In high school, I had a cozy little nook in my room for my desk. There was a small window where I could look out and daydream. That’s where I did my schoolwork every night, and I loved it. It was quiet and a place of my own. Flash forward to senior year in college and I couldn’t imagine doing my work in any other place than the library. Yes, occasionally I do some reading in my apartment or answer emails in my bed but the hours of hard work that I have put in here at Conn have happened in the Charles E. Shain Library. It’s my space, my college “nook.”
Sophomore year I found my place in the library on the second floor, above The Blue Camel Café. I like the second floor because it’s quiet but not as quiet as the third floor, where I feel bad opening a bag of chips or coughing too loudly. The levels of noise in our library directly correlate with the amount of sociability that takes place in it, because each floor houses a different volume of noise. The first floor is a social floor that is always buzzing with activity. The second and third floors are quieter, with the third floor being the most dedicated to quiet, intense study. At Conn, the library plays an important role in campus life.
The library, home to rigorous academia, also acts as our campus hub. It’s in the middle of campus and is a grand and unique-looking building; it draws you in from the outside. And it’s right next to the College Center at Crozier-Williams, “Cro” for short. Both are always buzzing with activity, and Cro is a great place to grab a bite, hang out in the campus bar, if you’re 21 years old, check your mail or stop by the bookshop. The library is the place where you are most likely to see other students. The first floor houses the Blue Camel Café, the Reference and Circulation Desks and collaborative workspaces. I’ll sometimes even hang out on the first floor to catch up on some music on my Spotify between classes or get some light reading done. I go there to talk with friends or grab some tea or a snack from the café.
Of course, the library is where I put in my blood, sweat and tears (metaphorically), but it is not just a place of study. It is an important spot for communal gathering. Some of my favorite memories at Conn are of my friends and me gathered around a table chatting and laughing in between assignments. Though we may have all been working on different things, the ability to sit together and work separately yields a wonderful sense of togetherness. When I graduate I’ll think back to the nights in the library with longing, because, though college work is strenuous and demanding, I’m able to get it all done sitting side-by-side my friends and classmates.