If you ask just about any college student what their least favorite part of college academics is, they’ll likely respond with midterms. They do suck, no sugar-coating here. In both Fall and Spring semesters they fall right before break. You’re just ready to unwind a little because the pressure has just started to get to you, and oh hey! 100 point exam, better study. Don’t worry though, it’s only worth half of your total semester grade. Annoying? Yes. Nerve wracking? You bet.
So what do McDaniel students do when the stress is high and enthusiasm mantle-low? Well to be honest they sleep a lot. But when they aren’t sleeping, they’re taking advantage of tutors provided by Student Academic Support Services (SASS) or the writing center, or they’re taking the good old-fashioned approach, decently sized study sessions in their favorite spot in the library (everybody has one).
How do I, and the rest of the McDaniel students know about all of this? Well to begin with, we were all told on the various tours and information sessions that you will have thrown at you when you make your decision to come to McDaniel; but a lot of it comes with practice and good study habits which become a part of even the least diligent student’s life at McDaniel.
Anyway, I’m telling you all of this so that you’ll know that sports tryouts or pledging a fraternity or sorority will not be the most difficult or obnoxious part of your college career. However, with practice, they become easier. By next year at this time I might not even think anything of them, anyway, if all goes horribly, at least Spring Break is less than a week away.
My favorite place to go to study is Hoover Library. Not extremely surprising, nor am I the only one. On any given day, the library is usually packed with students trying to get their work done, printing out a paper on their way to class, or just trying to get a coffee from Casey’s Corner which gets its supplies from Starbucks. The library has five levels, and each has a different feel in terms of studying. The first floor is the main lobby where the entrance is, but above and below are two floors which have various characteristics to offer.
My personal favorites are the second and third floors above the lobby. The second floor, on the far left side, has a wealth of study tables lining the wall overlooking the main quad. In each corner of the floor is a set of comfy chairs and a table that study groups can use for an easy, informal gathering location. I study frequently in the chairs in the front right of the second floor, but lately I’ve been using the tables on the far left because I’ve been falling asleep in the chairs while reading.
The third floor has a huge round desk that rounds the central circle of the library. This is usually a pretty quiet floor since nobody wants to walk all the way up to the third floor. I like to go here when I don’t want anyone I know to disturb me when I’m studying, and my friends all know not to bother me if I disappear up to this floor. I cannot study if it is very loud, and I cannot study if it is completely quiet so the third floor is nice for me since it is mostly quiet but you can catch the residual noise from the second floor every now and then.
The floors below the lobby are very quiet. I don’t like studying on these floors because the quiet always puts me to sleep without fail. While “L” floor is the designated quiet floor, “LL” floor tends to be pretty quiet also. These floors are mostly underground (even though none of the library is technically underground since it is built into a hill) but they very much give that feel, and so they have the feel of being tightly contained and alone and are definitely good study locations for people who enjoy the quiet.
Everyone tends to pick their own favorite study location within their time at McDaniel, and it’s funny which locations some people choose, and why they choose them. It all just depends on what conditions people look for when they’re studying and where they can most closely find that.