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Where To Study For Finals (Other Than The Library)

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

By: Lexie Zanghi | November 15, 2021

With finals slowly approaching, students need a calming studious atmosphere. The library will most likely be packed at that time, so where are some good alternatives?

There are hidden gems around Albany that can be a great place to bring your textbooks and notes for studying.

Around Campus

The Fountain

Though the fountain is not as pretty when turned off, it can still be a nice place to get work done while staying on campus. There are many areas to sit down: like the red lounge chairs, the benches, or the tables. Make sure you bundle up and get a hot drink from the Campus Center as the season turns. At night, a display of colorful lights illuminates the trees if you are willing to brave the cold.

Podium East or West Garden

Similar to the fountain, it might be chilly for some to get adequate studying done at this time of year. On the nicer days, this is a pretty outdoor area where it is quiet most of the time. The Podium East Garden is located right behind the Performing Arts Center, and the Podium West Garden is behind the main University Library. There are plenty of available tables and benches. You can also sit on the ground against a tree or bring a blanket to lounge on the grass. At night, it is not the most well-lit spot, so plan your study time here wisely.

Science Library

This is a library, but not the main library. Many students don’t take advantage of this library and often forget they have access to it. Since it often goes unused, it is a quiet spot to get work done. Usually, during finals, the libraries extend their hours to be more accessible for students.

Hours: Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.,

Weekends Closed


Uncommon Grounds

With one location approximately a five-minute drive from campus, Uncommon Grounds is a great place to study and grab a bite to eat. The warm-toned lighting, mellow music, plant life, and local artwork create the perfect spot to enter your own world and get some work done. Accompany your laptop with delicious coffee, tea, bagels, or sandwiches.

Address: 1235 Western Ave #5, Albany, NY 12203

Hours: 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


While Starbucks may lack the coziness of Uncommon Grounds, it is still a top contender for places to study. There are many Starbucks locations within a short drive of campus, where you will often find many students working on group projects.

Address for the closest Starbucks to UAlbany: 1475 Western Avenue Albany, NY 12203

Hours: 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Bare Blends

There are plants, aesthetic signage, and plenty of tables and stools to choose from at this cafe. Bare Blends has a chill vibe with low traffic, making it easy to concentrate. Another perk is all smoothies and bowls are vegan, an overall healthy choice. You can work your mind while nourishing your body.

Address: 1475 Western Ave, Albany, NY 12203

Hours: Weekdays 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Weekends 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Washington Park

Washington Park has a gorgeous outdoor scene, along with plenty of dogs! There are many benches to choose from to settle and do your work, or you can sit on the ground right along the pond. The quiet and calming atmosphere here will be the perfect place to cram in your last-minute study sessions.

Address: 613 Madison Ave Albany, NY 12203 Hours: May to October, Sunrise to 11:00 p.m. November to April, Sunrise to 10:00 p.m.

Wherever you end up choosing to study, the ASP hopes you ace your finals. Good luck!


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