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We all have our favorite spots to study: the places we sit to get work done, the places we say are great study spots but never actually use, and the places we sit to look like we’re getting work done while starting up a con­ver­sation with lit­erally everyone who passes by (I’m looking at you, A.J.’s).

Though you may not have admitted it to yourself, we also know of places that are the worst pos­sible spots to study, and we should avoid them like the plague. Term paper due tomorrow? Better start writing an explanatory letter to your parents instead, because if you can only find one of these bad spots to park with your books, you’re going to start ques­tioning the necessity of your degree. How bad could wait­ressing be, after all?

The Long Tables in the Knorr Family Dining Hall

(Carmel Kookogey / Col­legian)

We’ve all been there. It’s 6:30 p.m. and you have a test tomorrow that you haven’t studied for, so you sit down to study and your stomach rumbles. You feign horror: you can’t waste any more time not working! So you capit­ulate: you go to the dining hall with a book in hand, saying you’ll “study” while you eat. And let’s not forget to give credit where credit is due, because you really do try: you hold your book open with one hand, and fork pasta into your mouth with the other, and maybe even read a word or two. But alas, all you’ve got at the end of the meal is a stomach full of some­thing (you’re not sure what — you were too busy pre­tending to read). The one page your book was open to the whole meal is bedazzled with marinara splatters and you feel a delightful sen­sation com­pa­rable to being shot in the foot by your own bullet… twice.

The Great Outdoors

(Carmel Kookogey / Col­legian)

It’s the first spring-like day of the semester, and it’s gor­geous outside. That little voice in your head (the same one that says “running is fun!” and “it will only take me an hour to write this essay!”) tries to tell you that you’ll be pro­ductive sitting outside. Well, I’m here to save you the trouble and heart­break, young Hills­dalian. Do you think you know what wind is? You don’t until you’ve been struck by a Michigan gale, and no amount of Aris­totle and Euclid can keep your loose paper drafts from flying off and demon­strating the logical necessity of their inde­pen­dence else­where.

Outside Office Hours

(Carmel Kookogey / Col­legian)

Also known as “Waiting Behind Three Stu­dents to Get An Answer for One Basic Question,” this is where you gen­uinely think you’re savvy enough to get work done while sitting on what looks like a dining room chair and trying to pretend you can’t actually hear snippets of various people’s business. If you read more than two sen­tences, you’re probably a pro and I’m not sure why you’re reading this article. Except, maybe, that unlike the rest of us, you actually have time to read it, because you’re so savvy with your office hours.

On the Way to Class

(Carmel Kookogey / Col­legian)

Pro tip: if you’ve ever told yourself you can study on the way to class, the battle is already lost.

On the other hand, if you’ve mas­tered the art of reading and walking simul­ta­ne­ously, there’s a million dollar business idea there, and thou­sands of bib­lio­philes with tax return money ready in hand to pur­chase your expertise, so it may not matter anyway.

By the Fireplace in the Student Union

(Carmel Kookogey / Col­legian)

Beware the fire­place and its charms. Yes, it looks like the perfect spot: it’s warm, it’s quiet, it’s away from the general public. You sink into one of those deep leather chairs, and you swear you’ll never get up from your studies again. And you don’t. Zzz…