Students find unique study spaces around campus

For some, an overwhelming scent of Febreeze-coated B.O. and a constant blare of “Closer” absolutely screams study time. Most, however, are less fond of the dorm room as a homework space and prefer to study elsewhere. The classic hotspots— the Pugh Center, the Spa, and Miller are common choices among Colby students, whether it be a matter of convenience, a desire for silence, or a need for good Wi-Fi.

Some Mules on the other hand, have a stronger connection to their study spots. One such bond has been formed between students Lily Fernald ’17, Will Gross ’18, Nora Hill ’18, and Kaylee Pomelow ’19, and the building that they study in: Runnals. For most of this group, their love affair with the theater building has lasted them their Colby careers. “I started studying in Runnals the first week of my freshman year,” said Fernald, a Theatre and Dance major. “There are multiple classrooms I like to study in, but also a handful of directing and acting studios, dance studios, [which are] great for other forms of more creative work.” The spaces themselves hold a lot of attraction for Fernald as well.  “It’s so great to be able to spread out your stuff and make yourself at home. In the Spa or the Street, I never feel like I can or should take up that much room, and that makes it harder to concentrate. Here, it is so much easier to work without being restricted by a space limit,” she said.

Gross, Hill, and Pomelow are just as enthusiastic about Runnals. Gross and Hill are drawn less to the building by academic needs, since they are Computer Science and Art History majors respectively, but more for the social bonds it creates. “Usually if I am studying in Runnals, I am in the main lobby, because there are always going to be people I know,” Gross said. “It is just a very friendly space”. Hill, Pomelow, and Fernald very closely echo this sentiment. “It’s great to motivate yourself to work by being around friends, because you know you can always find them around the building,” Fernald said.

This rare harmony of effective study space and great social exposure, the students agree, is what makes Runnals such a unique and wonderful homework spot. “It totally caters to your needs. Like, if you want to socialize it is very easy to find people, or if you want to go off by yourself and spread out in Smith [Studios] that is totally easy as well,” Fernald said. So easy, in fact, it has become the habit of some students. “A lot of times, I will see my friends in the lobby and socialize with them for 15 minutes, then go to a quiet classroom to study for a bit, then come back out to the lobby to socialize for another 15 minutes, and so on. For me, it is a very effective way to get work done,” Hill said.

Although the presence of acquaintances motivates some to work, others prefer to study in a quieter setting. One such spot (which has gained popularity over the last few years) is the Colby Art Museum. “I just love the feel of the building,” Shoshi Leviton ’20 said. “I know I can always concentrate in the open, airy space of the main lobby,” she explained. As a freshman, Leviton has only been in class for three weeks. It did not take her long, however, to find her self-designated study space in the museum. “Once I realized that I needed to have a consistent place to do my homework, the museum immediately came to mind,” Leviton said. “I had gone there for coffee over orientation week, and even then, marveled at the fantastic feel of the area. It seemed like it would be an environment very conducive to good study habits.” And conducive it has been. “I go there nearly every day, get a cup of coffee, and just sit down to work,” Leviton said. “That way, I have free time to socialize with my friends and do not have to worry about a worksheet I need to do nor a reading I am required to complete,” she explained.

Even without friends to distract, many students require almost complete silence in order to work effectively. Hailey Reed ’20 has found a unique spot to fulfill this desire. “I like to do a lot of my studying in the Chapel,” Reed said. “The small common room off to the left of the pews is one of the easiest places on campus for me to concentrate.” Not a member of any religious organizations on campus, Reed entered the Chapel for the first time during orientation week, when President Greene addressed the Class of 2020. “Once classes started, I realized I needed to find a secluded study space in order to work effectively. I remembered seeing a small common room off to the side of the chapel, and thought I might as well check it out,” Reed said. “It turned out to be a great space that I really studied well in.” A unique place to complete homework, the Chapel is rarely overcrowded with boisterous students. “I really like that I am able to simply sit and spread out work without fear that I am taking up other people’s space,” she said. And just like Leviton, Reed enjoys the fact that she can complete most of her studies in this one space, saving time to socialize without worry of deadlines or assignments. “I just love that I have been able to find a place where I can get my work done in a painless and efficient manner, saving me time to talk to friends and get involved with extracurricular,” she said.

Whether it’s the street, Runnals, or even just a dorm room, nearly every Colby student has a unique place in which they like to study. Though they vary by feel and location, most every work spot has one thing in common: they provide an area for a stressed out college kid to finish their homework.

Leave a Reply