As one of the top research institutions in the world, you would expect the students at Johns Hopkins to study a lot — and they do. Hopkins accommodates to every study need. A lot of universities have several libraries in which students can study, but here we have one giant one. The Milton S. Eisenhower Library (MSE), accompanied by a handful of other study spaces can satisfy any type of student with all kinds of study habits.

After a stressful week of midterms and a month and half of school under my belt, I’ve spent a good deal of time finding the perfect spot in the library. Brody Learning Commons, the Gilman Atrium, PUC Labs (if you’re exclusive enough to gain access), and Peabody Library (if you’re feeling ambitious and want to get off campus) are excellent alternatives to the MSE, but the library is the place to be. Here is my guide to the library and what your study space says about you.


Spotted outside of the MSE at the beginning of the week. Terrible iPhone photo that does this crazy full moon no justice. 

Introduction to the Library: The Milton S. Eisenhower Library is where most undergraduates and graduates alike decide to study. It’s a library, so it’s given that it’s quiet, clean, and very, very well stocked with books for any kind of research or pleasure reading you need to do. That being said, the library is an interesting place. Instead of building up, the library was built from the ground floor down.

  1. M Level: M Level is the first floor of the library and the only floor with natural sunlight. (If that’s something you need in order to study, Brody and Gilman are also perfect for you.) The M Level is a good place to go if complete silence bothers you. If you have some last minute studying to do before class, or you want to work with some friends and were just too lazy to reserve a study room on one of the floors below, you can definitely get things done here.
  2. A Level: A Level is the place to go if you want silence but going any further beneath the ground freaks you out. There’s something about A Level that seems a bit more relaxed than the levels below it, but you won’t find any chatter here like you might on M Level.
  3. B Level: B Level is the place to go if you need to hunker down and study but you don’t want to commit yourself to a daunting number of hours without sunlight. B Level is adjacent to the atrium of Brody, so when Brody gets too noisy, B Level is the perfect refuge, and it’s always crowded but never loud.
  4. C Level: C Level is my personal favorite study spot. Where I like to go varies depending on my mood and the kind of work I need to do, but C Level has been my second home for the past two weeks while I studied for midterms. You can hear a pin drop on C Level so it isn’t for the faint of heart. If you sit beneath a clock, you can actually hear it ticking — that’s how quiet it is, so if you want to giggle with your friends, this is not the place for you. Something about having a big group of people around you working really hard is motivational; C Level makes you want to get things done, so you do. It’s as easy as that.
  5. D Level: D Level. D Level is the point of no return. During midterms, both B and C Level fill up incredibly fast. If you get to the library at 3PM on a Sunday like I did last week, you’ll find that every study cubicle is occupied, and if you’re like me, you’ll realize that you have no choice but to go down to D Level. Take everything that I said about C Level and multiply it by five here. D Level is no joke, and if you’re planning on studying for an entire day or weekend, you might want to take the plunge. D Level is a kind of quiet that people have seldom experience before, but it is definitely an experience. Many of my friends swear by D Level and simply won’t go anywhere else.

I have no shame. First time on D Level documented. (Sorry Lydia!)