Stu(dying): Study Spots 101

by Katherine Cline | 2/20/19 2:20am

If you know me or have read anything I’ve written for The Dartmouth, you know that I am a true academic. Therefore, I am clearly incredibly qualified give you definitive summaries of all of Dartmouth’s study spaces. Strap in folks.  

Actually, let me back up for a second. Study spaces by no means are limited to the (sometimes dreary) walls of our beloved library. Coffee shops, dining halls, dorm rooms and even designated common rooms all serve as impromptu or “chill” work areas. Don’t get me wrong: I love Baker-Berry as much as any other initiated member of the Dartmouth cult. However, I can also acknowledge that seven hours into a cram-session-turned-all-nighter, my brain starts to mush, indicating that it might be time for a change in scenery.

Below, I have outlined the basics of Dartmouth’s study locations in listicle form à la Buzzfeed, just like God intended:

First-Floor Berry

FFB was probably the first acronym I learned at Dartmouth. At first, I was incredulous that it was a real thing and not just my newly made friends trying to make a fool out of me. This appears at the top of my list just because everyone has studied here at some point during their time at Dartmouth. Mmm, on second thought, maybe study is a bit of a strong word. Everyone has sat on FFB before. A King Arthur Flour break that transforms into a catch up with a familiar face is how most people get trapped in the not-working-not-relaxing purgatory that is this supposedly academic space.  


Alas, the second acronym I learned at Dartmouth. I’m still 90 percent sure this one is a joke, but its name is honestly not entirely inaccurate. The Blob (as I am petitioning to call it) itself is quite nebulous in purpose. Though the couches and chairs are subpar, it has windows, so that gets points in my book. All said and done, I’ve come to the conclusion that Blobby is for uncomfy chats only, preferably ones that you plan to end in 10 minutes max.  

King Arthur Flour

Study at your own risk. Your DBA will suffer. Trust me, I study here.  


Going here is a mistake. It is cold. I don’t get cold easily, but it’s cold. I also don’t believe in ghosts, but there is a 10/10 chace that ALL of Stacks (looking at you, Lower Annex B) is haunted.  

Sherman Art Library

Not to be rogue here, but Sharman Art Library is pretty cool. I’m definitely not artsy enough to be here, but no one has kicked me out yet … so I’ll take the win. 

Sherman Stacks 

This is the only exception to what I said about the Stacks. These Stacks are not haunted. They still are ominous, though.  

Lower Level Berry

If you don’t know where this is, good. You have been spared an unpleasant, out-of-body experience. If Hell exists on Earth, then this is it. I did work down there once. I emerged four hours later, saw sunlight and almost cried. I had never been so productive in my life. I think it’s because my soul got trapped down there. Send help.

Sanborn Library

I only watch movies here. Like, actually. The only work I do in Sanborn is stuff that I could probably do more comfortably in my bed. I completely recognize my weak attempt to trick myself into thinking that I’ve been productive by doing the least work possible in what is technically a library. (Do not be fooled. This is not a library, just a fake mini Hogwarts.) 

Novack Café

This is where I thrive. Come find me in Novack at 2 a.m. Stale, unsatisfying food and caffeine. Like any other college student with little to no respect for their organs, what more can I ask for? The lighting feels like a hospital or a gas station in the middle of the night. What a vibe.  

Tower Room 

Come here if you like being on the receiving end of 20 turning heads and accusatory glares when you walk in, and, I don’t know, breathe??? 

Your Dorm Room 

If I didn’t love distracting others so much, I might study in my room more often. Alas, there is no better way to procrastinate than to drag unwilling participants into your bulls—. The twinkle lights are chill though. And wow, nice College poster, is that a reference to Animal House? Very original.  

One Wheelock 

This place has free coffee and tea. As a potential study spot, it seems very attractive. But yesterday, I was studying in there and someone randomly started to do a mic check for an upcoming event — incredibly irritating that someone would dare try to use that space for its intended purpose. I left 2 out of 5 stars on Yelp.  

Thayer or any of the science buildings  



I’m just impressed you managed to get all the way there. I know that it’s an actual two-minute walk from the library to any part of Main Street, but still, wow. To be fair, the distance totally gets scaled for the size of Dartmouth, so congrats on the absolute marathon you undertook just to study.  

And lastly, a few honorable mentions: 

Collis Porch

Ugh, I miss fresh air. I haven’t seen the outdoors in months. What is Vitamin D deficiency?  

Any of the other levels of Berry

Have not been there since freshman winter. Do not plan on going back.  

Jones Media Center

Please reference above. On an incredibly serious note, though, that song that plays when Jones is about to close is absolutely slaps. If you know what that song is or where I can find the full-length version, blitz me.  

Study Rooms

These should be used for group projects only. Otherwise, being in one by yourself is just sad. I speak from experience, as I’m currently writing this solo in the fishbowl room on FFB. Please stop staring me down as you walk down the stairs, thanks.  

So there you have it: my official guide to study spaces at Dartmouth. Always remember that where you study definitely has implications about who you are as a human. Consider this the new Enneagram test.

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