Secret Study Spots

Even though it is only week two of the semester, the workload has already begun picking up.

This past week, I changed my majors and minor again, for the third time (and this is only my fourth semester!). Three days ago, I declared a second major in Chinese Language and Culture. A few days before that, I changed my music major into a minor. As of now, I am an International and Area Studies major with a concentration in Global Cultural Studies, a Chinese Language and Culture second major, and a Music- General Studies minor.

Aside from the major and minor changes, I also explored the libraries here on campus and most likely found my two new favorite spots to study in between classes.

The most important part about saving time in college is being able to plan out your day in advance. This morning, I tested out a new routine for my Thursdays. I have Music History III every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. However, since I have class starting at 10:00 a.m, I usually wake up two hours before Music History III begins. To make my mornings more productive, I decided to visit Gaylord Library around 10:00 a.m. to work for an hour.

As a music student, I have already visited Gaylord multiple times for class. In the basement, there are classrooms for courses like Musicianship Lab (students learn how to sing and conduct fun rhythms). The nice thing about Gaylord is that it is conveniently located right beside three of my favorite places: the DUC, the South 40, and the Music Classroom Building. At 11:00 a.m., I had “brunch” at the DUC, which is right across the street from Gaylord. After eating food and feeling both accomplished (from working in the library) and energized (from delicious food), I went to class in the Music Classroom Building.

Simply by visiting a library other than Olin (the most popular library…and also the most populated library) on campus, I saved myself at least 30 minutes of walking time during the day.

That’s quite a lot of extra time!

view of Gaylord Library source: http://library.wustl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/MusicLibraryInside2.jpg

view of Gaylord Library http://library.wustl.edu/units/music/

Later on, I also made a trip to January Hall, where the East Asian Library is located. I actually have not been to this library before, since it is definitely in a more “hidden” part of campus: it is on the second floor of a building for summer school courses and the University College. I decided to visit the library to familiarize myself with the East Asian Studies Department.

As soon as I walked upstairs, I was pleasantly surprised with this gorgeous view of a library with such beautiful furniture and decorations. Honestly, I felt like I was walking into a dining hall inside a castle. There are chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, red curtains by the windows, wooden chairs with carved designs, and so many collections of books! The most impressive part about the library, however, is how quiet and serene it felt.

Whenever I walk into Olin, I see so many students with their laptops and textbooks all working hard next to each other; however, in the East Asian Library, there were only around 12 people spread out and quietly working on assignments. The “vibe” was definitely more chill and at home than Olin.

For a more introverted and quiet person like myself, this is the ideal place to study in between classes (especially if you want to avoid crowded tables in Olin). I definitely plan on coming here more often to get homework done!

reading room in the East Asian Library http://library.wustl.edu/units/ea/

reading room in the East Asian Library


view of the East Asian Library from my desk


Aside from Olin, Gaylord, and the East Asian Library, there are so many other libraries on campus to study (http://library.wustl.edu/units/). On the About page of the University Libraries (http://library.wustl.edu/about/), it says “The Washington University Libraries are a powerful network of academic resources featuring 12 libraries (10 on the Danforth Campus, one at West Campus, one at the Medical School); vast print and electronic collections; and expert librarians whose first priority is helping students and faculty find the information they need.” I was shocked that there are so many options! New personal goal: visit all 12 libraries before I graduate!

Instead of only going to one place to study, there are so many other libraries to visit. 

My advice is for everyone to find at least two “secret study spots” (aka smaller libraries around campus) that are near certain courses. This way, studying there will save walking time in between classes!


~ Nancy 🙂