My home away from home: Ode to my favourite study spot

For a place that’s so big, it’s nice to have a home base on campus. Finding a place to settle down and get some work done can be intimidating, and everyone wants to feel comfortable and at ease.

As an arts student, I always found myself struggling to study in any science building for fear of being recognized as an imposter. Ridiculous, yes, but significant enough fear to deter me from the south side of campus.

With my eternally-wilting attention span, I have always had a strict list of requirements for a suitable study spot.

Windows are a must, but not overlooking anything too busy that will distract me. For example, looking out to breezy trees or dignified mountains is acceptable, rather than people-watching as students rush to class or stop for coffee.

Next, the place needs to be a quiet zone, so that I am forced to do my work. My focus issues are becoming more apparent to me as I write this, nonetheless stillness is key.

Finally, I need a chair that is slightly uncomfortable, and a desk. The big, cozy throne-like chairs are always tempting to me when I walk past them, but I need to save an experience like that for settling in with a book of choice, not hunched over my laptop.

I am proud to say that I have found a spot on this mammoth of a campus that satisfies my obstinance. Although I have to withhold the precise location of this spot, I can say it has become my safe haven on a stressful day.

There is greenery, peacefulness and long tables, with vaguely intolerable chairs. There is comfort in familiarity, and it puts me at ease to see the same librarian on shift everyday, or the person sitting three seats to my right working with the big headphones, who maybe thinks of this as their safe place too.

On days when ‘my spot’ is filled by someone else, I feel thrown off; I get uneasy and relocate. I know it is not my property, but it’s a little piece of a big place in which I feel known and welcomed.

Sometimes it’s a blessing to walk around school unnoticed and in solitude. Other days it’s hard to just be a number. There’s security in having the choice, and finding your own little sanctuary.