Study Spaces at Dartmouth
This goes without saying, but there's a lot of things you take for granted when it comes to surviving a global pandemic. And while life is still, unfortunately, seemingly nowhere close to normal, it's nice to see the little things come back to us. For example, study spots are open again.
This may sound like nothing to you. After all, studying is studying is studying. I can go on and on about the mental benefits of switching up your study space. For example, it's good to separate where you work and where you sleep; it's really hard to focus on your work when your bed is literally 3 steps away. And while I think that's true, I think that the reason I'm so excited for study spaces to open back up is because they're the best excuse to see the campus.
Not to mention that there's a weird solidarity in all of it. It's oddly comforting to walk into Baker-Berry (the main library) on a Saturday morning, and see rows upon rows of students studying right alongside you. Even if you don't know them at all, it feels good knowing that you're in the same boat.
Obviously too, with spaces opening backup, the first regard is always safety. As much as I love studying in Baker, I realize that it's not worth it if it means a bunch of students packed in a crowded space all breathing on each other. In addition to having to take a daily temperature self-assessment to make sure we don't have COVID symptoms, the library is massively spaced out. Not only are the table spread out six feet apart, with only one person per table, there are people who clean the tables as soon as you leave. Masks are also required, and if for some reason your mask breaks off your face (which has happened to me an embarrassing amount of times), the front desk always has more. The same goes for the Cube, the Onion (which are both group study spaces), and Kemeny Hall (the math department building).
Overall, there's still so many things I miss about "normal" college. In person classes are the main thing. It's weird having friends who are nothing more than a face on a screen. And while I still miss the days that groups of people could meet together at Baker-Berry, it's still comforting to know that with study spaces starting to open up, at least Dartmouth is making an attempt to return back to normalcy.