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September 18, 2019

Ten dynamic places to study on campus

Radhika Poddar ’21

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Sure, people are amazing, but spaces are even more so. College students spend much of their time in their study spots. A study spot is not simply a location one uses to study. It is also the place where procrastination, concentration and relaxation take place. 

When most people think of study spots, the first thought that pops up is a library. Yes, Mount Holyoke’s Williston Library is one of the most beautiful in the country and we are so lucky to have it. But! Our campus contains multitudes — of places to study. 

Here is a list of Mount Holyoke’s most dynamic study hotspots. Each has something distinct from a traditional library setting. Consider which set of features encourage you to be most productive. Choose one and stick to it, or switch it up whenever you wish.

Stimson Room, Williston Library

1. LITS study spaces

If switching from the library to another building is too much of a jump for you, LITS (Library, Information, and Technology Services) offers multiple places to work and focus, the most apparent ones being the reading room and the atrium. Most people forget that the library consists not only of group study rooms that people can reserve, but also beautiful and quiet rooms all round — ideal options if you like being absorbed in your setting. Two examples: the Stimson Room on level 6 (above) and the Octagon Room on level 7 (below). 

Octagon Room, Williston Library
Octagon Room, Williston Library

Pratt Music Library
Pratt Music Library

2. Pratt Music Library

Venture into the College’s Pratt Music Hall to discover a snug library space. A prime location for people who live in these nearby residence halls: 1837, the Mandelles, Prospect and Creighton. The small size of this library makes it a good fit for those who find it intimidating to study in enormous rooms. Though, it may be difficult to study here if landscape views easily distract you.

Blanchard Hall, lower level
Blanchard Hall, lower level

3. Blanchard Hall, Community Center

This cozy campus center building has three floors of relaxed study spots. You can comfortably sit wherever you want and take short (or long) snack breaks with ease. Recommended if studying with some background noise/music is for you. The presence of a printer on the first floor is definitely a plus.

Tranquility RoomTranquility Room, Dining Commons

4. Tranquility Room, Dining Commons

Consistent with the name, this is a quiet, calm room that is tucked all the way at the back of the Dining Commons. Perfect if you’re looking for a comfortable, convenient place in the middle of campus with easy access to food. 

Atrium, Kendade Hall
Kendade Hall atrium

5. Kendade Hall atrium

Located in between Clapp Laboratory, Kendade Hall, Cleveland Hall and Skinner Green, the atrium serves as the perfect buffer location between classes. The only disadvantage? Apart from vending machines, there aren’t many options in terms of snacks. Best to arrive prepared with all the provisions you might need.

Language Resource Center lounge
Language Resource Center lounge

6. Language Resource Center lounge

Hidden away in room 6 on the lower level of the Ciruti Language Center, this space is extremely useful for group study sessions in a relaxed setting. Even though the primary purpose of this space is exploring language and cultures, it is an optimal space for not just for individual language learning but also for studying in general.

Mead Hall common room
Mead Hall common room

7. Residence hall common rooms and computer rooms

Every residence hall is equipped with a common room and a computer room. These spaces are very convenient if you wish to study outside of your room and don’t want to walk too far. Arriving with everything you might need from your room can help you feel more relaxed and limit interruptions to your flow.  

The Thirsty Mind Coffee and Wine BarThirsty Mind Coffee and Wine Bar

8. Village Commons: Thirsty Mind

The Thirsty Mind Coffee and Wine Bar, situated in the Village Commons, is ideal if you’re looking for a place off — but not too far off — campus with access to snacks and light music. The main advantage? Coffee!

Skinner Green
Skinner Green

9. Skinner Green

Probably one of the nicest locations, Skinner Green is ideal for a picnic-style study session. Whether you make use of the Adirondack chairs, get your hammock up or even lay a blanket on the grass, studying here will never be effort wasted. The only disadvantage? It is only accessible as weather permits and it goes unused for months during the winter.

Prospect Hall gazebo
Prospect Hall gazebo

10. Prospect Hall gazebo

Unarguably the College’s most serene location, the gazebo brings a spectacular view of lower lake. On a sunny day, you could spend hours working away without noticing. Even on chilly days, the gazebo functions as a cover. This is a great spot if working outdoors is something you prefer to do and you are not prone to procrastination. 

A study spot can not only enhance learning but also make the process of learning a smoother and more enjoyable one. After months of exploration and experimentation, I found my study spot, or my “study buddy” as I like to call it. And I hope you find yours! Check out the campus map to find any of the locations above. 

Is Mount Holyoke right for you? Learn More

Radhika Poddar ’21 grew up in Mumbai, India. She is currently working toward a major in psychology and pursuing a Nexus concentration in global business. She loves adventures, board games and spicy food. An art enthusiast, Poddar’s current favorite work of art is “Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together,” a digital installation by teamLab.
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