On a typical Monday night at St. Olaf, Oles are scattered around campus in their favorite study spots until the late hours of the night, cramming for tests, attempting to write a 10-page paper in one night or solving chemistry problems in time for an 8 a.m. lab. Most probably head to the library, and fill up the reference room and other popular spaces. However, there are dozens of hidden study spots on the Hill in almost every building on campus, from Regents to Boe to Tomson to Old Main. Here are a few of my favorites if studying in the library is already getting a little old.
Holland attic: I hope everyone’s visited this space at least once already, but if you haven’t, I absolutely recommend making the trek up the three flights of stairs to the top floor of Holland. This spot is especially great if you like a quiet study space with lots of natural light; my favorite place is the little double tables next to the windows that overlook Old Main.
Kierkegaard Library: This one is a hidden gem that my roommate showed me earlier this year. If you walk down the stairs to the right of Rolvaag’s main entrance, you’ll find the Kierkegaard Library – a mostly silent library that is usually empty, which makes it great for group studying and late night cramming.
Boe Undercroft: I’m sure most St. Olaf students have studied in here at least once, but it’s definitely easy to forget about. This one is convenient because it’s so close to Buntrock and right in the middle of campus. If you’re lucky, you may hear a choir practicing upstairs.
CAD Link: Most students don’t find themselves in the Link on a day-to-day basis, but it’s a great place to grab a table if you only have a bit of time in between classes. If you’re a musician, you can even take study breaks and do some practicing in a HOM practice room.
2nd floor study lounge in Old Main: While pretty far from most dorms, this spot is definitely a good one if you want to find a nice room to claim for a long day of Saturday studying. There are tables, couches and you can overlook the neighborhood below while you finish up that last-minute reading.
Music library: Unless you’re a music student, you’ve probably never been here, but it’s a wonderful study space. It’s never too busy, so you can find a table much easier than in the library.
An empty classroom in Tomson: It can be difficult to find this one, but when you do, it’s golden. Studying at an actual desk helps me concentrate and focus on my work, plus you can play music out-loud instead of with headphones, and you won’t be bothering anyone.
Mellby Main Lounge: I don’t even live in Mellby, but I love crashing in their lounge in the middle of the day rather than going all the way back to my own dorm. It’s always quiet, unless someone is playing some background music on the piano.