It is around finals. Your backpack is heavy, your eyelids are too, and your brain just wants to sleep. But it is still only 6pm on a Tuesday afternoon so you force your feet to walk you to the library. You enter. There seems to be a free spot there – you lucky one. But, oh oh! Unless you brought your own chair this spot won’t be of much to you, because the seat is gone. Agh… No place to study for you today. Again.

Sounds familiar? Not if you are fresher, but for us, returning students, this has been the nightmare of the last years. But things have changed now! You may have noticed as you walk through campus that some things don’t look quite the same and that is because the operations and design teams have worked during the spring to deliver this changes that have increased our study space by 95%!

What does this mean for you? Well, first of all, you hopefully won’t have to relate ever again to the first paragraph of this article. Second of all, it means your school have listened to you when you complained about not having where to prepare for your assignments. Third of all, it means “I couldn’t find a place to study” is no longer an excuse for you to get bad grades – if it ever was.

This is the ultimate guide to the new campus study space. You will have read this in the News from the Dean email before the term started as well as in many places around campus, including the inner side of the bathroom door, but here is the list of what has changed:

The libraries have now over 40 new seats

The two long worktables have been relocated to the second-floor library and the green chairs that were there have now joined their fellows in the first-floor library. There are concerns among students that this new long table will lead to conversations in the second-floor library, which until now had a culture of quietness, fostered by the panels that impede students to see who seats in front of them. Hopefully, this remains just a fear and does not turn into reality since this library has been the go-to place for those trying to escape from the constant whispering in its first-floor equivalent. Be nice, dear reader, and help us keep the second-floor library as quiet as it was.

The first-floor library has also welcomed new long worktables, estinguishing forever now the sofas that were once there. The bookshelves have also suffered depletion since the arrival of the new tables, but they will hopefully be relocated elsewhere. We must point out, nevertheless, that this library now has new and better chairs for you to work comfortably on them.

The social area has moved floor

The first floor had always been the social area, a place where you could grab coffee or tea, chat with friends and work if the ping pong or foosball table games playing next to you were not a distraction. Now the social area looks quite different. The high table has been rebuilt into a banquette along the wall where now you can sit for a chat with friends or teammates or simply work on your own. 

With the ping pong and table football tables moved down to the basement, the social area is much quieter now, to what some of us might still need to adapt since it is so different from what it was before. The energy in that space is now gone, literally having left an empty space where it used to be since there is so far nothing occupying the space the ping pong table used to take.

This energy has been channelled down to the basement, the new home for games. Down there, the lockers have been moved into the Club House, which is a nice relocation I must confess, although with a weirdly positioned foosball table in the middle. Some of that energy has vanished, though, since we don’t see people playing that much anymore, maybe because the ping pong table is not visible any longer unless you go down to the basement already with the intention to play.

There are new not-for-naps alcove work sofas

As you walk through campus you will have seen the new black alcove work sofas. They are in the ground, first, second and third floor, adding around six extra study seats on each level. They are perfect for individual work, but they require high concentration for some since you can find distracting or even uncomfortable to have someone working right in front of you. Their design provides shelter that will shield you from the surrounding environments aiding you with that concentration. You can use them as your individual break room when you need some time alone or rest, but don’t catch up on all your sleep deprivation in them, some people might need them to study. Oh, and just a fact that you might not know, you can lift the arm table to uncover a chest to leave your stuff while working.

Some new little study spaces have been added to some corners, too. Have you spotted them already?

With all of this, our campus is evolving to fit the demands of an ever-growing student body, with over a thousand students this year. Some of the changes will require some time to sink into our perception of the campus, and whether we like them more or less, will contribute to making our study easier and less stressful. There is still room for improvement – literally – with some spaces like the ground floor’s big room or the social area on the first floor having available square metres. For now, we thank the school for having taken our feedback into consideration and having acted upon it, reshaping our campus but keeping its essence, all with our needs in mind.

What do you think of the new campus set up?

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