By John Crittenden
The start of reading period means that the hustle and bustle of finals week has now reached a fever pitch. Finding the correct place to channel your inner studying chi becomes a critical factor for wending your way through the madness. We all know about the black hole that is Mudd when it comes to finding an effective academic workspace, but there are plenty of other lesser known locations for ‘learning through the labor’ that is finals week. For me, it’s usually just as important to keep moving from place to place in order to avoid wearing out a study space’s unique energy and to keep my own motivational reserves adequately stocked. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for possible workspaces that you may or may not have considered before:
Art Library – It seems odd to start out with a place that I have yet to use myself, but friends have assured me that the library on the top floor of the Allen Memorial Art Museum offers a great quiet spot to do some work. If a somewhat secluded space helps you do your best work, it might be worth checking out.
Dascomb Dining Hall – A personal favorite of mine, this space may not work for everyone, especially during peak hours when the boisterous atmosphere may distract some scholars. If you have a quick assignment you want to crank out over an hour or so, however, Dascomb is actually pretty lightly trafficked from 8 to 10 PM during stupid meal (lighter fare), and might be worth a shot. If noise doesn’t bother you, then this space can be utilized whenever it’s open to great effect. (I suggest snagging a booth near a power outlet.) You can even eat while you work!
Science Center – This one is probably pretty far from a secret, but the Science Center has a variety of great study spaces to offer, some better known than others. The atrium, of course, has plenty of table space and couches to facilitate academic work, all of which is naturally lit during the day to maximize aesthetic appeal. If your studying tastes require an especially subdued environment, then the Science Library provides a beautiful locale that is likely right up your alley. The David Love Lounge on the Science Center’s second floor allows students a smaller, slightly more personal study space overlooking the main Atrium.
South Lounge – If you need comfy couches or chairs to do your best work, then the lounge on the first floor of South may be worth visiting, as it has a plethora to choose from. Additionally, there are smaller, more private lounge spaces spread amongst the adjoining four hallways that may pique your fancy if the central one does not. On a warm day, the daring may even try basking in the lounge chairs on the large porch overlooking South Quad as they cram for exams.
Wilder – Student Union has many great spaces for getting work done, and its rooms can be reserved by students up to two days in advance for that purpose. With rooms of various sizes, you can usually find something to fulfill any sort of need, whether it is a large study session for all the students in a particular class, or a smaller spot for small group work. There are also lounge spaces and two-person boothes throughout that you needn’t even bother reserving.
I’m sorry if I’ve spilled the beans on someone’s own preferred study technique, but we’ve all got to look out for one another in these tense end-of-semester times, so let the secrets out. I’m sure everyone has their own favorite study spots – if you care to share you should feel free to post yours in the comments.