As Duke finally gets its first bout of fall weather, the semester’s midterm season is moving full-speed ahead. But where do most Duke students choose to study during this stressful period? And what areas do they choose to avoid?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many undergraduates said they prefer to work on the first floor of Perkins Library.

“I enjoy being around others when studying since [it makes me] feel more motivated myself to study,” said junior Owen Smith, who prefers to study at at Perkins. “Even though the first floor can get loud sometimes, there is usually an area in the back that I can move myself to if the main area gets too crowded and noisy.”

Sophomore Alexa Eyring, echoed Smith’s sentiment by saying that she too enjoys working on the first floor of Perkins because she likes bumping into friends and finds the background noise motivating.

Other students enjoy studying at the library because of its aesthetic.

“My favorite places to study on campus are the Gothic Reading Room [in Perkins] and the fourth floor Bostock [Library] Tower Room because they are both beautiful and comfortable spaces,” said senior Julia Kaufman.

However, Kaufman does not enjoy all of the library's spaces—she prefers not to visit the Link because she constantly bumps into friends there.

While junior Jasmine Syed, said she does not avoid all of Perkins, she does avoid sub-basement floor L2 because she once saw a cockroach there. 

First-year Bob Ding said he steers totally clear of Perkins because the atmosphere is too quiet for his taste. Instead, Ding chooses to work in the Bryan Center at one of the tables there. 

“Usually no one uses the tables so you [can] take over the entire place,” Ding said. 

Ding also explained that the BC has a much warmer temperature than Perkins, so it feels cozy to work in. Yet, despite the coziness, Ding said he could never fall asleep because the background noise prevents him from snoozing. The building’s buzz also allows Ding to feel comfortable when he works on group projects, since he knows nobody will be annoyed by him speaking aloud. 

Kaufman, on the other hand, said she avoids the BC because she finds it less aesthetically pleasing than the other study spots she has to choose from.

Unlike the BC, the Student Health Center attracts students because of its aesthetics.

“[One of] my favourite places to study on campus is the Student Health Center because the interior architecture is so nice,” sophomore Jeffrey Li said. “The building is beautiful and not gloomy.”

Li also frequents the study rooms at the 300 Swift apartment complex because he likes how clean and new the amenities are.

Meanwhile, first-year Anya Parks said she often studies at the French Family Science Center because of its perk of having Dolce Vita, a coffee shop, upstairs, from where she often buys a wrap before settling down to study for hours.

Parks also said she makes it a point not to study frequently in her dorm, since it’s “a space for play, not work.” Smith said he too prefers to avoid his dorm room, as well as his common room, since the tables are not ideal and he enjoys studying around people.

Despite the fact that the Von der Heyden Pavilion may seem like everyone's favorite study spot, Eyring cited it as her least favorite place to study, since empty chairs there are a rare find.

“It’s too dark in there, and I’m always tempted to go and buy overpriced food or coffee,” she said.

As far as students who venture off-campus to get their work done, Kaufman was the only interviewee of the seven the Chronicle spoke to who set foot off of Duke’s turf.

“I study off-campus at coffee shops in Durham, like Cocoa Cinnamon, Joe Van Gogh, Bean Traders and Mad Hatter, because it’s fun to study in different spaces and have different coffee shop phases,” Kaufman said.

Why do so many students prefer to stick to Duke’s study spaces? Most said they don’t own a car or find it inconvenient when there are so many study options close by.

“I never study off campus,” Smith explained. “There is a phenomenal library right on campus.”