Certain people can study in their dorm rooms and lounges with ease; I’m not one of them. If you’re the sort of person who can grind through Thursday night econ problem sets with Avicii blasting and inebriated classmates traipsing loudly through your dorm, then more power to you. For the rest of us, I’ve compiled a short list of some of my favorite study spots around the 5Cs.
The Cube: Virtually any CMC student would agree that the Cube easily ranks among the best places to study on campus. Conveniently close to North and Mid-Quad dorms, the Cube has the advantage of being a few minutes closer to home than the library and a very quiet atmosphere. Cons include the general lack of power outlets, the not-so-comfortable mod chairs, and the fact that the almost perfect silence that pervades the place has an eerie quality that will have you glancing around to see who’s breathing so loudly (this last one might just be me, though).
Pitzer Mounds: There are a number of good study spots for those who prefer fresh air and sunlight to buckle down and hit the books. For those who don’t mind ambient noise and enjoy a little local color, the Pitzer Mounds are hard to beat. Nab the hammock in the shade under the massive pine trees or you’ll likely be sitting in the grass, though.
Scripps Alcoves: This isn’t one particular place, but a reference to the various outdoor nooks and crannies that define the Scripps campus. Whether you favor a shaded table at the basement-level patio west of the Scripps dining hall or the alcove outside the admissions office, you’re sure to find a quiet isolated spot if you look hard enough. Unfortunately the various Scripps alcoves, like the Mounds, are pretty far away, especially in 5C miles.
Hub Patio: Not to be conflated with the Hub itself, which is usually loud and guaranteed to be full of people you know, the Hub patio is a fairly good place to study. Centrally located for CMCers, the Hub patio boasts shade provided by umbrellas and quick access to snacks. The main shortcoming of the Hub patio is that friends will probably join you and start up a conversation.
Honnold-Mudd Library: While a fair walk, Honnold is the classic go-to for a place to study. In particular, I’d recommend the always quiet fourth floor or, if you’re looking for a spot with a view, any of the three bridges between the two halves of the library. For those looking for total seclusion, check out the desks interspersed along the stairwell in the stacks. There’s something about the looming presence of thousands of books that is very conducive to concentrating on your studies. The downsides of Honnold include the fact that you often have to scout around to find an open desk and that many of the chairs aren’t especially comfortable.
Kravis Research Institutes: If you are able to land a gig as a research assistant at any of the several research institutes located in the Kravis Center, you’re in luck, because the research institutes win the dubious award of being my favorite place to study at the 5Cs. Brand new ergonomic chairs, great views, complete silence and isolation, and ease of access to Kravis rooftop decks for a stretch are all perks reserved for those whom work for research institutes. Be sure to petition your institute head for 24/7 access to office space. The only con to these exclusive study spaces is that they have a sterile, professional feel to them.