A love letter to The Morgue: The ultimate place to study at Cornell

It’s the place to be

The Morgue, or so they call it, is truly the best place at Cornell for a myriad of reasons.

A study lounge situated in Mary Donlon Hall equipped with crisp air conditioning, The Morgue alludes to the room’s sound ability to preserve the freshmen bodies of Cornell due to its invigoratingly nippy temperature. With just a push of a door, icy air engulfs your entire body, trapping you and sending you into shock and through a state of readiness to knock whatever work you have out of the way.

It’s friendly


If you look around you’ll see all your best friends finishing those last minute edits to their essays, and you’ll see many unfamiliar faces entranced by this week’s reading load. You’ll wave at Sally and make friends with Sam, and as you exchange glances with each face you know you’re all there for one common goal: to get stuff done. Rather than sit in a boring library where talking is unsanctioned, The Morgue allows you to whisper amiably and maintain a focused outlook on whatever it is you may be working on.

It’s comfortable


Furnished with couches along the perimeter and two long desks stretching through the center, The Morgue allows comfort for all types of studiers. Whether you like sitting upright and typing away at your computer or you prefer lounging with your feet up on a couch and a book in hand, it doesn’t matter! The Morgue understands those with various learning preferences, and, as a result, you can also either chose to sit with a bunch of people and chat (quietly, of course) while you work or you can isolate yourself near a desk lamp in the back of the room.

You’re never alone


Whether it’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon or 2 o’clock in the morning, you will most definitely not be alone in The Morgue. At Cornell, you can always find fellow studiers, regardless of the hour of day (or night). As such, The Morgue is always open. It does not discourage students from entering – of course, be there with purpose. You can’t just fool around in there and socialize.

Yes, you will encounter those few students who shush you when you get a little too carried away with socializing and a little too off track with procrastination. However, be thankful for these people. They too are hardworking students who appreciate ‘The Morgue’ just as much as you do. They remind you why you are here after all: to study! Consequently, The Morgue is the perfect balance of working hard, staying focused and just being around people with whom you’re comfortable around. Furthermore, you’ll be sure to make a friend. It’s so easy to just turn to your neighbor and ask, “Whatcha working on?” It’s also extremely easy to vent about your work load to a random stranger – they understand your pain as a fellow student of the Ivy League prestige.

Everyone’s welcome

Another great thing about The Morgue is that you don’t have to be a Mary Donlon resident to study there. I, for one, am a George Jameson resident (granted I live next door), and I study there all the time. Heck, I’m writing this article in The Morgue right now! Trust me, it’s hard to not be focused when you feel the AC blasting on your feet. While I do get the occasional, “Do you even live here?” question from Donlon residents, it is all in good fun. Studying in The Morgue is a great way to make friends and be productive all at the same time.

In addition, The Morgue allows you to meet friends from all different schools within Cornell. As Cornell is a school in which a majority of your classes are in your major/respective school, seeing the same people and talking about the same subject matter can become commonplace. As an ILRie, I watch engineers complain about labs and hotel students talk about which food they got served in class today. The diversity in learning among students who attend the same university is quite interesting, and obtaining information about other schools is very fascinating. Unfortunately for me, I bleat about my crazy reading load. We all know ILR stands for “I love reading”. Nonetheless, whether you’re an architect, an ILRie or even an English major, The Morgue is THE study lounge to attend.

It’s the place to be

All in all, The Morgue is the place to be at Cornell. It’s located in North Campus where all the freshman live, so it’s not a far walk if you need to get some work done and don’t feel like walking to the library. It’s not as intimidatingly quiet, and, most of all, it’s not filled with strange upperclassmen. Pick a friend, and get on over to Mary Donlon Hall – the social dorm hall – and head on to The Morgue – just don’t be too social. Here I am, just finishing this article with The Morgue to thank for. Trust me, it will not disappoint you!