pleasing, with bookcase-lined walls and oak tables that put you in the mindset for studying. The only downside is that there is nowhere for group or non-silent work, and its capacity is nowhere anything like that of the Main Library.  8.5/10

A Coffee Shop

If there is one thing that St Andrews isn’t short of, it is places to eat and drink. Some students find working in total silence distracting and prefer some background noise. Most of the coffee shops in town have large tables perfect for individual or group work. However, during busy periods they can become cramped (looking at you, Beanscene) and the noise can sometimes be a bit too much. You may also question how long you can hog a table for without being obliged to buy yet another latte, meaning that your study session could end up rather expensive. 6/10

Your flat

The seemingly most obvious choice for convenience, your own home has a lot to offer, study-wise. With food in the fridge and the kettle always at the ready, your flat can be a tempting place to stay all day and study. The downsides? It’s probably always too cold there and your flatmates will distract you by constantly suggesting more fun things to do besides your work. 7/10

The Beach

When the stuffy indoors gets just a bit too much, the perfect solution is to do your work al fresco. Both East and West Sands have plenty of space to spread out your books, and the stunning scenery found there can only serve to enhance academic thought. However, given the unpredictable and ever changing Scottish weather, studying on the beach could seem like a pipe dream. It is also a walk to get to bathrooms and cafés, so works better in theory than in reality. 4/10

The Union

Despite the fact that many students only venture here late at night when it is packed and they are already suitably drunk, the Union, interestingly, also serves a function in the daylight hours. During the day it is considerably less busy and far more conducive to studying than later on in the evening. The Main Bar is well lit and has plug sockets and a suitably low noise level, whereas the upstairs is quieter with individual rooms in which to study. All of this makes our Union my personal favourite study spot. 10/10

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