I love my apartment. But sadly, I can't study in a place with so many distractions: watching tv, making food, or taking a nap in my room. So like many other students, I have been searching for the perfect place to study. A safe haven to write papers, study review guides, or meet with group members to finish a project.

Like many other students, the SLC is foremost on my list of a great place to study. I have a special place in my heart for the SLC. I spent a good couple of weeks there last semester for finals and loved studying there late at night. After spending countless hours studying there, I have come to find that there are a few problems that makes it hard to study at the SLC. First, it is really hard trying to find a study room. Unless you and your group members are meeting up at 11:00 at night, you will be wondering the 4 floors of the SLC trying to find a room that is empty, or at least one where you don't see a trail of jackets, backpacks, and computers, all signs that people are saving the room. Parking can also be annoying when studying at the SLC. I hate having to fight the traffic to get on campus and then walk from my parking space that always seems to be on the other side of campus. Since I already don't want to study, the fact that I am making a lot of effort to get to one place makes it that much harder to motivate myself to study. The Library and the Law Library have the same parking problems as the SLC. Both libraries have amazing views if you find the right place, but both places seem to lack privacy and comfortable seating.

So where might you ask have I found the perfect place to study? The State Botanical Garden is a secret gem that many students are unaware of. Parking is not a problem and you don't have to pay $2.00 for the first hour you are there (parking is free). Plus, the State Botanical Garden is less than a 5 minute drive off of Exit 6 (this may be closer to your apartment than campus is). Next, the cafe at the State Botanical Garden has a cloud of wireless internet. So as you are researching a topic, writing a paper, or meeting with a group, you can sit on the porch and look at the beautiful gardens (maybe grab a little lunch). This is a peaceful place to study. There is a serenity about the gardens that makes it an enjoyable experience. Especially with the weather cooling down, there is no better time to study outdoors.

For students looking to find a great place to study, there are dozens of places outside of campus that have wireless internet and a comfortable atmosphere that makes studying tolerable. Studying at UGA is inevitable. So why don't you make it enjoyable. Next time you have a group meeting or need a quiet place to study, I suggest that you make a trip to the State Botanical Garden or venture off of campus. Athens has so much to offer!