I’m using the word study here to mean anything from reviewing material for exams to working on problem sets. I often work on problem sets with fellow ChemEs, so some of the places I’m about to mention are more suitable for group work than quiet studying, but here’s where I get most of my work done:
1. My dorm room. I am capable of getting work done in my dorm room, though it is sometimes not the best place for me to work (two words: The Internet). My desk is also very inconveniently set up backwards because I’m left handed. However, my dorm room is often the quietest place for me to work and I have all my textbooks/notes/laptop/food with me.
Yes, my main wall decoration is a periodic table
2. Lounge/common areas. As far as I know, all of the dorms at Cornell have lounges and/or common areas for people to work. Last year the dorm I lived in had a study lounge where my homework group for Intro to ChemE did a lot of our homework. It was nice because if you were in the study lounge you were expected to be doing work, but complete silence wasn’t enforced. This year there’s an area that can be used for work in every hallway as well as study rooms that I have spent a lot of time in doing Mass and Energy projects.
3. Duffield Atrium. Duffield Hall is a relatively new construction on the engineering quad that has an atrium that’s basically a large space with a lot of tables. I personally don’t work in Duffield if I have a lot of work or an urgent deadline to meet because a lot of people walk through Duffield and it tends to be more social in general.
4. Olin Hall/ChemE lounge. Now that I’m officially affiliated, I have card access to the fabulous windowless ChemE lounge located in the basement of Olin. Other than the fact that it’s a windowless basement lounge, it’s not a terrible place to work. Sometimes you can also find a classroom that isn’t being used.
One of the Olin classrooms
5. Office hours. I am aware that office hours is not a specific place. What I mean by this entry is that you can frequently find other confused members of your classes at office hours. You can then spend the next three hours being confused and very slowly making your way through whatever painful problem set you have been assigned. I can speak from experience, because I have spent large amounts of time at office hours (my new record is five hours at one stretch for one class), and I really don’t know how it would have been possible to get through certain problems without going to office hours.