Study space series: Venture outside to study


Lauren Nix, sophomore English major, reads an art history book by the East Lagoon on April 12.

By Kyla Gardner

Stress and anxiety can be high during finals week, so soak up some vitamin D outside in the sun. Outdoor, grassy areas and benches can be the best places to study on NIU’s campus, weather permitting.

This is the last installment of the Northern Star’s Study Space Series, a look at the best places to study on campus and around DeKalb.

DeKALB | Freshman biology major Megan Melendez studied outside for the first time this semester at a picnic table behind Davis Hall Sunday afternoon.

She said studying in the sun improves her mood, and she likes the nice scenery nearby, like blossoming trees.

Sean Evans, sophomore political science major, was reviewing for his math final behind Davis Hall as well and said studying outside is “therapeutic.”

“It’s good to switch the scene up from the library,” he said.

NIU students haven’t seen too many nice days this semester, but when the weather is good, they can be seen reading around campus, relaxing on benches or blankets.

“We’ve been cooped up for too long,” said Nicole Navigato, freshman pre-physical therapy major. “Also, it’s cooler out here than it is in [Douglas Hall]. The breeze is nice.”

Navigato said she spends a lot of time outside, West of Douglas Hall, sitting on the concrete ledges between the Douglas C and D wing.

Sunday afternoon, challenges to studying outside for Navigato and friend Nicole Perrella, sophomore fashion merchandising major, were bugs and hecklers from Douglas rooms.

Perrella said she likes to study outside because she can get a tan while looking over her economics notes for her final.

“It’s multitasking,” Navigato said.

The area between Stevenson Towers, Grant Towers and Douglas Hall is a popular place for students to sit outside.

Navigato said she likes the area because it’s close to her room in Douglas Hall if she forgets anything. She also likes it because she gets a nice view of campus and can sit in the sun or under the shade of nearby trees.

Further East on campus, students also studied outside the library on benches, under trees or on the grass by the MLK commons Sunday.

Outside of Davis, Melendez and Evans were heading inside to study because of bugs, the wind and a lack of Wi-Fi.

Melendez said she would recommend studying outside to other students, but only if the weather is agreeable.

According to, during finals week, the weather is supposed to be rainy except for Tuesday, which is predicted to be partly cloudy and have a high of 80 degrees.