College, MIT

Full Libraries and Empty Classrooms at MIT (5 of 30)

I’m always impressed when I see people in libraries studying. For me, seeing people I know distracts me a lot (especially people I haven’t seen in a while). Even for a relatively small school (compared to public schools), it’s easy not to see people for months. Dorm rooms are even more distracting, but it’s partially my fault because I like rooming near the common spaces and leaving my door open.

That’s why when I need to study, I go to empty classrooms to do the bulk of my ‘focus’ work. And let me tell you, there are a lot of benefits to working in an open classroom.

Firstly, you can talk as much as you want. I can practice my presentations without the fear of being heard or sing (with piano accompaniment, of course) to my heart’s content. There’s usually a chalkboard that I can write on and chairs arranged in a manner that makes me feel important. It’s also free of people who call, cough, or fidget.

However, there is one problem. Occasionally one student will open the door, glance sheepishly around, and then slowly back out of the room without saying a word. I think it’s an unspoken rule that people don’t work together in these classrooms, but I often wish to have one other person working with me. Although not when I’m trying to practice a presentation.

What I would do:

Finding empty classrooms is easy after 5 pm, but during the school day, it gets more tricky. I use to scope out potential classrooms that I can work and potentially eat in. Since there are usually fewer available classrooms, it takes longer to find a classroom to work/nap. However, it’s still better than trekking back to the student center or dorm for some peaceful, productive work time. I’d recommend building 4 and nano during the day, and building 2, 4, 5 and 56 later in the day.

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