How to Choose the Perfect Campus Study Spot at FUS

Some days, acquiring the motivation to start an assignment or studying for a big test is excruciating hard, but it’s even more difficult when you’re surrounded by your comfy bed and plenty of other distractions in your dorm (and the freedom to kill time on your phone with no immediate consequences). Plus, there’s the pull to talk to roommates (they’re there to help with procrastination, right?) Therefore, I’ve compiled four different locations on campus that have different atmospheres for your specific study needs. Starting from less time constricting work to, hold your breath, your ultimate time-crunching-paper-writing-study-guide-reading-needs. But still, feel free to interpret my thoughts to fit your personal preferences! 


  1. The Grotto



Overview


I view the Grotto as an ideal location for small homework assignments or brainstorming for a paper. It also works as a great place for study sessions with friends or group meetings since there’s a separate room with tables and couches that sometimes can stay a bit quiet. Meanwhile, the main room (with the kitchen) creates a nice coffee-shop feel, as there are always people chattering or working quietly with earbuds in. It’s also a popular meeting location for professors and students, so people of all ages feel comfortable in the welcoming, chirpy environment.


Furthermore, there’s also the possibility of being outdoors! There are a plethora of different sized tables to pick out from that will house 2 to 6 people, so perfectly workable for all your studying needs! Being outside can keep you feeling refreshed. After being cooped up in a classroom or your dorm it’s quite a breath of fresh air. The Grotto is truly a lovely setting for brunch, getting snacks during a break, and breezing through work!


Location 


The Grotto is nearest to the Kaletsch Campus  Panera, Giardino, and New Building, whereas it’s a 5-9 minute walk from Airone, LDV, and the LAC. Though there’s the obvious advantage of close proximity for some, the short walk is still definitely worth it. 


Final Rating 


Comfort: 8/10

Quietness: 4/10

Atmosphere: 9/10


  1. The Dining Hall



Overview


The dining hall is great for crunching down on time-consuming homework that you’ve refused to start or a 1-2 hour study session for a quiz you have the next day.


To preface, the dining hall isn’t my usual favorite place to do work, but it definitely works for some people. It was a personal favorite for a friend of mine who lived in LDV at the time, as they could wake up and then grind all their work in 2-3 hours before things got busy. They liked the small bit of chattering that occurred around lunchtime and found it comforting to be able to order food whenever.


Plus, while the dining hall it’s usually crowded around dinner time and has music playing from the kitchen, if you plug in earbuds and sit yourself down at a far table, you can get into a homework/studying mentality pretty quickly. 


In my opinion, the best way to take advantage of the dining hall academically is exactly what my friend did-- going there right when it just opens, getting your favorite breakfast food, maybe getting a coffee, and then picking the same table to eat at. You can choose from the top floor or the bottom, though the bottom is usually quieter and also has a pretty view outside from the window, as you can see a bit in the first photo. 


Location


The dining hall is right next to LDV and the LAC, however, 5-10 minutes from most other dorms, other than Alba. 


Final Rating 


Comfort: 7/10

Quietness: 3/10

Atmosphere: 7/10


  1. WLC (Writing Learning Center)




Overview


Now, the WLC was made intently for studying purposes, but also has an ambiance for learning. This is where people come to improve their academics. The walls are lined with books, but not an overwhelming about. Though you can’t see it in the photos, behind the bookshelves there are couches and more tables that also have a beautiful view through a grand window. You can glance at the mountains between working on honing down on your math skills, writing, or simply finding books for a research project.


Grace Bacon, a sophomore at FUS and writing tutor at the WLC, encapsulates how she views the WLC as a ‘home-y environment’ in her own words:


 "What library has a coat rack? Franklin has two coat racks in the WLC--that has to be the definition of Franklin. We place a coat rack in a study space because it is natural to come into this space and embrace it as your home. It isn’t anything near the transient instinct (intuition) to sling a jacket over one’s chair, simply occupy solitary space and slip out the door again. This space is about living here for the moments you can. We make our home around everyone else and with everyone else. It is quite wonderful, isn’t it?"


I couldn’t have said it better myself, but that’s surely why she’s got the job! 


Location


The WLC is on the 2nd floor of the LAC, so it’s a 5-8 minute walk from most of the dorms, other than Alba. However, it’s right next to LDV.


Final Rating 


Comfort: 9/10

Quietness: 8/10

Atmosphere: 9/10


  1. The Library



Overview


The Library is a personal favorite of mine for last-minute papers, but I’ve been told that the completely silent atmosphere is not some people’s cup of tea. I simply appreciate the simplicity of the structure and how it’s a purely academic setting that motivates me to keep working. It’s quite comforting, yet productivity inducing.


In regards to the choice of furniture, the first floor has an array of tables, with comfortable chairs and walls of books lining the room. Additionally, there are about 10 small table-spaces that have blocked off “walls” between them that make for a more enclosed study space, perfect for setting your computer down and writing for hours on end. Just imagine sitting at a desk and having all sides surrounded other than behind you, it’s got no room for distractions.


On another note, a good group study space is in the bottom floor, the used to be a bunker that now houses most of the library’s books. There’s one big table that can fit about 6-7 people, and people can get a bit talkative there without intruding on others. It’s a lovely environment that also makes it easy to pick up books for your research whenever needed.


Location


The Library is closest to Panera and is inside Kaletsch Campus. I’m sure by now you have a feel for its proximity to the other FUS facilities!


Final Rating 


Comfort: 8/10

Quietness: 9/10

Atmosphere: 9/10


Summary


Overall, choosing a study space all depends on your mood and what environment motivates you to get specific academic work done.  At the end of the day, sometimes your dorm does work but it doesn’t hurt to get out of the house for a while. Especially in the age of covid, we’ve been quarantining and taking care to not travel as much, so the little things in life really can make a day a bit brighter than it would’ve been otherwise. Lastly, the photo credits go to Diana Gerber ‘21 and Kai Sales ‘21. A big thanks to them!


Extra 


Psst... There are also a few small golden nuggets of study spots, which since you’ve read until here I’d love to share! I don’t know them all, but the two that I've been exposed to consist of the stone table on the Panera lawn (bring your own chair) and the clearing near the monastery (which has a spectacular overarching view of Lugano). The monastery is a 3-minute walk up a hill from the New Buildings, and if you need help to find it, ask upperclassmen! Someone would be more than happy to help you out. Make sure to try it out when the weather is nice.


To our next meet up via the web!


Ci vediamo presto!

(We will see each other soon),


Lara









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