A Selection of Study Spots: Where to work this Michaelmas

Pembroke is a wholesome, nearly-topping-the-Tompkins-Table, scholars’-ballot-alive-and-kicking college... so what could be more appropriate for Pembroke Street than a custom selection of potential study spots, from our very own Disa Greaves?

The first few weeks of term have flown by, and whether you are a fresh-eyed first year or a seasoned Valencian, the work has undoubtedly started to pile up. We all have our own tried-and-tested work environments, but sometimes these can start to feel stale and concentration levels begin to wane... So here are a few options for those days when you don’t want to venture far from college, but need a change of scenery to boost those much sought after productivity levels.

The Pembroke Library is a great option if you thrive in quiet spaces and the atmosphere of fierce concentration going on all around you. Although this may seem obvious, it is a beautiful building, and really provides that authentic ‘Cambridge student’ vibe, with the stained glass leaded windows, wooden ‘everything’ and, of course, all. the. books. (Although seemingly never the ones I actually need...)

Fun fact: It was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, who was also the architect for the Natural History Museum!

Computer room - ideal for the inevitable all-nighters. Unlike the library, which is open from 8am until midnight, the comp room is there to welcome you 24/7. It is more relaxed, meaning you can have a quiet conversation without feeling death glares from every angle, and has printing and photocopying provisions at your fingertips. It is a step (or five) down in aesthetic standards from the library, with no natural light, compensated for with harsh fluorescent bulbs overhead. They are actually motion sensored, so they may turn off if you are the last hamster left on the wheel of a supo deadline -- it can be a little depressing when even the trusty comp room has switched off for the night before you…

N7 Alternative Study Space is on in, you guessed it, N7, every other weekend. This could be a good option post-brunch or you could even bring it with you! It is hosted by our JPC Welfare Officer, Eliza Dickinson, and is a chilled working atmosphere coupled with music and snacks for the perfect weekend study sesh before the deadlines of the coming week.

Your room is always an option. This is your own space so you can tailor your desk space to however you find it best to work -- if you prefer working from bed (or the floor?), this is the place for you. It is the most time efficient as you don’t have to go anywhere, and you have food and any other necessary provisions at your fingertips. Here, there is no-one around to bother you, but after too long you might start to feel a little stir crazy.

If you want to physically leave Pembroke, which can sometimes be a necessity if the draw of napping in your room is too great to resist, then there are a plethora of great options just a stone’s throw away.

The SPS Library

Right next to college, on Free School Lane. It is the Sociology and Land Economy library but is open for all students to use. It has large desks on the first floor with sockets for laptops and a smaller quiet study room. There are also comfy chairs between stacks if you just need a quiet spot to read. The librarians are very accommodating, giving biscuits out twice a day during exam term, as well as sprigs of rosemary, that well-known revision essential (apparently the smell is good for the memory or something along those lines...)


On Sidney Street, and has a lovely cafe on one of the top floors, with big tables perfect for communal working. You can go with friends or alone and find a place to set up camp for a few hours. Conveniently, being a cafe, the fuel to keep you pushing through work, FOOD, is right there! This can be perfect as you can easily transition from working to breaks, but beware the temptation for it to become one long break...


A classic. And right next door! It is often quite busy, but if you secure a spot you can enjoy the Instragram opportunities of the blue crockery, the overpriced Chelsea buns, AND work on that whole degree-thing. This could even be a potential opportunity to become an Instafamous Cantab, securing a degree and a career, two birds, one duck egg blue stone. See @georginatwong, Pem alum and former resident ‘grammer for serious inspo.

Fitzwilliam Museum

So close, and free! And has a wonderful cafe with skylights giving that perfect natural lighting we all crave. Again, food and drink is at your disposal along with all the art and antiquities you could desire, so you could make your breaks an opportunity to become a more cultured, Better You.

Dísa Greaves is a second year Land Economist and the Pembroke Street blogger.