Cherubs’ favorite studying spots

An average week is loaded with the pressure of completing assignments. Student journalists, needing a change of scenery from their classrooms in Fisk Hall, found new spots on Northwestern’s campus to interview, write and edit with each other.

1. East Fairchild

1 min

In dorm rooms and common areas, cherubs can catch up on assignments without having to stray too far from their beds.

Study Lounge






  • Noise: not usually crowded or loud
  • Atmosphere: comfortable environment with sofas, table and desk space
  • Lighting: indoor light, no windows
  • What it’s good for: recording interviews and video

The downstairs study lounge is a fantastic place. There’s not a lot of people. Great air conditioning, comfortable couch. I got a lot of work done in there. Sometimes the guys’ floor is too loud, and there’s too many people.
Aaron Park of Encino, California

Common Room






  • Noise: usually quiet
  • Atmosphere: comfortable, open space with varied seating
  • Lighting: indoor light and windows
  • What it’s good for: group projects and work that does not require sound

The aesthetic vibe of the common room gets me.
Aro Majumder of Austin, Texas

Floor Lounges






  • Noise: usually quiet and not crowded, depending on the floor and time of day
  • Atmosphere: dorm environment with a few sofas, table and chairs, little desk space
  • Lighting: mild indoor lighting and windows
  • What it’s good for: writing, editing, collaborative or quiet work

At Norris you get distracted really easily. I’d be doing an interview, and the next thing you know I’m destroying some 10-year-old in Wii Tennis, and that’s a problem. So I started working more in the dorm where I could focus more.
Evan Kolin of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

2. Lakefill

6 min

The Lakefill was constructed between 1962 and 1964 and extended the eastern edge of the Northwestern campus 1,000 feet into Lake Michigan. 

  • Noise: wind, waves crashing, people relaxing or exercising
  • Atmosphere: outdoor setting with no chairs or tables, calm, relaxing. Bring a hammock or blanket.
  • Lighting: sunlight
  • What it’s good for: group work, quiet work like writing or editing

I get inspired by the Chicago skyline, and you also have the calming factor of the water, and you’re on the grass which is nice. It’s nice because you have people around you that are relaxing and enjoying their day. It makes the work more fun.
Rachel Barber, Roseville, California

3. Starbucks at Norris (Norbucks)

5 min

Norris University Center became an often frequented spot where cherubs could work together and get lunch or coffee.

  • Noise: cafe bustle, upbeat music playing
  • Atmosphere: lively but not rambunctious, couches, desks, chairs and bean bags. Outdoor grass area with tables spread out.
  • Lighting: mix of indoor and natural light
  • What it’s good for: group work, meeting sources for interviews over coffee, eating and working at the same time

If I need a coffee fix, that’s always great. I like how you can be with your friends while getting all your stuff done. A lot of the time we’ll work outside on one of the tables when it’s a nice day.
Jilly Rolnick of Hillsborough, California

4. University Library

7 min

The University Library at Northwestern is home to a 5 million volume collection.

  • Noise: other people working quietly
  • Atmosphere: calm, many different rooms to work with varying set-ups
  • Lighting: bright indoor lighting
  • What it’s good for: focusing, quieter writing and editing work

I went during trend story week and worked there a lot. We thought the common rooms were nice for collaboration, but people will start talking. The study room at the library is quiet and nice.
CJ Fonda of Glenview, Illinois

5. Sculpture Garden

5 min

Sculptures by artists such as Joan Miro can be found in the garden near the McCormick Foundation Center.

  • Noise: occasional construction, people passing by
  • Atmosphere: peaceful, outdoor setting with no tables or chairs
  • Lighting: sunlight
  • What it’s good for: quiet work such as writing or editing, group work

It’s outside so I get some sunshine, but also it’s really quiet and there aren’t a lot of people so I can get a lot done. It’s a really beautiful place on campus —lots of trees and sculptures and grass. I like to get real rustic with my study spots.
Nina Price of Berkeley, California

6. McCormick Foundation Center

3 min

Cherubs have used the lobby as a break from Fisk Hall. It is always air conditioned and has floor-to-ceiling windows.

  • Noise: very quiet, occasional background noise from the nearby road or from lectures in the forum
  • Atmosphere: quiet, cool temperature, comfortable with few tables but many leather seats
  • Lighting: sunlight, indoor lighting at night
  • What it’s good for: group work, quiet work like writing or editing, recording and listening to interviews

Inside McCormick there is air conditioning and a lot of natural light that keeps you in a good mood. There are lots of outlets, and the sofas are better than average for a nap.
Sora Lee of Los Angeles

Photos by Ejin Jeong and Kavya Srikanth. Icon created by Yamini Ahluwalia from Noun Project