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Whether you prefer spaces with plenty of chatter, absolute silence or outdoor ambience, there’s a cozy campus spot for you.

As finals approach, Tar Heels will be spending the next nine days studying for finals. With such a large campus, Carolina has an endless selection of unique and familiar places for exam prep. Read on as seven Tar Heels offer up their favorite study spots on campus.

Davis Library

A group of students sit at a table in Davis Library, studying.
Davis Library offers a variety of seating options, including tables, cubicles and armchairs with attached tabletops. (photo by Jess Abel)

Walter Royal Davis Library is centrally located in the heart of UNC’s campus. All eight floors of the library have tables, chairs and cubicles, plus reservable study rooms for groups on floors three through eight.

Davis Library is the chosen study spot for Vivian Clarke ’24, a public policy and business administration double major.

“I love working in Davis Library because being around others who are studying makes me more motivated and focused. Another plus is that it is open until 2 a.m. – I have had many late nights in there!”

Stone Benches Outside Davis Library

Meghan Johnson sits with her laptop on a stone bench outside of Davis Library.
Megan Johnson ’23 enjoys the sunshine and proximity to student activity on one of the stone benches outside of Davis Library. (photo by Jess Abel)

Outside Davis are two curved stone benches, conveniently close to the action of the Pit and the Carolina Union while maintaining some distance from the crowds. Outdoor seating is a perfect way to soak up some vitamin D and stay awake during long hours of studying for finals.

These two benches make up the chosen study spot for Meghan Johnson ’23, a political science major.

“I like being able to be outside while I study. The fresh air and the busy background noise of students helps me focus and improve my mood.”

The FedEx Global Education Center

A cluster of chairs and tables on the third floor of the FedEx Global Education Center. A student sits with their laptop at one of the tables.
The third floor of the FedEx Global Education Center offers natural lighting, artwork and quiet that is perfect for studying for finals. (photo by Jess Abel)

Home to the College of Arts and Sciences’ Study Abroad Office and global area studies centers as well as UNC Global, the FedEx Global Education Center offers a spot for students to study in an academic building while avoiding the hubbub of Polk Place and the Pit. This sustainably designed building has three floors of classrooms and a rooftop garden. The first floor café offers fresh beverages as well as a mix of fresh and pre-packaged food.

The FedEx GEC is the chosen study spot for Zoe Hiemstra ’25, an English and comparative literature and human and organizational leadership development double major.

“I like the top floor of the Global Center because it has all these beautiful big windows, and I feel like I can see everything, but there’s also no one usually up there so I still get to feel alone and focused.”

Graham Memorial

Megan Castle types on her laptop at a desk in Graham Memorial lounge.
Megan Castle ’24 studies in style in the Graham Memorial lounge, which has comfortable couches, desks and even a fireplace. (photo by Jess Abel)

Home to the College’s Honors Carolina program, Graham Memorial has a large, comfortable lounge that is open for all students (the lounge’s hours are posted every week on Honors Carolina’s Instagram, @honorscarolina). Graham Memorial also has a large patio out back with several clusters of tables and is close to Franklin Street.

Graham Memorial is the chosen study spot for Megan Castle ’24, a biology major with chemistry and neuroscience minors.

“I just think it’s very cozy and peaceful while still feeling academic, and it doesn’t have that same palpable anxiety in the air as the libraries!”

Sloane Art Library

Sean Sabye types on his laptop at a table outside of Sloane Library with a blue, teal and pink metallic art piece behind him.
Sean Sabye ’24 uses the outdoor study space at Sloane Art Library where students can enjoy the artwork displayed around Hanes Art Center. (photo by Jess Abel)

Sloane Art Library is also near Franklin Street, several blocks from Graham Memorial. It is inside Hanes Art Center, so students can enjoy their classmates’ artwork as they study. The library also opens onto an enclosed outdoor space with several tables and one of the larger art installations displayed outside Hanes Art Center.

Sloane Art Library is the chosen study spot of Sean Sabye ’24, an English and comparative literature (film studies concentration) and media and journalism double major.

“I love how the big windows provide amazing natural light. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to stay awake sometimes. Because I spend most of my day in the library, I love how I can take breaks in the courtyard outside for lunch or just to step away from my books for a while.”

Campus Y

The camera looks down at Meantime Coffee through the collection of brightly colored origami cranes.
The Campus Y’s Meantime Coffee is entirely run by Tar Heels, so students can take a coffee break while supporting their fellow Heels. (photo by Johnny Andrews)

The Campus Y is a great spot for students who are looking to study in a non-academic building that is still near the action on campus. The Campus Y is at the north end of Polk Place and houses 32 student-run social justice committees. The building’s lobby is also home to Meantime Coffee.

The Campus Y is the chosen study spot of Rayeluchi Oji ’24, a computer science major with an information systems and French double minor.

“I love studying there because it’s busy, but the noise is low enough that it’s just a kind of comforting buzz.”

UNC Student Stores

Students study at the cluster of tables and chairs on the third floor of the UNC Student Stores.
The third floor of the Student Stores also contains a pharmacy, print shop, tech shop and post office for student needs. (photo by Jess Abel)

UNC Student Stores is part of a hub of student activity overlooking the Pit that includes Lenoir Hall, Davis Library and the Carolina Union. The third floor of the Student Stores, however, offers a quiet lounge area from which students can observe the activity while having a respite from the noise. The second floor is also home to the Stone and Leaf café.

The third floor of the Student Stores is the chosen study spot of Zorah Davis ’23, a communication studies and media and journalism (advertising/public relations concentration) double major.

“I really like the atmosphere of the third floor! It’s not too loud, not completely silent, and it’s a really good spot for people-watching right in front of the big windows.”

By Andy Little ’24

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