Campus: Secret Study Space

The Library is SO last year

It’s getting to that point in term where the magic is wearing thin on the daily Hunger Games of seating in the JB.

The stakes have never been higher on the battle between Districts Vanbrugh, James, and Constantine.

It’s a familiar story: arriving to find only two seats left. One next to a regrettable shag from fresher’s week, and the other next to a girl who is munching her way through a sharer bag of Quavers (that’s probably me, sorry not sorry).

Here are the best (and hard to find) secret study places on campus:

The Quiet Place

“Hardly secretive” you may think, but when we went it was devoid of students, so clearly working here has not been thought of by anyone, ever.

But if you’re a goose or an eccentric lecturer this is most likely your favourite lunchtime spot.

Temperature: How desperate are you to ruin your MacBook in the rain?

Noise: Those nipple shaped hedges block out both the noise and the Brutalist eyesore of Derwent’s architecture. Plus any eduroam signal.

Comfort: Soft springy grass, cushioned by fresh goose shit, what’s not to like? The daisies amongst the mess are good for hours of procrastinating fun.

Focus factor: Fans of Downton Abbey will not be disappointed by Hes Hall, but then they probably do History and have no exams anyway.

Overall: Only if you’re desperate for vitamin D. 1/5

P/T/106, Physics Exhibition Centre

With stunning views over the ground floor of the exhibition centre this room is physics’ dirty little secret.

Technically reserved for “departmental students only”, it gets too hot and becomes a glorified sauna.

Temperature: No need to take time out of your revision schedule to steam your pores, you can do both at the same time here.

Noise: Amiable background, discussions about atoms etc. All from those who will probably be earning double what you will after graduation.

Comfort: Padded chairs which have absorbed the sweat of hundreds of arses over the years. But there is a water fountain.

Focus factor: If you can bear to sit in here for more than five minutes then you have much more perseverance than us and deserve an immediate first.

Overall: Only if you like to pretend that you’ve been to the gym. 3/5

F.R. Leavis Room, Derwent

Judging by the dictionaries and blurry prints of various Lit Soc balls on the walls, you’d probably do well to guess this is another room aimed at a certain subjects.

And there are sofas for lying around, contemplating Keats.

Temperature: There are fans, lots of fans; some of which work.

Noise: Science dictates that where there are sofas, there are group project meetings. So lots of sofas mean lots of group projects. Be warned. They’re very dramatic.

Comfort: The sofas are the kind you want to sink into on a Friday night at home with your fam, a cup of tea, and Gogglebox. They suck you in and never let you leave.

Focus factor: Yeah it’s not going to happen.

Overall: For when it all gets a bit much and you fancy a lie down. 2/5

English Language Teaching Rooms, Vanbrugh C Block

Temperature: Utterly pleasant.

Noise: If loud sounds are intolerable to your ears, bring some blankets and build a fort. Or stay and fight it out in the library, whatever.

Comfort: The chairs are pretty great, plus they come in all different colours to stimulate your creativity. Ooh.

Focus factor: Irrelevant leaflets, but if you have amazing powers of resistance then you’re probably okay.

Overall: For if you fancy some informative reading whilst pretending to do actual important things. 4/5

Any Staircase Anywhere

If all else fails and you can’t bring yourself to go to the library then find yourself a comfy floor.

Choose your own spot. We went to Alcuin for maximum peace and quiet (who’d have thought?)

Just set up camp, bring a cushion, and bang out that essay. Just don’t leave your stuff there for 3 hours when you go for lunch; but then you wouldn’t even do that in the library would you?

Overall:  Who need a desk? If you’ve reached this stage of innovation in your hunt for work spaces, you’re probably too good for your degree anyway.5/5

Distractions are easy to find if you look for them, but be creative and find a space of your own and you might never have to fight for a seat again.

Except now you all know about these places and my exams are finished.

May the odds be ever in your favour.