For Kevin DeBlasi, it's his room. For Liz Rabii, it's any place but her room. For Amy Carolan, it's wherever she is. But for all of these students, it is where they burn the midnight oil. But while places of study often differ, the search for the perfect study spot is governed by some common necessities such as light, silence and isolation. An informal survey of approximately 30 students reveals that while the University has many different study areas, many prefer to do their school work in the comfort of their rooms. Many said that convenience, comfortable surroundings, and ease of study breaks, are the biggest advantages of studying at home. "I'm near the refrigerator," College sophomore DeBlasi said. "I need 10-minute breaks, where I can turn on the TV or something." Others, like Wharton junior Michael Kirkell, said that it is difficult to think in open places, adding that he prefers to stay home. "More enclosed areas seem more conducive to concentration," Kirkell said. "Also, it's difficult to read European Diplomatic History amidst 17 conversations." But many students said that home may not be the best place to cram for their upcoming mid-terms. College sophomore Rabii defines her best place to study as "anywhere away from your own building," saying that, "it's best to just get up and leave." The choice can be more difficult for students living off-campus since the best locations are several blocks away. "Now that I live off campus, when I'm on campus I don't want to walk back," said College sophomore Carolan, a resident of the Alpha Phi sorority house on Walnut Street. She fills her time between classes by studying at Van Pelt Library, or in the open-air cafe next to the School of Social Work. Van Pelt is actually several different study spots rolled into one, since each floor has its own character. From the high-school library atmosphere of Rosengarten Reserve Room, which was recently established as a twenty-four hour study facility, to the stately drawing room on the fifth floor lounge, the library has a space to fit nearly every mood. "If I really, really want to do work, I'll go into a carrel, all by myself," Carolan added. "If I want to get stuff done, but still talk to people, I'll go into one of the lounges." But some said the library is overrated as a prime studying area. "I don't study that much more efficiently in the library that it's worth the time to go there," College sophomore Josh Heitler said. But Van Pelt is not the only University library that students use, though students said they are hesistant to disclose them fearing that others will flock to use them. According to some students, the Biomedical Library, located on Hamilton Walk, is among the best places to study. The building, open until midnight, is often empty and a great alternative to a sometimes crowded Van Pelt. In addition, other departmental libraries such as the Annenberg School of Communication Library and the Biddle Law Library feature a quaint studying atmosphere. But they are popular mostly among students within their departments, because of their resources, and perhaps a sense of territoriality. But while Steinberg-Dietrich Hall houses the Wharton School, it attracts a cross-section of the University. Perhaps its most attractive feature is the sign on the entrance door that reads, "Open 24 Hours." Students described the classrooms as generic and sterile, but said the comfortable chairs and large working space often keep them there. "A lot of my housemates go to Wharton for nine hours, once a week," Heitler said. But the charm of finding that unknown study area prompted some students to look into some other less well-known buildings. "There aren't any places to study on this campus, except maybe for [the McNeil Building]. That's a great building," College sophomore Jason Shenk said of McNeil's labyrinthian halls and difficult-to-reach central lounge. "Once you get in you can't get out, so you might as well study." For those entrenched in the Residential living system, the quest often begins in a residence lounge or library. Almost all University housing offers study facilities, and some locations are quite popular. College freshman Julia Lee is one of many residents of King's Court/English House who take advantage of the English House library every night. "There are lights," Lee said. "There are no lights in my room." Similar facilities exist in most residences, although they vary from the majestic views of Center City seen from the High Rise rooftop lounges to the subdued decor of the Quad's McClelland Lounge. But some students need more distance. And during the last warm days of fall, some students take advantage of the sunshine to study outdoors. But with colder weather looming on the horizon, Teichen looked sadly up at the imposing figure of Van Pelt.Comments powered by Disqus
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