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A Student’s Guide to Cool Places to Study Away From the Library

University libraries are often considered a sacred haven for students writing essays or working on projects.

By Rachel GrayPublished about a month ago 4 min read

20% of students pull an all-nighter at least once a month, and uni libraries are usually the place where these intense exam preparations happen.

But what if you are sick of the same four walls? Consider switching your study location! Changing places and environments can have a wide range of benefits for your memory and knowledge retention, helping you enjoy the studying process more and nail your upcoming assessments.

So, where can you go to jazz up your learning? Abodus Student Living, a leading provider of homely student accommodation, looks at some of the best (free!) places you can take your books to while explaining going somewhere new can improve your study sessions.

Your own reinvented room

This may sound like an obvious suggestion, but revising for an exam from the comfort of your own room can work wonders – especially if you rejig the design and feel of your bedroom.

Aaron Kirkwood, head of sales and marketing at Abodus Student Living, said: “Studying from your uni accommodation in Leeds, Sheffield, or elsewhere in the UK can be an excellent alternative to making a trip to the library, particularly during an exam period or if it’s pouring with rain outside.

“If you’re worried you might get bored or uninspired inside your room, consider reshuffling the decorations or changing the environment. This can make it feel like a different space and stimulate your brain. You might even want to play some soothing music to help you concentrate – you won’t have any librarians telling you to turn the volume down!

“The only thing to bear in mind is to avoid working on your bed. It’s always difficult to focus somewhere you’re used to relaxing, which can make it harder to sleep there afterwards.”


With more than 27,000 parks and green spaces across the UK, finding a natural spot in your university city or town should not be too tricky.

Getting out and about and spending some time in nature as you go over your notes can really boost your learning. In fact, there is a strong link between nature and academic learning, as outdoor environments can benefit your mental wellbeing and favour a healthy study session.

So, if the sun is shining and the temperatures aren’t too prohibitive, you may want to get yourself down to your local park and take in the natural ambience.

Course common room

If you’re on campus but would rather not step inside the busy library, you might want to pop by your course’s common room.

Tendentially, each subject has its own designated space where fellow students can meet up, unwind, or collaborate on course-related projects. This means that if you need to put together a presentation alongside your peers, your subject’s common room is no doubt worth a visit.

Also, make sure to check any posters or notice boards – there might be some events or useful study sessions tailored to your subject that you may wish to attend.

Coffee shops

Want to unite duty and pleasure? A study session might go down that extra well if accompanied by a cup of coffee or a mug of hot chocolate.

Yes, going to a coffee shop isn’t strictly free, as you will need to pay for your refreshments. However, you can come and go as you please and are likely to benefit from free Wi-Fi to access all the online resources you need to master your essay.

Also, it’s a great place to perk up during your study break. Sipping a drink in a cosy environment can restore your energy levels and give you the mental strength to crack on with your second (or third) round of reading!


If you are lucky enough to attend a university located close to the coast, whether it’s Bristol or Newcastle, don’t miss out on the opportunity to take a trip to the beach.

As well as benefitting from beautiful scenery, the sound of sea waves has been found to improve your attention and focus thanks to its repetitive, calming motion.

What’s more, the beach is a perfect solution if you want to find a distraction-free place. You’re unlikely to bump into friends or coursemates who fancy a chat, allowing you to concentrate entirely on your learning.

The importance of switching up the location

Studying all year round in the same university library can get tedious, which can lead to a lower-quality learning experience.

Switching up locations, instead, comes with a wide array of advantages. For example, changing your study place could help create memory prompts that will aid you during your exam and reinforce your long-term knowledge retention.

If you’ve spent an afternoon, say, reading Shakespeare in a local park, your brain is likely to file all the information you learned into a specific tab. When you’re sitting your exam, all you need to do is remember that afternoon, and the memories will flow back.

Also, opting for a different study location can keep you on your toes. If you become too accustomed to a place, you might struggle to find the motivation to fly through your uni work. However, carrying out your assignments somewhere new can help you stay more alert and focused, meaning your learning will be significantly more fruitful.

Tired of typing essays and revising for exams in your uni library? Don’t worry! From parks and beaches to course common rooms and your own rejigged bedroom, there are plenty of (free!) locations that will facilitate your learning and help you achieve the grade you deserve.


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