UK students find study spaces to fit their finals week needs


Willy T Young Library building mug

Emily Laytham

Is it better to study sitting at a desk with headphones in or surrounded by 10 of your closest friends? Contrary to popular opinion, the answer might be both.

Most students prescribe to the “meshing hypothesis” when studying, or the idea that you should choose a study space that best fits your learning style. For example, a visual learner might find a space where he or she can arrange notecards, draw pictures or otherwise illustrate what is being studied.

However, some studies show that this common study method might be flawed. Research from the Association for Psychological Science shows that the most effective way to study is to diversify your habitat from session to session.

This conclusion may come as a surprise to UK students who repeatedly study in the same location.

Even in William T. Young Library, where six different floors offer six unique study settings, students usually choose a “favorite” floor that they exclusively frequent.

Hope Henderson, a political science junior, prefers to study with fewer people around to distract her. This makes higher floors in William T. Young more attractive for her study sessions.

“I like the fifth floor because it’s the quietest,” she said.

Chaentz Spears, a community leadership and development sophomore, has a starkly different studying method. He prefers the basement of William T. Young Library, where the Hub is located. The Hub is a popular meeting spot for groups. On an average day, the open atmosphere is filled with casual conversation.

Spears said that the noise of the Hub doesn’t bother him. He has headphones to block out noise, and the space has the tempting proximity of food to keep him going.

“They’ve got vending machines and I can swipe my little debit card,” Spears said.

On the fifth floor of William T. Young Library, there are no vending machines. In fact, the fifth floor is different from the atmosphere of the Hub in many ways. It’s usually so quiet that you can hear the music playing from a nearby student’s headphones.

But as different as these two floors are, those typically frequenting the Hub might benefit from visiting the fifth floor, and vice versa.

Each floor in William T. Young Library is unique, catering to a different set of study preferences. Given the research, students at UK are in a great position to take advantage of these various settings to get the most out of their studying.