The Best Places to Study at BHSEC

 Rose Foley, ‘21

November 2018

As a tenth grader, one could say I am lost in the infinite abyss of a bard education (I don’t quite fit in with the fresh faces of the ninth grade or the aged and graying Year Ones and Year Twos of the college program), but I am one who likes to get get lost sometimes and I invite you to get lost with me. In fact, I will be taking you on a tour throughout our very own mothership, BHSEC Manhattan. I assure you that you will like getting lost with me in this tiny school, however hard that may be.

We will only be getting lost initially on our tour of Bard, and if it makes you feel any better, we are in fact getting lost in order to stay found, and stay strong during our days here- which really do seem infinite when we begin as ninth graders. So why not try and make the best of things and learn the tricks and trapdoors this fine institution has to offer us?

Yes, the true heart of this article. I am getting there. First, answer me this question: what is the most dire element of a faithful Bardian’s academic life? Why, studying of course! What would be more useful than to know the secret (and not so secret, but still helpful) study spots of BHSEC’s finest scholars? Next to nothing I assure you, so let’s jump right in.

The library, vast fortress that it is, is naturally our first destination. Most of the library is desirable to study in, but I have several little nooks and crannies special to me. The first is the padded bench tucked away against the windows in a corner of the left-hand side of the library, mostly shrouded by a bookcase. Because it is shielded by books, this spot is desirable due to how quiet it is. When I am working it is most important for me to have space to spread out all of my books and folders, and in this spot, ample room is given for just that. I often place my papers and textbooks standing up on the bookshelves at eye level so I can read from them directly, or on the radiator right next to the bench, which also helps me to stretch my legs once in a while if I want to get up. If you are in need of more space, there is always the floor as well. Not to mention, the light from the windows is absolutely marvelous.

Another spot, right across from the bench, is the small round table pressed against the wall, right behind Ms. Nolan’s desk, which is also calm and quiet because of its position, just out of site behind another bookcase. Although small, it becomes less crowded, which makes for easier concentration.

If you really need to focus, the comfy chairs (everyone knows these chairs) are also great, but usually hard to get, so I often vy for a different option.

Although the tables in the library are nice and spacious, perfect for really spreading out, I find them to be noisier as they are more out in the open, but the table in the farthest corner of the library is more quiet and better for concentration. Also, when the writing center isn’t open, next to Ms. Randall’s desk is nice and calm as well, good for some solitude/serenity.

Next stop, the third floor hallway. I personally love working in hallways, but especially the third floor because it is most times dead quiet and unoccupied. You can stretch out, lie down, do cartwheels, anything if you need a break from work, without anyone watching.

I spend less time working in free rooms than most people, because they are so noisy and claustrophobic, but if I were to recommend I would say try to find classrooms next to the bathrooms to work in, they are usually empty and quiet.  

Last but not least, the Student Activity Center and the Academic Resources Center. Two very quiet rooms, specially curated for productivity. Several teachers work in the Academic Resources Center, and welcome questions and homework help.  

If you find yourself constantly repeating how difficult it is for you to get work done in school I would suggest, as someone who gets distracted quite easily, going to one of these nifty study spots in your next free period. Trust your natural abilities as a Bard scholar, trust that by focusing for these 45 minutes, in an essentially historical spot in this school (used by countless Bardians before you, don’t you feel honorable?) you will get work done. You will get 45 more minutes of sleep than usual tonight. You will succeed.