At IMSA, when tests or finals inch closer, students flock to the main building to study. Areas like the Loft, the IRC, IN2, and even the Math/Science Study Areas, become filled to the brim with students. These crowded environments can, in turn, often stifle your productivity. But, don’t worry — here’s a list of some of IMSA’s most underrated study spaces.
- Head in the History Hallway (HHH). Nestled in the back corner of A-wing right outside room A115 is a lovely surprise: a large gold(ish) head. This spot makes for a great study area, especially so because it’s usually silent after 4:20 PM when students and teachers shortly leave the area. With multiple charging ports nearby and easy access to multiple teacher’s offices, this is an ideal location to complete your work. Granted, one downside is the lack of a desk.
- IRC Printing Room. Now, the IRC is a space that students often frequent to find a quiet, peaceful place to study. However, some people have gone a long time without knowing that at the back of the library, behind the librarian’s desk, is a printing room. Here you’ll find a printer, paper cutters, a whiteboard, and a series of tables, computers, and chairs. Even more, there’s a study space near the back that allows for some great independent or small-group study.
- Back of the Loft. Personally, I believe that the loft is a space where people simply pretend to study. They arrive there, take out their books, their computer, and all their work, but then the rest of the time is spent socializing. It’s a bustling area, great for collaboration and for talking with other students with easy accessibility to teachers, yet it can be extremely difficult to not get distracted. That’s when I realized that the back of the loft, near the stairs, was actually a wonderful place to work. If you are looking to stay near the bustling energy of the loft, yet still want to complete work, then just take a seat near the stairs and get to work.
Also, remember that these A-wing spaces will be closed at 7:00 PM due to COVID protocols, so make sure to leave by then.
- Couches in Old Caf. The mint green couches in Old Caf were a new addition in 2022. I was skeptical of this area at first since it was in such an open area, one that was always crowded and full of people due to its proximity to Lexington. Yet, one day I went to study with a few of my friends at these green couches, and I was pleasantly surprised. Generally, there are long gray tables near these couches, as well as charging ports that are accessible to you. Overall, the open space makes for a good environment to get work done, as long as you’re not there during lunch or dinner.
- DNA Hallway. While the colorful double-helix structure is no longer found on the ground of this hallway, it is still a wonderful place to get some work done. There are no seats or desks available, but the windows make for a fantastic study environment in a building usually devoid of light. With some brightness and the quiet solitude of the hallway, I was able to remain extremely productive for long periods of time.
- Engineering Hallway. As a member of The Acronym, I’ve grown to be quite familiar with this space because this is where we hold our meetings. I have also done some of my most productive work here. This is an excellent alternative to those who don’t want to sit on the cold, uncarpeted floor in the DNA hallway. While the comfortable couches were removed this summer for unknown reasons, charging ports remain easy to access.
Personally, I would recommend these spaces once it’s past 7:00PM because you can remain here until the building closes at 10:00PM without being asked to leave.
- Concessions Stand. The Concessions Stand is great spot to study since there are chairs, a table, and many charging ports. Even better, vending machines and bathrooms are just a few feet away, making it a prime location for long periods of studying. The only potential downside is that students will be passing by often to get to class and during winter, the area can be a little chilly with all the doors opening.
So remember, the next time you walk to the loft 0r IN2 and find it full of students, it may be worth your time to check out some of these other locations!