“Money can’t buy happiness,” they say. To that, I say “It’s much better to study in a comfortable chair than on the ground.”
So, I’m back, and this semester has brought out a LOT more studying than the last one due to the challenging course load. And I’ve discovered some nice study spots on campus that I’ll be assessing. This is Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, after all.
Comfort (C): How comfortable is the spot? Could I sleep here, even though I shouldn’t?
Volume: (V) Is it quiet here? Again, could I fall asleep with the noise in the background?
Academic Productivity (AP): Do I actually do work here, or watch TikToks and say I work? Do I get distracted easily?
Proximity to Food (PtF): Studying requires snacks. How far away is some sort of snack or food?
As a baseline, I’m also ranking myself on these categories and how much it affects me. I fell asleep on final approach in a Boeing 747. You, on the other hand, may not even be able to sleep through straight-and-level flight.
C: Again, I fell asleep on final approach in a B747. (In fairness, I was also really tired.) I fall asleep in cars pretty easily.
V: I prefer quiet spaces when I study, but I can deal with a little bit of background noise.
AP: I get distracted by my phone notifications if the thing I’m working on isn’t urgent and/or a pain in the butt to do. But if it’s 11:30 and the assignment is due at 11:59, you bet that I’m not tearing my eyes away from the assignment.
PtF: I like food. How close am I to food, and better yet, free food?
Without further ado, let’s begin!
SPOT ONE: My Dorm Desk
Ah, yes, the ever-present college dorm. At ERAU, each room has a desk that you can move around wherever you’d like. I’m going to add a side note that I never study in my bed because I read it was bad for you psychologically. Something about your brain associating your bed (made for sleeping) for studying or something- either way, I don’t do it.
C: Very comfortable, except for the fact that half of the time, my dorm is weirdly cold even though the thermostat is at 74 degrees. So I bought a blanket and wore a sweatshirt. Problem solved. I’ve also never been able to fall asleep at a desk, which is good if I want to be productive. 9/10.
V: Completely varies. The guys next door enjoy playing loud music (on Monday night, they were screaming California Girls among other songs). Of course, suitemates make noise, too, but if asked, they are more than happy to be quiet. At this point, I think that I’ve just tuned out the guys next door. 7/10.
AP: It’s my dorm. And it faces the airport. I have a full suite, and I love my suitemates, so they can kind of get me off-topic. But again, if I ask, they’re more than happy to quiet down and not be super distracting. 7/10
PtF: Again, it’s my dorm. There’s always food somewhere… and I have a snack bin literally right behind me. 10/10.
TOTAL SCORE: 33/40
Best for studying: Overall, in my opinion.
SPOT TWO: The Study Rooms in New Res 2
ERAU has study rooms that just opened on each floor of New Residence Hall 2. These are separate from the common area and face the airport. They can hold 2 people (COVID restrictions) and have a whiteboard, TV, several chairs, and tables.
C: Comfortable, depending on what type of chair you sit in. The soft plush chairs are obviously more comfortable than the hard wood and metal ones. Also, it’s weirdly cold sometimes but it’s also been hot before. Total toss-up. 7/10
V: Pretty quiet, except for the sound of the air conditioner if you’re studying when it’s cold. If there’s another person in there with you, then that’s obviously going to add some noise. 7/10
AP: It’s a study room, so intuitively, I feel more inclined to actually do work and not take frequent TikTok breaks. 8/10.
PtF: Only if you bring it. But it’s allowed in here. 8/10.
TOTAL SCORE: 30/40
Best for studying: With a friend, especially if you need help from them.
SPOT THREE: The Main Areas of the Student Union
I don’t know exactly how many times I’ve used this picture, but I’m using it again. This part of the post is dedicated to the common space in the student union, not the library or study rooms.
C: Comfortable. The chairs in the student union are pretty soft, but the ones on the half-circle overlooking the main entrance are kind of weird (in my opinion). Choose your spot wisely. 7/10.
V: It’s the Student Union. If you’re there during the day, it’s pretty loud. There’s usually music playing in the background, and you can usually hear other people talking. Not quiet at all during the day, but it’s better at night. However, there is always a chance that the radio station, WIKD, will play music… 5/10.
AP: I never really get much work done, mainly because someone will pass me and I’ll say hello. And then I’ll get distracted… whoops. But if you’re really dedicated and alone at night, you can get stuff done. 3/10.
PtF: It’s the Student Union. Depending on what part you study in, you might be steps away from food. You’re also allowed to have it and take your mask off to eat (as long as you’re actively eating). And if you want, you can study in Starbucks. 9/10.
Overall Score: 24/40.
Best for studying: When you want to study, but don’t reeeeeeeally want to study.
SPOT FOUR: Student Union Study Rooms
The student union also has several study rooms available to students. These rooms can be reserved online, but sometimes, they’re empty and people will just sit in them. However, it’s good to make a reservation to ensure that you have the spot. They’re very similar to the study rooms in New Residence Hall 2; they have a whiteboard (right in the photo) and a TV that you can hook your laptop up to.
There are other study rooms on other floors, but I am in one of the first floor ones for the purpose of this post.
C: The chairs are nice; they’re vertically adjustable. I will say that the large table legs are kind of annoying if you want to be close to the table. The chair itself is pretty comfortable, though. 7/10.
V: It’s quieter than the main area of the student union, but the glass does little to provide noise absorption. There is always the possibility of someone tapping on the glass behind you, but the probability of that is very small. Again, WIKD might show up and play music. 6/10.
AP: Being in the study rooms, you’re not as likely to be focusing on the people around you and who passes by. The first floor study rooms are also slightly tucked away, so it’s less likely that people are going to say hi and distract you. 7/10.
PtF: Depending on what floor you’re on, and what side of the student union you choose, you could be really close to the campus Chick-fil-A. If you’re on the third floor, however, there are no dining locations up there, so you’ll have to walk back down. 9/10.
Overall Score: 29/40
Best for studying: With friends on non-urgent assignments.
SPOT FIVE: The Top of the AMS Building
The balcony of the Aviation Maintenance Science building is the only outside study spot that is going to be reviewed. It has an entrance on both the second and third floor and a staircase outside between the levels. The picture is from the top spot, where there are several tables.
C: Completely depends on the weather! If it’s hot out, then it’ll be hot. If it’s cold, then bring a jacket. It could also be raining. It’s outside, after all. The only chairs are the metal benches and tables as shown in the picture… or the ground. So, I’ll give it a 5/10.
V: Usually decently quiet. ERAU conducts flight training and activities on every day of the week, so you’re likely to hear one of our Cessnas or Diamonds taking off, landing, or flying overhead. There are also several other flight schools in the area, so there’ll be some activity. Occasionally, a big ol’ jet will come by and you’ll get to hear the roar of the engines. But overall, pretty quiet. 7/10.
AP: Extremely subjective! If you get easily distracted by planes… you won’t get much work done. But if you’re only interested in big jets, then you’ll be fine. Personally, I find the bigger jets more interesting than the Cessnas and Diamonds, and those don’t take off too much. But then again, sometimes I’ll get distracted and watch the Cessnas take off and land. So… 7/10.
PtF: You’re not near anything that you can buy, but you’re more than welcome to bring it. 7/10.
Overall Score: 26/40.
Best for studying: When you need motivation for your ‘Design a Whole Airplane’ project. Also good for non-plane-lovers to study on nice, sunny days.
SPOT SIX: The A² Tutoring Lab
The A² tutoring lab is a great place to be (in my opinion). It’s free tutoring in various undergraduate classes that you’ll most likely encounter. ERAU pays students to tutor other students, and when it’s open, there will always be tutors to help you out. And
C: The chairs are nice. What I also love about A² is the dry-erase tables and free markers, so you don’t have to use a bunch of paper trying to do ONE problem. (Some of these integrals get very long.) However, if you’re socially anxious, the lab is located on the first floor of the College of Arts and Sciences, so you can see people who walk by. 8/10.
V: This is a tutoring lab, so it’s pretty quiet. Due to COVID-19, they also offer online tutoring, and sometimes one of the tutors will be talking to someone in the background. However, it’s easy to get help from one of the tutors and tune everything else out. 8/10.
AP: Again. This is a tutoring lab. They are literally there to help you study and keep you on task. 10/10.
PtF: There is no food in the COAS, and while the student union is nearby, you’re not supposed to have food in there, unfortunately. You can, however, keep water. 2/10.
Overall Score: 28/40.
Best for studying: Whenever you need help or to actually get work done.
So, as you may be able to tell, there are plenty of spots to study for your classes here at ERAU. Personally, my favorite is my dorm, but you might have a different one- which is totally fine! Everyone has their own preferences on where to study.
See you in the next post… or hopefully at Riddle someday!