Best study spaces in Tulsa

Studying in the same place every day gets boring. Improve your productivity by trying these spots!

There is no doubt that The University of Tulsa has a beautiful library filled with quiet spaces that can suit any individual’s needs; however if you are anything like me, you need a change of scenery. Lucky for you, I change my study location bi-weekly, maybe even more. Here are my top six places to study on and around campus.

McFarlin Library
If you are someone who likes the smell of old books and a cozier study location, check out the reading rooms on the main floor of the McFarlin Library. If you prefer a brighter location, head downstairs into the stacks, which is composed of two floors. Unfortunately, the bottom floor has been closed since last winter due to flooding, but the funds from Mötley Crüe should have that fixed soon. Also found in the stacks are group study rooms that can be reserved at the circulation desk on the main floor. My quarrels with the library are the limited and inconvenient weekend hours along with the lack of the 24/7 study area which has yet to be replaced since the computer labs were moved.

The Mabee Legal Information Center (Law Library)
If you are unable to leave campus but are still searching for a quiet place to study, the Mabee Legal Information Center, otherwise known as the law library, has much better hours for a late night or weekend crammer. Once inside, you will find a few floors worth of personal study cubicles, large study tables in well-lit areas and rows upon rows of legal books that us commoners would never understand. The one caveat to the law library is the inevitable run-in you will have with a law student who does not want you there and will ask if you are a lost freshman (for real, it happened to me). Exhausted law students aside, the law library is consistently the quietest place on campus and a great alternative to McFarlin.

The Old U (Dietler Commons)
When the temperature finally becomes bearable and you find yourself wanting to lay out in the sun, grab a blanket, your laptop and set up on the Old U. If your University Ambassador did not tell you, those light poles along the sidewalks have outlets that you can plug your computers into for a day-long study session. If you are lucky, you may get a visit from a furry friend or two who are playing a game of frisbee with their human. If you do decide to study out here — be warned — the groombas will not stop for you. In fact, they will hunt you down, eat your blanket and spit it back out into tiny pieces.

The Gathering Place
My all-time favorite place to study would have to be the Gathering Place. Located about five miles from campus, the Gathering Place has many indoor and outdoor study spaces. The Williams Lodge is full of various types of chairs, tables and floor to ceiling windows. If you get hungry, the Redbud Cafe is located on the basement level of the lodge with pastries, beverages and ice cream. Depending on the day the lodge can get a bit loud, so I suggest packing earbuds and bringing work that does not call for total concentration. Aim to head over on weekdays when children are at school to avoid the large crowds.

I do not study here often, but my go-to place for when I have large projects or papers to finish is the Panera on Cherry Street. I typically arrive at Panera in the morning and spend all day sipping on a caffeinated lemonade and writing my papers. It does get louder during the breakfast and lunch rush, so try and schedule your study breaks around those times. My favorite part is that I can use my Panera app to have food delivered right to my table while I am working so I never go hungry. Make sure you pick a spot with an accessible outlet so your laptop can stay charged for a day-long study session.

Finally, the Starbucks in Utica Square (or any Starbucks for that matter), is another great place to sit down and get a paper or project done. With easily accessible caffeine and food, Starbucks is a great place to keep yourself satisfied while also focused on your work. The reliable wifi, abundance of outlets and other people also concentrating on work makes for a great study experience. All said, the Panera in Utica Square is on the smaller side so I typically get there early to get a good seat. For the most part, Starbucks is quieter than both the Gathering Place and Panera, so if I need to be particularly focused I usually head here.

Post Author: Isabella Musollino