What Is a Student Lounge?

Dan Cavallari

A student lounge is a designated space on a college campus — or in some cases, other types of schools such as high schools — that is set aside for student relaxation or studying. These lounges are often located in several places around the campus, from student union spaces to dormitories, and the exact layout and design of the space will vary significantly. The student lounge is often designed to be both comfortable and utilitarian, featuring chairs and tables, power outlets, and in some cases, televisions and other recreational items. These rooms are usually separated from other common areas to reduce background noise and enhance privacy.

A students lounge facilitates studying and relaxing.
A students lounge facilitates studying and relaxing.

Dormitories are the most common places to find a student lounge. Colleges with several dormitories will therefore feature numerous lounges, and in many cases, each dorm will feature one or more student lounge per floor to accommodate a higher number of students. Other dormitories may feature only one or two lounges located in a lobby or other common area. The size of the student lounge will vary according to the intended population of the building as well as how many lounges are available for student use throughout the building.

Student lounges may have vending machines with drinks and snacks.
Student lounges may have vending machines with drinks and snacks.

Some colleges and universities design the student lounge to be a comfortable, relaxing space, while others feature furniture that discourages true lounging. This is done to encourage studying and other academic pursuits rather than recreation. Other lounges go in the other direction, making the space as comfortable as possible for recreation and social interaction. Some lounges are even used for events, gatherings, and club meetings, making the room more of a social space than a studying space. It is not uncommon for students in the dormitory to dictate how the room will be primarily used.

Not all student lounges are located within dormitories. A student lounge may also be located in classroom buildings, student unions, or other common buildings on campus. Placement of such lounges allows students who do not live on campus to take advantage of these study and recreation spaces. Lounges that are located throughout campus are likely to be larger than the ones located in dormitories, and they may feature other useful items such as computers, printers, scanners, and so on. With the advent of the internet, many lounges feature wireless internet access so students can get online without having to plug into any outlets. This also helps accommodate the online needs of far more students.

Dormitories are the most common places to find a student lounge.
Dormitories are the most common places to find a student lounge.

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Discussion Comments


@pastanaga - It depends on what kind of lounge it is. I have pretty fond memories of the lounge at my hostel. We would have movie nights and (secret) drinking games and groups of us would get up at four in the morning to watch foreign sports (or to impress the guys who were up watching them).


@pleonasm - Ours was mostly there as an excuse for the guys from the boys' school to come over and throw eggs and water bombs at us. Not very grown-up, but it was fun.

The student lounges I remember at community college were much more boring. Basically just a bunch of people sitting around reading and eating.


We had a student lounge at my high school that was just for senior students and we never used it for anything good. I can still remember my English teacher coming to round us up for class one day because there was a film on TV and none of us showed up in time.

The student lounge furniture was covered in marker art and one time some of the girls decided to try and see what would happen if they spilled some gas on the concrete floor and lit it on fire.

Honestly, if I knew kids acting like that now, I would give them detention.

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