Study Spaces on Campus

For many of us, exam period can be a stressful time. One minute, you’re binge-watching Friends on Stan and saying: “Oh, exams aren’t until June!” Then the next minute it’s June and your binge-watching 12 weeks of lecture content on Echo.

We’ve all been there. And since we’ve all been there, we can all agree that one of the biggest assets at this time is a good study spot. A place of calm, relaxation and total focus. Colloquially, a place to get shit done.

“But Liv,” I hear you cry, “where could that place be?”

Well wonder no longer! Keep reading for a sample of the best procrastination study spots that Australia’s leading university has to offer!

Chifley Library

Resurrected and ready for action, Chifley Library always has and always will be a classic amongst ANU students. From first years to postgraduates, Chifley’s four floors cater to everyone. That being said, maybe avoid the basements since The Incident (and DO NOT use the F word). However, while this library is an institution in and of itself, there are a couple of drawbacks.

Anyone who has ever stepped foot in Chifley during exam season will know that during such times this space is no longer a library. Nay, this space is not an enjoyable and calm learning environment, but rather, a merciless ecosystem of panic and fear. The best comparison would be to that of the Hunger Games arena. The sparse seating of this 24-hour space becomes ANU’s hottest commodity, and if you’re lucky enough to snag a spot, then you better be willing to fight to hold onto it.

I spoke to John, a Chifley veteran and third-year PPE student, about how to survive this relentless theatre.

“Prior preparation is everything when you want to study in Chifley,” he said, “because if you’re lucky enough get a seat then you have to be prepared to defend it. Last year, I spent a whole day trying to find a seat, and once I got one, I stayed there for four days straight! I didn’t even have that much to study, it was more about the challenge.”

Among the Chifley essentials, John lists power bars, a blanket, and even an inflatable mattress if you can sneak it in.

Final rating: perfect if you’re willing to put more effort into protecting your seat than actually studying.

Law Library

You really want to get shit done? Go to the Law Library. As indicated by its no-nonsense reputation, those who enter the Law Library are not there to mess about. This strange Land of Suits is the perfect place to get work done. Just ask Lucie, a second-year law student who made the mistake of going to the Law Library for some casual study in her first year.

“The second I walked through the door, I knew I had made a mistake,” Lucie tells me, the trauma glistening in her eyes.

“I should never have opened that Facebook tab, or at least should’ve checked that my headphones were properly plugged in. But by the time I realised, it was too late: everyone had heard the iconic Buzzfeed Tasty intro music.”

Final rating: a bit scary, but at least the hostile environment enforces productivity; be sure to give Sir Robert Garran a rub on the nose for good luck!


Ah, ol’ faithful. For some amongst us, home can be the very best place to study. There are so many pros: no distractions from random people, easy access to free food in the fridge, definite access to a seat, and the ever-infallible Resnet for those of us on campus. Jackpot! (For those off campus paying for their own internet: I salute you.)

However, there is one significant danger in staying home to study … I don’t even want to say it, because it’s hard to admit that sometimes the thing we love the most can be the very thing that hurts us. Well, here goes nothing:


I know, it’s hard to hear that the beautiful pillow-top that’s always there when you need it most can betray you in such a way — but sadly it’s true. It stares at you longingly as you work at your desk, and its siren call can be hard to ignore. But I urge you to give your bed the snub when trying to study! You do not want to end up like … well … let’s just say a ‘friend of mine’ who thought it would be a great idea to do her reading while lying in bed. What’s the worst that can happen, she thought to herself. What’s wrong with opening a tab of Netflix to watch in the background while I read? There’s no issue if I close my textbook for a couple of minutes to relax right …


I strongly discourage this attitude — because next thing you know you’ll be waking up two hours later with your iPad on your face and absolutely nothing gained from those readings you were supposed to be doing. Or so I’ve heard.

Final rating: a great idea for the hungry, but only if you’re also strong-willed.

The Pop-Up

ANU redevelopment got you down? You’re not alone. While I can’t offer a remedy to the pain of having to schedule an extra ten minutes to get to any class on campus, I can recommend an invaluable study spot we’ve been gifted: the ANU Pop-Up Village.

This has to be the best-kept secret on campus in terms of study spots! First and foremost, you’re spoilt for choice of affordable brain-food to keep you productive. And what could be better than working hard in that crisp late-May–early-June air? Sure, you may not be able to feel your fingers, but cold air is really good for the mind (I hope). Plus, if you’re lucky enough to get a spot inside, there will totally be enough accessible power outlets to keep your laptop juiced up!

The only minor issue is that MOLO turns into a bar at 5pm, and it would be rude to not have a study cider, or two …

Final rating: if you’re willing to brave the dirty looks from public servants, then this hidden gem is for you.