There’s a spot on campus that I don’t give enough love: the Brody Reading Room. To be sure, Hopkins students give it plenty of love. The Reading Room is always crowded, and people often leave their bags if they have a class in order to claim a coveted spot. The Reading Room is a part of the Brody Learning Commons, opened in 2012, and named after our previous president, William R Brody. Brody as a whole is seriously one of the best places to be: it’s got dozens of study rooms for small groups to work, floor-to-ceiling windows to let the sunshine in, whiteboards abound, a fabulous outdoor patio, and my personal favorite cafe on campus.

Photo of the JHU Reading Room

The abso-fruitly gorgeous reading room, from my spot on the far end

Brody as a whole is all about collaboration on campus: I’ve had countless study sessions, club meetings, and hangouts there. But on the other hand, sometimes you’ve got to hunker down and just get to work. The Reading Room is the very place to do that! It’s a quiet study space to do individual work. I like it because I’m surrounded by other people, and often I’ll give a wave to folks I know, but there’s no pressure to sit and talk with anyone. Sometimes you need those times.

Photo of the view of the JHU beach

A view of the Beach and one of our brick walkways from my spot

Today, I got lucky, and I snagged a spot at the far end of the room, at the table closest to the windows. It being a glorious fall day on campus, with a chill in the air and a hint of rain on the way, I was extremely fortunate. I had a full view of the Beach and the other parts of Brody, as well as the entire room and wall of Hopkins-related knick-knacks. After admiring the view for a bit, I settled in with my International Trade problem set and got to work.

A view of Brody's floor-to-ceiling windows

Brody’s floor to ceiling windows – a view from my spot in the reading room

I ended up being much more productive than I anticipated! Even though this week’s problem set was a it shorter than last week’s, I ended up finishing the entire thing. The Reading Room has this beautiful element of calmness that really settles me. Everyone is working, and there aren’t any distractions. It’s serene, it’s gentle, it has a soft lighting that doesn’t make you tired. I have the fondest memories of settling in with a hot cup of coffee from the Daily Grind to get into my latest essay or studying for an upcoming midterm. The Reading Room makes studying beautiful and makes writing a pleasure.

A photo of my study setup

~study aesthetic~

Sometimes people can give Hopkins crap for being too studious, but don’t we all have to get down to work at some point? Why not be totally silent in one of the most beautiful places on campus?