Struggling Studiers Anonymous
Hi, my name is Mackenzie, and I struggle to study. I have been struggling to study since my freshman year here at Briar Cliff University. For me, school always came easy so I never had to study; then I was screwed from the get go coming to college. My grades started declining and I was lost. That is when I started my search all over campus and even around town to find my place to study. I want to share my findings with all of you.
Traditional Quiet Places
The library basement: The library basement is the only dedicated quiet space on campus. You will find a variety of seating options down there. There are wooden chairs, for those who need more structure, or large cushioned chairs, for those who need comfort—these are found in the Children’s Literature section. Across the way, you will walk into a room that feel like time stops and you perpetually sit in the 1970’s. In this room are endless opportunities. There are wooden tables and chairs. There are two computers. There are cushioned chairs. In addition, if you walk off the platform and through some bookcases, you will find some very secluded cubicles.
Main and second floors: When you come out of the basement, you enter the main floor of the library. Even though we are a library, we understand that you will get group projects and need a place to meet. This is why the main and second floors are not necessarily quiet areas. However, if you put some headphones in and turn on the tunes, you won’t even know anyone else is around…until you look up to take a quick Snapchat picture. And yes, people did just see you make that ridiculous face.
Third floor: Once you have ascended as far as you can in the library, you have reached that third floor. On third floor, there are some couches and coffee tables to do some studying. It is typically a little quieter than the main two floors. You will also find a computer lab with 19 computers to use and a printer. Also, located up here is the academic peer mentors offices. If you need help with anything academically, you can find the right people up there. And in the back is the writing center. There are plenty of smiling faces that are willing to help you ace that 10 page Korchin paper or any other papers you may have. Make sure to give them time though; do not bring them a paper the night before it is due and tell them you need their help.
Beverly A. Wharton Learning Center: This building is always open. Even if it is locked, pull out your phone and give that security number a call and they will let you in. The Atrium in the afternoons is quiet but on the weekend, it is as still as my heart when I realize that ugly Snap that was meant for my best friend was sent to my high school crush! If you want a little more privacy than what the Atrium can give you, check out a classroom, a science lab, or a conference room. There is even a computer lab on first floor that has a printer too. If any of these places are locked, security is usually willing to open them up for you.
Other Study Spaces on Campus
The Heffernan Mall: Now that the weather is on the decline, studying out on the mall area will not be too enjoyable. Just wait for the first 40 degree day in the spring and grab a friend or a hammock and set up outside.
Residence hall lounges: You could go to a lounge but remember you don’t own that space and others may come in to watch a movie or study so be courteous in these spaces.
Laundry room: You read that right! This is a place that I don’t know many people, who use it for this reason, but there is a table and chairs and the gentle hum of the machines may be what it takes to put you in your zone. Besides that, who doesn’t love the smell of clean laundry?
Your room: The last place I can think of on campus to study is your room. I get very little done this place due to all the distractions. I know there are people who can really buckle down in the comfort of their own space and I envy those people. I do want to warn you about studying in your bed. A few years ago, I heard on the radio (I don’t have a fancy aux cord) that if you study in your bed, it could cause slight anxiety when approaching your bed; this means it could be harder for you to fall asleep. That is my warning.
Non-Traditional Study Places around Town
I am going to give you a short list of places around town that I have tried and a brief description of each place.
Perkins (for procrastinators): Open 24 hours and they have coffee or other snacks. Great for all-nighters. Come for late supper, get a midnight snack, and leave after breakfast. They have Wi-Fi.
Daily Grind (for a chill vibe): This is a very low-key atmosphere. Reminds me of the coffee shop in FRIENDS. They have great coffee and delicious cupcakes. Incredible Wi-Fi.
Caribou (for a laid-back weekend): Just down the Cliff, you can find Caribou. They have a variety of seating options and a fireplace. Also, Wi-Fi.
Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center (for the outdoorsy folk): Again, this might be a place to check out when the weather turns around. Great hiking trails, tables, and benches in nature.
I have not been everywhere for study spaces so if you are a struggling studier and have found another place to study, let us know. Let the struggling studiers unite…maybe tomorrow!