This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Photo credit: Craig Burdett

Vassar Students at Work—and Play—in the Library

While I was helping my sister with her college essays, I decided to look through my old ones to get some inspiration. I discovered, much to my embarrassment, that my “Why Vassar?” essay ends with the proclamation that if human-building marriage was ever legalized, I would be first in line for the Vassar College Library. Now, four years later, I do feel married to the library, though not quite as literally as my 17-year-old self would have liked. With digital cable and TiVO at my home on campus, the library is the only place I can go to actually get work done. Though, let’s face it, the library is alsothe place to see and be seen.

Say, for example, one had a crush on a cute junior boy in her postcolonial lesbian fiction class. Chances are that, come Sunday afternoon, he’ll be at the library and she will have ample opportunity to flirt with him by the printers. Of course, this works both ways. Sometimes there’s someone you’d rather not see at the library on Sunday after an interesting Saturday night at the Mug. This can be dealt with by a) studying at home, where endless marathons ofAmerica’s Next Top Model beckon, or b) figuring out the general library seating chart and creating personal “no-study zones.”

Every group of friends tends to have a particular section of the library they gravitate toward. The cross-country team always sits in the left section, toward the front. The cool kids sit in the Art Library. The people who actually want to get work done (or are working on their theses) hide away in the basement cubicles. My friends like to sit in the area by the Reserve Desk. It’s a decent spot, with both couches and comfortable chairs you can steal from the video-viewing stations and use at the tables. One major drawback is that you can see all the film majors watching Moulin Rouge or episodes of Charmed, while you attempt to do problem sets. Of course, the main problem is that you have to listen to a constant stream of people asking for their reserve readings. On the bright side, the Reserve Desk has a long-standing tradition of hiring mostly very attractive student workers.

All in all, sometimes the hardest part of going to the library isn’t carrying all your books, but figuring out what to wear.

December 2007

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