By Janielle Kastner
Now that I’ve returned from Winter Break, I have to actively re-wire my brain from planning get-togethers with friends, napping, and eating copious amounts of comfort food back to studying, planning class schedules, and balancing rehearsals and student organization meetings.
I happen to have a fantastic schedule, and thoroughly enjoyed attending my first days of classes, and buying stacks of beautiful books in the bookstore, until I remembered: “Oh, right… I actually have to study these now!”
This week I’ve gotten back in the groove, and have revisited my favorite places to escape distractions, and hide away with a book to study for a few hours at a time. I’d love to share some of those places with you!
Hamon Arts Library – Now, many of my friends love to study at Fondren Library, and I refuse to for that very reason – I can’t sit down at Fondren without seeing one of my wonderful friends, then we end up talking about how much we need to study as opposed to actually getting any reading done! On the other hand, Hamon Arts Library tends to be less crowded and overlooks a beautiful outdoor fountain, and from my seat by the window I can watch students talking and laughing outside, while still silently reading at my table with the sun shining in. It also helps that freshman year I wrote an outline for a final while sitting at this table, and aced it. Now, I forever associate this table in the sun with productivity and getting an A!
Crooked Tree Coffeehouse – I spend far too much time here. But since it’s only 10 minutes away from campus, and filled with art and local coffee and comfy couches, it’s too tempting not to study here! There are a lot of great coffee shops in Dallas, but I find CTC more enjoyable as everyone prescribes to the coffee shop code of conduct – friendly people sit in groups and talk, the rest of us keep to ourselves and work and study. Plus, I find that memorizing lines or writing a paper is more fun when I reward myself with a Dolce Inverno, or a Snickers Latte! Also, if I’m feeling especially studious, I will turn off the free Wi-fi so I am forced to focus on writing my paper (instead of Facebooking or looking up funny cat videos on Youtube).
The Magnolia Tree outside Dallas Hall – This is one of the most beautiful places on earth, I’m convinced. Grab a blanket, some sunglasses, and your books, and come join me reading on the lawn. One of the best papers I ever wrote I cranked out in one sitting under this tree, and I’m convinced it has special A+ thesis-writing powers. Oftentimes there will be students playing Ultimate Frisbee on the lawn, or going on walks up and down the Boulevard. In the middle of the hustle and bustle, this is a great place to sit quietly and read. Plus, it’s equidistant from the campus Chik-fil-a and my afternoon classes in Dallas Hall, which is a perfect place to be in my book.
Bridwell Library – If you’re studying here, it’s important to pretend that you are a professor, a graduate student, or Sherlock Holmes. The leather wing-back chairs, richly painted walls, and old lamps give it the feel of someone’s study, and make it one of my serious-silence-required study spots. It feels beautiful and important and channels the studious part of my nature. Silliness stays at the door!
The Rose Benches by Perkins Chapel – In the Spring and the Summer, there is no place more fragrant or lovely than the benches surrounded by rose bushes outside Perkins Chapel! These benches were perfect for reading poetry when I took “Doing Things With Poems” – a class I highly recommend. When I lived in Moore Hall, these benches were on my way home from afternoons in the Meadows School of the Arts, and I couldn’t help but stop and sit and inhale as much as possible. I can neither confirm nor deny whether I picked some of the roses as well and kept them in my room (since that’s probably not allowed. Woops!).
I hope all of your study efforts are going well, and everyone excels in all their classes this semester!