This article is written in honor of the Rock’s 50th anniversary. You can submit your own Rock memories here.
Thinking back on freshman year, I realized the most important events are now stored in my head in cinematic snippets. My first trek up College Hill and the sudden glimpse of Carrie Tower. The slow walk through Faunce and the unexpected breathtaking beauty of the Main Green. Parading through the Van Wickle Gates with the bell tolling in the distance and people cheering. These moments are firmly entrenched in my mind, and will probably become even more cherished as time goes by. However, there is another equally important memory from my freshman year that I had almost forgotten, until now: the first time that I saw the Rock.
The small, gray building seemed quite friendly and welcoming compared to its fellow libraries. As a nervous first year, I was quite intimidated by the looming, concrete SciLi with its Brutalist architecture. I was also secretly afraid that if I got locked in one of the higher floors at night, no one would hear my cries. The John Carter Brown and John Hay libraries were far too majestic for my uncouth freshman self; I couldn’t even imagine crossing their sacrosanct thresholds. The Rock, however, seemed to practically beckon to me. So on a whim, the very day I first laid eyes on it, I decided to give it a visit. I climbed up the steps, taking two at a time, pushed through the revolving doors and found myself standing in the lobby. As I looked around, a big smile spread over my face. Seeing the large comfy armchairs, the polished tables, and the air of calm and quiet, I knew I had found my refuge from the noise and turbulence of college.