Best study spots on campus

Posted by McKenna Lewis

When it comes to finding a place to study at Skidmore, creative thought matters. As Scribner Library is the only library on campus, many students have put the school's motto to good use and discovered nooks and crannies all over the school, and even off campus, in which to study.

This year, with the rush of freshmen who comprise what the school's Web site calls "the largest first-year class in Skidmore's history," Scribner Library will now be serving over 100 more people than it did last year.

Many Skidmore students recall over-crowding in the library in past years, especially during exams.

"During mid-terms and finals you have absolutely no chance of finding a place to study in the library," Josselyn Agura '12 said.

When it seems as though the library is overflowing with stressed-out students, where can Skidmore students find a quiet place to study?

Stefan Cocorelis '13 named Student Academic Services (SAS) as a great on-campus resource and explained that it is a drastically underused campuse resource.

SAS, located in Starbuck Center, boasts three rooms with whiteboards and tables for group study, four rooms for individual study, a common area with couches and tables, three computers and a printer.

SAS has extended its evening hours this year in response to the larger student body, and is now open from 7 p.m. until midnight, Monday through Thursday, and from noon until midnight on Sundays.

Darren Drabek, the academic counselor at SAS, suggests other options outside of SAS where students can study, such as the academic buildings after-hours. Once the school day is over, these buildings are usually vacant and their doors don't lock until around 11 p.m.

Drabek adds that the study rooms on each floor of every residence hall also make convenient places to study, and are equipped with chairs, desks and couches.

Students housed off campus who don't have access to these study rooms can make use of the Saratoga Springs Public Library. The Public Library is open until 9 p.m. every night and includes designated quiet study rooms.

For students who seek a less structured environment in which to study, many outdoor locations exist on and off campus.

Rachel Hutchins '13 said, "I don't want to give away my secret spot, but in warm weather, the Alumni Garden behind the Surrey Inn is incredible. I went there for my art class one time and fell in love with it."

For those willing to make the trek, the Surrey Inn is located on Broadway near the Office of Admissions, across from Skidmore's main entrance.

Stacy Sullivan '13 also enjoys studying outdoors; one of her favorite spots is the small green quad at the intersection of Howe and Rounds.

"No one is ever out there except the occasional Frisbee thrower…it's really quiet and the wireless works perfectly."

Even though Anna Graves '14 is only a first-year student, she has already found her favorite place to study: "I like the swing by the Tang, either to study on it or to sit nearby and be inspired by people swinging."

Students also mentioned such outdoor spots as Porter Plaza [the patio and steps on the south side of Case Center], Congress Park, the Adirondack chairs outside the library and, of course, Case Green.

Alex Orthwein '13 said, "The tables by the Green outside Case Center are a popular place for upperclassmen to go. The freshmen sit on the Green. It's a hierarchy." While Orthwein offers an interesting perspective on Case walkway and the green, both of these outdoor areas are, of course, available to all students.

Places to study in the sunshine abound on Skidmore's campus, but when winter comes, anyone who prefers not to study in a blizzard will have to retreat to the indoors.

Case Center offers many different types of places to study, such as the Spa on the first floor and the second floor area outside of Burgess Café, which is equipped with computers and printers.

Sarah Ryan '13 says, "If it's really late and the library is closed, I like to go to the third floor of Case. I've had a lot of good late night study sessions up there with lots of coffee."

Agura also suggests the Intercultural Center on the second floor as another alternative. "The ICC, when there are no meetings, is a great place to study."

The Murray-Aikins Dining Hall is another building on campus that provides a nice change of pace from the library. Lia Rosenstein '13 says, "Between the hours of four and five, when no one is really in there, it's a nice and quiet place to study."

Many students also enjoy studying in the Atrium outside of the Dining Hall. "The Atrium is a good place to people-watch while you work, but a bad idea if you're easily distracted," Bridget Allen '13 said.

For students looking for a change of scenery from campus, downtown Saratoga offers many cozy coffee shops that make great study spots.

Favorite off campus study spot include Uncommon Grounds on Broadway and Virgil's House located on Henry Street. But make sure to leave your laptop at home if you decide to study at Virgil's, as the café has a strict no technology policy.

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