A definitive ranking of Brotherton Library study spots from least to most intense

Scoring these on a scale of 1 to mental breakdown impending


Exam season means one thing at Leeds Uni: fighting for your life to get a seat in Brotherton Library. These days, if you’re not walking through Parky doors by 10am, you may as well not bother.

Clearly, there’s something about being able to almost taste the stress in the air that shames even the biggest procrastinators into getting their work done.

However, there are definitely certain spots that leave you questioning the day, the time and why you signed up to do a degree in the first place.  That said, here is our ranking of all the sections in Brotherton, from least to most intense.

West Wing (main section)

Starting off pretty chill, we’ve got West Wing main section. The most intense it gets here is trying to deal with the heat – who needs a sauna when you can sit in here for five minutes? Yet, that aside, it’s not too bad – you’ve got the comfy sofas, lots of natural light (sorry basement warriors) and can chat with your friends.

Intensity level 3/10.

West Wing (computers)

Kind of similar to the main section, West Wing computers are still towards the lower intensity end of the scale. Shout out to the spinny chairs for being the highlight. The only issues are the noise volume – noise cancelling headphones have been tried and tested and still can’t drown it out – and the brightness of those big monitors. You leave feeling like you’re seeing double.

Intensity level 5/10.

Main Circle

Ok, upping the intensity a little. The echoing silence is what does it here – I’ve had nightmares about even knocking over my water bottle. Extra intensity points are also given for the chairs – one day spent in Brotherton and your back knows about it. Yet, on the flip side, the ambient lighting, and the fact you’ll bump into at least three people you know, makes it bearable.

Intensity level 6.5/10.

Brotherton Floor 2

Now it gets serious. When you’ve found a seat, Floor 2 is actually fine, especially if you can get by the windows. However, finding a seat is so unnecessarily embarrassing. The creaky floors, the lights switching on like some sort of personal spotlight and the waterproof trouser sound your jeans make when you walk round are just a bit much.

Intensity level 7/10.

West Wing basement

If you’re studying in West Wing basement, I can only assume you’re on the verge of some sort of mental breakdown – and I say this speaking from experience. The plastic chairs, the musty book smell and the long desks are just not relaxing, and everyone who works there looks chronically stressed.

Intensity level 8.5/10.

Brotherton Floor 1

All I have to say is thoughts and prayers. I don’t think many people even know Brotherton Floor 1 exists and I’d recommend keeping it that way. The singular desks wedged between the rows of books is giving prison vibes. If you work here, hope you’re doing ok x