Q: What is the best place to study at ND?
A: There are so many good study spots that it’s hard to pick! In between my classes, I usually study in Duncan Student Center. It’s conveniently located next to DeBart (where a lot of classes are), and it has plenty of seating and food options. I like to have noise in the background when I study, so the first and second floors in Duncan are my personal favorite, but the Career Center on the 5th floor is a great quiet spot with a killer view of the Dome!
In the evening or late at night, I usually study in the library or in LaFun (LaFortune Student Center). I’d say for maximum productivity, the library is definitely the best place to be! Again, I like the first and second floors the most because there’s more noise, but if you enjoy the silence, I’ve heard that the upper floors have some of the best Dome views on campus. My personal favorite place to study is in LaFun – it’s a more low-stress environment and a great place to work with a group of friends! Although beware: your hot dog consumption may increase. After midnight, all hot dogs at the Huddle (our on-campus convenience store on the first floor) are only 25 cents.
There are also plenty of study rooms and lounge spaces in the dorms, so if you don’t feel like walking all the way to the library in the cold, doing work in your dorm is also a great option!
Q: Do you have any study tips?
A: Stay on top of your assignments! College is different from high school in that you most likely won’t have daily quizzes or check-ups to see whether you completed the readings or not, but it will make the tests a lot harder later on if you don’t. Many college classes have fewer graded assignments than I was accustomed to in high school. You might have 3-4 exams or papers for an entire course, and that’s all. It’s still important to do the daily, little assignments and readings even if they’re not graded to help prepare for the big tests and exams.
Take advantage of your resources. In my experience, professors have always been more than willing to meet with me to talk through a paper or go over a concept I didn’t understand in class. There are also small tutoring groups through the Learning Resource Center for many first-year courses. Informal resources can be just as useful too! Notre Dame has a collaborative environment, so studying together with people from your classes is often very helpful.
Q: What takes your mind off of class/assignments?
A: There are so many activities/extracurriculars to bring balance to Notre Dame’s academic environment! (Sometimes there are too many and my mind could use a little more incentive to focus on schoolwork…) My clubs are one way that I get a healthy break from my studies. My a cappella group rehearses every Sunday evening. And every time I go, being surrounded by friendship and music always de-stresses me! My DanceCo rehearsals are really great too because they allow me to stay active and release some endorphins. I also LOVE going to sports games and performing arts shows on campus. There’s always some form of entertainment here, and many times the events are free!
McWell (the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being) is a great resource if you’re looking for a place to de-stress. They have different rooms or “restorative spaces” that you can reserve, from “the fort”, a nature-themed room great for meditation and relaxation, to “the break room” with a Wii and other fun crafts and games.
Even something simple like a trip to the Grotto or a walk around the lakes with a friend can be really relaxing and provide a healthy break from studying!