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Five Great Places to Write on Campus

by Jesse Ge

1. Boylston Hall: 2nd Floor

If you like the feel of Ticknor Lounge but are often overwhelmed by the student groups that frequently take over the place, the semi-hidden seating area upstairs can be a great place to get some work done.

Like Ticknor, there are plenty of tables, chairs, and power plugs – making it a perfect place to jot down a few thoughts between classes. Or, if you’re in for the long haul, there are also booths with space for you to sprawl your notes out or work with a friend.

To find this gem, take the main stairwell in Boylston to the 2nd floor and walk past the reception desk – or go up the staircase immediately adjacent to the entrance to Ticknor.

2. Widener: Child Memorial Library

Tucked away on the top level of Widener, the Child Memorial Library is a perfect spot for writers looking to leave all distractions behind.

The carpeted room is bright, surrounded by bookshelves, and monitored by a lone librarian. In this hideout, you won’t even be disturbed by the usual library noises of echoing coughs, scraping chairs, and muffled footsteps. If you really want to get away, there’s a secluded poetry room next door. It might even be more tranquil than the “secret” reading room in Widener…

3. CGIS Knafel – Fisher Family Commons

For those of you who prefer a more bustling setting, the Fisher Family Commons in the CGIS Knafel building may be what you’ve been looking for.

Although lunchtime can be downright hectic in the Commons, it becomes much more manageable later in the afternoon and into the evening. Claim a booth (for the power outlets), or type away at a more informal café-style table. The wall of windows and grassy lawn outside are great to stare at as you ponder your next words.

4. Lamont – Lower Levels

Chances are that you’ve worked in Lamont’s larger rooms upstairs, but if you haven’t given the lower levels a shot, check them out – if only for the chairs.

It’s tough enough to make it through an all-nighter – why subject yourself to hours upon hours on a stiff wooden chair or risk dozing off in one of Lamont’s massive armchairs? Venture down to the lower levels and claim a sleek, ergonomic, breathable, and fully adjustable office chair; your back(side) will thank you!

5. Barker Center Café

Have to write, but just not in the literary mood? Find some company (or inspiration) at the Barker Center Café.

Frequented almost exclusively by humanities concentrators, the Barker Center Café has plenty of sunshine, coffee, snacks, and a solid “writing vibe” to get you going. You’ll probably be sitting next to someone getting his or her essay revised by a TF, or maybe a fellow student also suffering from writer’s block. Perhaps the best part about the Café (warning: shameless plug coming…) is that the Writing Center is right downstairs!

These five locations are, of course, only a few of the many great writing spots on campus. This reading period, if you feel yourself dragging yourself through your usual writing routine, try venturing out to these spots, your house library, a local café, or a graduate school library!

Good luck writing!

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