School has just started; finally! That means a return to not only football season (my favorite!), my new graduate internship that I’ve been waiting patiently for, but also my purpose for being here… namely, courses. I’m incredibly excited about my courses this semester. The best thing about graduate school is that I finally get to study what I want to, but studying itself is never anyone’s idea of fun. However, the task becomes a lot easier when you find the right place to do it.
I personally have always found it easier to study curled in a ball in my room or in a group on a couch elsewhere. However, those two traits tend to be pretty much exclusive. Being in a group allows for momentary distraction that allows me to study in more marathon-type sessions, and so I willingly sacrifice the comfort of my room for a more open area that allows others to productively study alongside me. It wasn’t until halfway through last year when I’d explored North Campus and Central Campus study spaces, as well as what seems like half of the coffee shops in Ann Arbor, that I found my true study nook: The Law Quad.
The Law Quad itself is absolutely beautiful… with surroundings like that I wouldn’t ever need to bring someone else to momentarily distract myself because you would find something new just looking around. Just this summer as I was moving in and touring around my new roommate, I took her and her parents for the requisite visit to the Law Quad and stumbled upon 3 different bridal parties taking pictures. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. Also, numerous movies have been filmed there so it’s not like the Law Quad has been unappreciated by the general populace (true story: http://www.michigandaily.com/content/michigan-myths-harry-potter-almost-filmed-law-quad).
During the fall, the law quad lawn is occupied by all sorts of people studying or playing Frisbee right next to the classes and 1L dorm rooms enclosing the quad. No one is more studious than a 1L, and nothing motivates a person nearly as much as the idea that one is slacking in comparison. During the winter (thanks for that, Michigan!), no one wants to be outside and so they all retreat indoors to the Law Library. The main sitting room genuinely looks like Hogwarts. Tall, sweeping ceilings framed by tall stained glass windows mark a room decorated in wooden paneling. Always the higher ed nerd, one of my favorite aspects of this room is the school crests of various colleges and universities both domestic and international. This place is pretty much the cliché of the silent library, with the exception of the fact that a librarian isn’t keeping you quiet but rather the judgmental looks of your peers.
Another nice aspect of the Law Quad is Aitkin Commons on both the ground and underground level of the Law School. With the café right next door, it’s good for finals studying and momentary breaks from when those group projects you’re inevitably assigned get the best of you. It also has entirely different study spaces upstairs and downstairs. Downstairs is more casual, with some lounge chairs and couch areas suitable for collaboration, whereas upstairs is mostly study tables and benches. The one caveat to this space is that the second half of last year, it was purportedly closed to all students that weren’t enrolled in the law school. I never actually saw it enforced, but you can avoid being barred by using my tactic… enrolling in the law school as a cognate!
About the Author
Jackie Cohn, Master's Student, Higher and Postsecondary Education
Published in: Student Voices