Back to School Guide: Top Study Spots on Campus


We have to get the most obvious choice possible out of the way first—the crown jewel of Boston College study spots—Bapst. Gargan Hall on the second floor of Bapst is always popping up on Most Beautiful Libraries lists, and it looks like Hogwarts. That’s all you need to know. It’s nice, but often crowded. Go there if you feel like it, but don’t expect a seat. Pro Tip: The real cool kids use Bapst basement to study, not the top floor. It’s less crowded and has working outlets at each desk.


Stokes has multiple options for a solid studying experience. If you want to study with a view, try to grab one of the chairs in the second-story hallway with windows looking out on Stokes lawn. The first-floor lounge is another place with comfortable chairs and a convenient proximity to classes. Keep in mind the main drawback—people don’t feel the need to be quiet in Stokes, so if you require silence to study head somewhere else.

O’Connell House

Upper freshmen, this one’s for you. The old, probably haunted O’Connell House is kind of cool. It doesn’t have air conditioning, but neither do your rooms, so who cares? It gives your studying a special ambiance with its old-fashioned wood flooring, elaborate architecture, and enclaves of insects. Enjoy it freshman year, because you’ll never have the desire to hike back to Upper once you leave.

Your Dorm Lounge

High-risk choice here. Wherever you live, the lounge area is often populated by roommates/floormates who will distract, degrade, and destroy you in that order. Freshmen lounges on Upper and Newton are full of talkative students most weeknights. Unless you happen to have a perfect lounge built for studying, this is the place to go when you want to study dangerously. You might not get any real work done and end up with a bad grade, or everything might turn out fine. Your risk to take.

O’Neill Library

O’Neill is studying at its most basic. If you’re unsure of where to go, this is the place to start. You got the first- and second-floor lounges, third-floor computers, fourth-floor stacks, and fifth-floor desks with views of Boston. The walled-in desks are chock-full of weird graffiti to read during study breaks. And new this year—arm chairs have been added along fourth and fifth-story walls, for the extra-comfortable study experience. There’s almost always an open space, and if you take the time to look you’ll find a few isolated corners for some beautiful antisocial reading time.

The Second Floor of Lower

Sometimes sitting alone in O’Neill for 17 hours, muttering Milton quotes and fighting off the coffee-tremors can get to you. Is there a world out there? Am I still capable of human interaction? This is when you should hit up a place filled with other people talking, eating, and obnoxiously laughing. Snatch up one of the little tables on the far wall and take care of business. Every once in awhile someone you know might walk by and say hello, and eventually you’ll slowly emerge from the strange isolated fog of intense studying.

Featured Image Courtesy of Bapst Library

Maddie Phelps

Learn More →