Inside the Student Union

The Student Union is easily the worst place to relax on campus.

It’s loud, busy, and there is no rhyme or reason to the stampeding herd of students shoving their way from one end to another. And yet, like a moth to the flame, students are drawn to the scattered tables and chairs surrounding the whirlpool that is the Student Union — creating a society of chair-stalkers the likes of which rival Steve Irwin’s skills in the Amazon.

UCF Student Union
UCF Student Union

Why anybody would bother is beyond me, but for students like Hannah Schepler, a 19-year-old Writing and Rhetoric major, the hunt for a seat is worth prize.

“It’s the center of the campus,” she said during a recent interview. “I don’t want to miss anything.”

That’s not to say it’s easy. Schepler has had trouble finding a seat on the quieter third deck of the Union, but there is a secret to finding an open chair.

“Generally,” she said, “if you stalk around enough, you can get a seat. It’s like a race – I’ve lost a chair to someone crossing around the other side.”

The Library

The loudest library this side of the Mississippi.

Trying to find an open computer on the Library’s ground floor is worse than stalking an open table in the Student Union. You grumble as you peer over the walls of yet another computer pod, cursing the day you decided to add another class instead of investing in a laptop.

And when you actually find a seat with a computer, there’s going to be some group of yahoos that will forget that the library is synonymous with quiet and have a nice loud conversation about how difficult this assignment is. And you forgot your earphones in your gym-bag.

UCF Library
UCF Library

The chamber of secrets within the library.

Fortunately, those who don’t know how to use their inside-voice also don’t know that there are different levels in the library — making the chairs, desks and cubicles on every floor but the second easy pickings.

If still you’re having difficulty finding a chair you can always find an abandoned book aisle to study in. This is also a nice, if uncomfortable, place to take a nap — just make sure your bookbag is padded.

It’s easier to find a place to sit on the fourth and fifth levels as these are the absolute quiet zones of the library and for some, the idea of putting their cellphone on no ring and no vibrate is just to much.

However, the low chatter from the third floor echoes right on up the stairwell and into the fourth floor. So, if you’re looking for an uncomfortably quiet place to study, skip right on up to the fifth floor.

The fifth floor or: "The loudest person here is you."
The fifth floor or: “The loudest person here is you.”

While the fourth floor easily has the best view of every roof on campus, there is a row of chairs and tables on the fifth floor that boasts a view of the very top of Millican Hall and the enthusiastic top of the Reflecting Pond’s water fountain.

This can all be seen from between the prisonesque columns that surround the now closed-off balcony. There truly is nothing like thick bars of cement brick blocking the sunlight to make you realize that you’ve been paying to be institutionalized and that you really do need to get back to studying rather than look outside.

Within the entire library there is one seat, just one, that is the holy grail of all study spots, and it’s on the fifth floor between the west stairs and the elevator. It’s a nook, with two windows and an electrical outlet, and is far, far away from every other studying brain on the floor. Bring a bribe because you’ll be hard pressed to find this seat empty.

The best seats you didn’t know about because you never go in that building.

Sometimes you want a view of the outdoors with the comfort of stale conditioned air and fluorescent lighting. The Health & Public Affairs I building is that place. With window-facing swivel chairs and desks just wide enough for your laptop and half your notebook, you can people-watch french café style.

The worst seats you didn’t know about because you never go in that building.

Student Union Boardwalk
Student Union Boardwalk

You should know that the worst building to find a seat in is the Visual Arts building.

Mainly this is because there are no seats on the first floor. If you’re stuck waiting for a classroom to open up, you can stand around shuffling your feet or you can sit on the floor and try not to trip up the herd of students thundering down this narrow hallway.

On a breezy, sunshine-y day it’s nice to sit outside within the UCF campus grounds. There’s plenty of shade to go around, and if you’ve had the foresight to bring a picnic blanket with you, every lawn is your resting area. But if you’re looking for a bench, the following is a list of the best outdoor places on campus to relax.

Below is a breakdown of some other places to chill and hang on campus: