Section: Opinion

Kenyon Q’s: Study spaces after Club Olin

Dear Hannah Lee,

I’m not excited to lose the library next year. I’m even less excited to have study spaces in those trailers outside of Peirce. Is there anywhere else I can study that’s not my dorm or a classroom?

Signed,

Club O Gremlin

Dear Gremlin,

You have my sympathies. Many Kenyon students can’t imagine what a college without a standing library will be like, but it’s up to you and your peers to brave the trailers on Ransom Lawn, the study spaces in Bexley Hall and wherever else Olin’s literary inhabitants will squat temporarily.

Despite this new reality, there’s still hope. I can count on both hands the number of times I stepped into Olin in four years at Kenyon, let alone the number that I actually studied there.

Studying in the library never appealed to me. Maybe that’s because the building looks a little bit like a prison from the outside, and when you have an eight-page essay to write, the last place I want to be trapped in is a dungeon of despair. I also see my friends there, and when I study around my friends, how can I be expected to read quietly when I’d rather catch up on their weekend escapades? For me, that place is a breeding ground for unproductivity.

Since I won’t be needing them much longer, I’ll toss out a few of my favorite alternative study spots on campus.

Wiggin Street Coffee:

Since my first year at Kenyon, I have always written my big essays in Wiggin. Going there is a  treat that motivates me to work on assignments. They have comfy booths, good lighting, food and enough coffee to fuel a research paper on 15th century English verse. That said, the activity level in Wiggins has increased dramatically since I started this routine. Imagine yesteryear, when you could saunter in at 2 p.m. and just grab a booth. Ah, those young and innocent days. Now? Hah! Entering the shop after 9 a.m. is like stepping into The Hunger Games, and my dear, you best assume those odds are never in your favor. My advice: Get there early, bring enough work to busy you for hours and tip your baristas.

Peirce Pub:

Cozier than Old Side and quieter than New Side, Peirce Pub is a lovely spot to squeeze in some before-class or after-dinner study time. It is typically a peaceful place to settle into an armchair and knock out a couple of chapters of reading. Or take over one of those half-booth circle tables for your whole crew to work on a group project. The best part is that you’re just feet away from making a sandwich or bowl of cereal, so you don’t even need to leave the building for a snack.

Eaton Center:

Perhaps Kenyon’s best-kept study secret, Eaton Center is the College’s  financial office. It’s the white house next to the Center for Global Engagement and across the street from Bexley. If you haven’t spent much time there, Eaton has two separate office spaces, connected by a breezeway. Large windows line both sides of the breezeway, and one side has a long room filled with small tables and chairs.

This beautiful little study oasis is rarely occupied and just waiting for a student in need of some cram time to use it.

Eaton’s only downside is that it is an office building and runs on office hours. If you try to go on the weekends or evenings after 5 or 6 p.m., you’ll find only locked doors and heartache.

These locations have seen my blood, sweat and tears. As you enter life beyond Olin, I hope that they’ll bring you focus, inspiration and friends in unlikely places.

What are your burning questions? Don’t know what to do about your hookup’s return from a semester abroad? Trying to rein in reactions to out-of-control email threads? Submit anonymously on tinyurl.com/kenyonqs or ask Hannah Lee at leidyh@kenyon.edu and she can offer the written equivalent of a hug.

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