As soon as I settled in at Hopkins, I began to explore every building on campus to find the perfect study spot. On the first day, my friends and I explored every aspect of the library, even venturing down to the dreaded D level. Soon after, I found the Gilman Atrium. The open ceiling and cool looking hanging sculptures create a wonderful atmosphere, but the noise level is not compatible with intense studying. I quickly learned that the deafening hum of florescent lights in B level at MSE was not for me, and that the atrium of Brody is a social place where there is great conversation but little work gets accomplished. I also realized that after spending a couple hours in my dorm room I go stir crazy, and that it’s hard to concentrate in the common room of AMR I when Beyoncé is blasting 99% of the time. I had so many studying options, but I had yet to find one place that really fit.
I’ve been at JHU exactly seven weeks. It took me three to find the best kept secret on campus: the reading room in Brody Learning Commons.
Brody Learning Commons itself is an impressive place. With glass walls, ergonomic blue chairs, and one of the best Cafes on campus, Brody lures me in whenever I have free time. If you have a group project or want to study together, you can even reserve a room. One of my favorite nights of studying was actually the night before my calculus midterm. Julia, Alex, JHU_Dan and I spent all day in one of the rooms, covering all four of the whiteboard walls with problems (thus dispelling the myth that Hopkins is cutthroat and competitive!).
I still hadn’t found a quiet, yet relaxed atmosphere where I could study on my own. Four weeks ago, I discovered the Reading Room. Tucked away on the third floor of Brody, the enormous room lies behind unassuming and inconspicuous wooden doors. It appeared to me one day like the room of requirement from Hogwarts; the perfect place for me to study.
The day I noticed the doors, I almost didn’t have the courage to enter. At first I thought it was a type of classroom, or another secret group area. Little did I expect the massive studying room that greeted me as I opened the door. How could such a large study space exist and I not know about it? How could it be so beautiful with such a perfect quiet atmosphere? Why wasn’t everyone here?
The tables are beautiful and wooden, the desk lights and modern looking chandeliers create a perfect light balance, and the chairs are truly comfortable. I couldn’t have wished for a more tranquil spot.
I now spend the majority of my study time in the reading room. I am ten times more productive, and even more relaxed.
When asked a favorite study location, the answers I always knew about were Brody, Gilman, MSE, even the beach. To me, though, the reading room is the best spot on campus.