Where to study, take a break during finals

Thomas Cooper Library is a great place to study, but it can become crowded when finals time begins. There are tons of alternatives, both on and off campus, where you can study without fighting the crowds. Need a break? There are also a number of ways that you can take your mind off the stress without spending too much money or time.  

On campus

  • The basement of Gambrell Hall- the computer lab in the basement of Gambrell is normally not crowded and has lots of computers, as well as tables and chairs to study in. 

  • Russell House- The Russell House University Union becomes the Russell House Study Union during finals week. Russell House will stay open until 2 a.m. Dec. 7 - 12 for late-night studying.  "Russell House Review" will be held 10 p.m. - 2 a.m. Monday, Dec. 8  and will feature a free late-night breakfast 11 p.m. - 1 a.m. in the Grand Market Place and massages from licensed massage therapists. There also will be free coffee and snacks at 9 p.m. Dec. 9 - 12.

  • Darla Moore School of Business- the second level (Greene Street level) features a café, a student lounge and multiple public and private spaces that are perfect for group study.

  • Colloquium Café- there’s a Starbucks and study space on either side of the building's upstairs.

Off campus

  • Cool Beans- great coffee, cool surroundings and close to campus. 

  • Panera on Garner’s Ferry Road in the Target shopping center- there is ample seating, free refills on coffee and free wifi.  

  • Earth Fare- get one of their delicious smoothies, sit in one of the booths and enjoy the distraction-free music played. 

  • Richland County Public Library- this library is enormous and offers all the benefits of studying in a traditional setting without fighting other students for somewhere to sit.

If you still want to study at Thomas Cooper

If your best studying happens at Thomas Cooper Library, here are a few of the study spaces, some of which can be reserved:

Just in time for final exams, Thomas Cooper Library has made nearly 400 additional seats available, most of them with electrical outlet access and most of them designated for silent study. As of Dec. 1, approximately 260 individual seats are open in two silent study areas. Each of these spaces, or carrels, has an electrical outlet and a door for semi-private study. Previously available by checkout, students will now find these spaces open on Levels 1 and 3 to the right of the elevators.

Where other students like to study

“My favorite spot to study on campus is Petigru. There are study rooms and classrooms and they are both almost always open. It’s nice to close yourself off with the white boards in the study rooms and not have to worry about competing with people for a place to study,” senior Brendan Nagle said.

“I really enjoy going to the Swearingen reading room to study. It's always incredibly quiet and usually pretty empty. Everyone else is being productive, motivating me to be productive as well," sophomore Kayla Revelle said. 

Take a study break

  • Take a trip to the Riverwalk. Run, bike or walk your dog. Alleviate stress and find time to exercise during finals.

  •  Go pet some puppies. Keep Calm and Pet a Puppy will be held 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11 at Thomas Cooper Library. 

  • Catch a free movie at the Russell House. The Maze Runner will be playing at 6 and 9 p.m. Dec. 4 and 5.

  • Keep up with your mental wellness. Let’s Talk offers informal, confidential counseling consultations Dec. 2 - 4.

  • Get creative. Grab a few friends and go paint your own pottery at the Mad Platter

  • Enjoy a free group exercise class. During finals week (Dec. 8-15), group exercise classes are free to all students with a Carolina Card. 

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