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The stacks at Van Pelt Library Alexandros Stamatiadis studies Credit: Daniel Schwartz

Midterms season doesn’t mean you always need to be constrained to a library. Take a look at some of the study options around campus.

Easy on-campus spots

Huntsman Hall: This is the go-to study place for Whartonites. It is conveniently located in the center of campus and offers three floors of potential study space. Now, booking a group study room (or GSR) is easier than ever with the Wharton Connect app.

Van Pelt Library: This is one of the most popular study locations on Penn’s campus. There are group study rooms, computer labs and quiet study places. The downside is that the library can fill up pretty quickly, especially around exam time. If you do find yourself in Van Pelt, check out the sixth floor. It’s filled with little Ben Franklin artifacts which will, perhaps, inspire you to study. The sixth floor also happens to have the best bathrooms in the library.

Fisher Fine Arts Library: This big red building is hard to miss. This library offers what you expect from a school like Penn. It has detailed architecture and kind of feels like a castle inside with its winding staircases. If you’re a fan of Instagram, you will likely find yourself bragging to your non-Penn friends about your experience there over social media.

If you are interested in venturing off-campus:

Carina Tea & Waffles: This little tea shop is rarely busy and offers a calm work environment. While you work you can enjoy waffles and bubble tea, and even if you choose not to indulge in anything, the place always has a sweet smell.

HubBub: This cafe is nice and close to the Quad. If you are tired of being called “basic” for constantly drinking Starbucks, this venue is for you. Fun fact: This coffee shop actually started as a food truck run by a Penn alumnus.

Saxbys: This coffee shop is another popular study space on campus. If you like caffeine, but not the taste of coffee, this is your spot. Saxbys has all kinds of coffee drink flavors. If coffee isn’t your thing, they also have an extensive smoothie selection and even have frozen yogurt.

Places to avoid

Starbucks on 34th and Walnut: Unlike the Starbucks under Commons, there is virtually no space to sit and study. Even if you manage to find a seat upstairs, the lighting is dim, and it gets crowded pretty quickly. This place is better for a quick grab-and-go latte before class.

The dining halls: These places offer little ambiance and are pretty loud. Save your homework for later — the dining halls don’t quite inspire productivity. Also, you can only stay there so long before you get kicked out at closing time.

The benches outside of Van Pelt: These benches look tempting, especially when the weather is nice. But bees have already claimed this as their hangout spot. Unless you find the constant buzzing soothing, this might be a difficult place to solve those problem sets. Also, the benches are also a popular place for students to smoke, so if you are looking for fresh air, look elsewhere.

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