It’s that time of year again. Finals. You’re studied out. There appears to be no place in Kenyon College’s library where you have not tried to study and subsequently run out of steam.
If you’re in this position, I understand. A library addict the second semester of my freshman year (I even went on Saturday nights once or twice, when it was only me and seniors writing comps, making me feel super productive) I can no longer focus amongst the stress waves and group study sessions. Needless to say, I have not stopped studying. Kenyon is a beautiful campus, and if you look hard enough, you can find fun and productive places to hit the books, even during finals week.
Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Wiggin Street Coffee: at night. It seems a highly social place, but hit Wiggin (pictured above) at the right time and you will be surprised by how calm and productive you can be. Evening hours in coffee shops have a special glow you just can’t recreate anywhere else, especially in the winter. Grab a warm and (minimally) caffeinated drink, a table or a booth to spread out on, and put on your favorite focusing music.
2. Early morning Peirce. While 7:30 a.m. may seem excruciatingly early for some, the peace and quiet and relaxing feeling of having the whole day ahead of you is worth it. You’ll also get a perfectly picturesque view of one of the most beautiful sunrises Ohio has to offer, and the best natural lighting to study by as well. Snag a window seat and enjoy the feeling of being in a life-size snowglobe in the winter and the beautiful green rolling hills of Ohio in spring.
3. Those weird basement corners of Ascension. Strange, I know, but these spots have several advantages. First of all, you are close to professors’ offices, so you’re around some pretty smart vibes. Second, you have a clear escape door that almost no one uses and that leads you right to Peirce. We all know how important those snack and caffeine breaks are. Third, you are alone. For those that need to be outside of their dorm but still hidden from the outside world, this is your spot.
4. The Classics room. For those who still feel the need to be in the library but can’t stomach the traditional study spaces, check out this secret spot on the third floor, hiding behind the stacks. This room is highly coveted, but worthwhile if you can get it: it features a big square table, hanging maps and large, inviting windows. Take some (non-distracting) friends and enjoy the sun and the beautifully color-coordinated books.
5. Outside. Okay, I realize this isn’t so comfortable in December, but it’s worth remembering for the warmer months. Find yourself an Adirondack chair or a pretty tree and hunker down. Want to be outside but can’t resist saying hi to every friend who passes by on Middle Path? Try the Gap Trail.
6. Gund Commons. Not everyone’s first pick, I know, but give it a shot. You’re close to a printer, vending machines, all the north dorms and lots of open space, as well as my new favorite discovery: the bulletin board outside the Career Development Office. Duck downstairs while you’re studying and grab a pep talk post-it or one of a variety of yummy tea bags.
7. Storer Hall lounge. Comfy chairs, holiday decorations and music wafting from upstairs make this an unexpected special study spot. Music major or not, Kenyon’s music culture is worth taking advantage of. Rumor has it candy also appears on the tables around the holidays.
8. Any of the seminar classrooms in the houses on campus. One piece of advice if you’re going for this option: get there early. Set yourself up with some snacks, open the blinds, play your favorite study music and stay there all day. My favorites are Lentz House (pictured below), Timberlake and O’Connor.