There are two weeks left until Thanksgiving break. That means midterm season is back in full swing after its quick hiatus that started on Halloween and ended a day or two after that.
For freshmen who are still struggling to understand the idea of midterms when they happen more often than just “mid-term”: We have many midterms, which makes no sense, but we’re all too busy studying to take the time to change the terminology.
And you know what happens after midterm season? Finals. Finals come right after Thanksgiving, and those last about three weeks, too, because you have a final paper due just before reading period and then something else due during reading period and then a “final” during finals week.
So you’re going to need a library. You’re going to need a place to call home through thick and thin–and by “thick and thin” I’m referring to the width of the 12 Meeting Street cookies you get delivered to the study spot of your choice.
We don’t give our study spots enough credit for what we put them through. We stain them with blood, sweat, tears, and Mama Kim’s. Next time you find yourself in a sedentary position for seven hours straight–and no, I’m not talking about your intimate moments with Netflix–stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, and look around you. We should not subject the aggression we have toward our workloads onto the places where we conquer them.
Next time you feel down, or get angry at the SciLi basement windows for creating a deadly greenhouse effect, remember why you love your study space. As 19th century poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning says in “Sonnet 43,” “How do I love thee, [study space]? Let me count the ways.”
The Leung Family Gallery
First of all, how great is it that a giant portrait of the Leung family is always there to watch over you? It reminds me of doing homework in middle school at my dining room table. Once you admire the family portrait, and really give it a good look, you’ll realize its ambiguity: is it a painting or a photograph? How lucky are we to be surrounded by such fascinatingly avant garde works in locations around campus so negligible as a student workplace?
Secondly, it is fun here to cough and sneeze and watch people hate you.
All of the chairs in Leung are wide and circular enough–both in their seats and their backs–that you can sit criss cross applesauce on them. Cozy!
The Rock is home to many-a-thesis writer who holes him- or herself up in a carrel. The graffiti engraved into the carrels is kind of gross but really riveting. It’s always interesting to read the grafitti, which is sometimes trite and along the lines of “YO I WUZ HERE” but can also be more sentimental and enigmatic.
The Rock is also the prime Instagram-the-sunset-over-the-city spot. Whoever built the SciLi clearly didn’t keep this in mind, which is a shame because its height gives it a lot of potential. The Rock provides you Instagrammable opportunities with a guarantee of a minimum 50 likes.
We admire the quirkiness of the CIT’s shared desperation.
Bookstore Blue State (the College Hill Café)
We can state the obvious–that the café provides the perfect balance of academic environment and a cute little coffee shop that sells “vegan tea bread”–but it does have other more subtle advantages. Take, for instance, the tables. They for some odd reason are extremely enjoyable to write on, as their translucence is quite pleasant when you’re putting pencil to paper. I don’t really know what material they’re made out of, but it’s nice because it’s neither too thick nor too dense–they have a perfect ratio of thickness to denseness. Take notice, be grateful. It’s the little things, people.
EVERY CHAIR IS A WHEELIE CHAIR!!!! YIPPEE!!!!
Also, the SciLi is the only study spot on campus where you are greeted every time you enter. Swiping in requires a close proximity to the front desk attendant, who is very friendly. Even though you’re required to swipe in at the Rock, too, you aren’t nearly as close to the front desk. Therefore, the SciLi offers a warm, friendly smile in a place where there otherwise is none. Think about it.
The John Hay
If you sit at a table in a corner of the reading room, but face the wall and not the center of the room, you won’t be able to see the glass wall that separates the room from the lobby, making it seem like you’re in a really old, regal library. Which you kind of already are. But still.
The Blue Room
If you work in the Blue Room around 10 am on Monday mornings–and some other times, too–you overhear show tunes and opera music that will surely better your mood. Because the music emanates from the food area, and not the sitting area, it won’t be too loud as to distract you from your work. The Blue Room’s generally pretty quiet around this time anyway, so you should be able to focus perfectly.
If you’re one who likes to study at night and opt to miss the 10 am Broadway hits hour, then have no fear. There is still a quirk for you. At night, the mice come out to play. Mouse watching is like a free safari!
Image via Jason Hu ’15.