People, Spaces, Pines: Rating Alternative Study Spaces on and Around Campus

Everyone knows about Baker-Berry and Sanborn, but where else can students study when they’re looking for a change of scenery?

by Meghan Powers | 11/3/21 2:05am

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by Eliza McDonough / The Dartmouth Staff

Can’t focus on FFB? Novack too crowded to do your homework? Don’t worry — Dartmouth is home to plenty of alternative study spaces, perfect for getting that nose to the grindstone.

Still North

Starting off strong, Still North is a great bookstore just off of Hanover Main Street with stools by the window and reasonable coffee prices. If you want to “study,” but you really just want to talk to your friend for two hours while debating whether to drop $26 on the new Sally Rooney, then Still North is the place for you! 10/10

The Stacks (but only the seats in front of the Berry window)

The Stacks aren’t really an “alternative” space, except that most people consider them a worse alternative to anything else. If I’m ever in between classes with a few minutes of work to get done, I like to duck into the first floor of the Stacks, where everyone walking through Berry can see me. It’s great if you want to feel not only observed, but also judged! The Stacks are like if the doctor’s office was also a dystopian library. 5/10

That one bench outside of Silsby*

There’s a single bench right outside of Silsby and surely someone put it there for a reason? Next time you’re looking for a new spot to hang out for a little while, grab a croissant and a cigarette holder and re-enact breakfast at Tiffany’s in front of Silsby right as 2s are getting out! Except instead of window-shopping diamonds, you’ll be looking at people who will one day make a lot more money than you. -7/10

Swing outside of Novack

Woohoo! The swing/sculpture just outside of Novack really epitomizes Dartmouth’s student body: trying to do more than one thing, it ends up doing none of them well! This swing is perfect for when it is not 30 degrees out and not snowing and also not raining. The two days of fall term you can sit on it, it’s a great place to take out your notebook and let the gentle rocking distract you from the inevitability of the abyss. 8/10

Collis Porch

Collis Porch is one of the best study spaces on campus, based on purely empirical data such as: 1. Coffee proximity, 2. The ability to be outside but still have a roof and 3. People and  dog-watching potential. 9/10

Collis One Wheelock

One Wheelock (Dartmouth’s take on Central Perk) is an under-rated spot in the lower floor of Collis. It has a small stage where Collis sometimes hosts singers and performances, plus plenty of tables and comfy chairs for studying. One Wheelcok will put you in the perfect headspace to write an essay, finish a problem set or give it all up to pursue your dream as a stand-up comedian. It ISN’T a phase, Mom. 8/10

The Green

The Green is arguably the most scenic place on our notoriously scenic campus and each bench has a heartfelt dedication to an old Dartmouth alumnus or faculty member. No matter which one you choose as a study spot, you’ll be reminded of how much you’re disappointing all of them. 10/10

A basement. Any basement.

The best way to study is to cut yourself off from natural light and find the grayest, most upsetting venue possible — think the 1902 room, but without windows. In my two years at Dartmouth, the best basement I ever found was in my freshman dorm, Bissell. I’ll never forget that basement for being the impetus for some of my most unhinged Snapchats and some of my deepest existential crises. 666/10

Foco

Foco is easily one of the best places to study, because it provides access to all the sugary cereal that an active brain could desire. If you’re looking to get some work done on a weekday around 2 - 4 pm, you’ll be amazed at how productive you can be during Foco’s quieter hours. Upstairs also tends to be quieter and feels like you’re sitting in a Panera Bread. 9.5/10

Empty classrooms

It feels sort of illegal to work in empty classrooms, but if you’re able to scope one out — particularly on a weekend — then you can write your to-do list on a white board with a College-subsidized Expo marker. You still won’t get everything done, don’t be ridiculous, but it’s a great opportunity to see if you remember your 3rd-grade cursive. 7/10

Top of the Hop

The top of the Hopkins Center is where you should go if your only personality trait is that you can play Chopsticks on the piano and you want everyone downstairs to know it. It’s also a fun place to study because the lighting sort of makes you feel like you’re inside a lava lamp. Once, I got a selfie with Cory Booker there. 8.5/0

The Alumni Gym, while in line for a COVID-19 test

So you got another one of those emails reminding you to get tested and now you’re going to be in line for an hour, wasting precious study time. Not so fast! If you can access Canvas, Duolingo, Quizlet or iBooks, there’s no reason that you can’t find a positive while you’re waiting to test negative. 1/10

My bed

ZzZzzz. 100/10

*For non econ majors only

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