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Abandon Hope All Ye Who Study Here

Photo by Yi Nuo
Photo by Yi Nuo

Studying in residence is like trying to perform open-heart surgery on a rollercoaster — you’ll never be able to achieve the focus you need to succeed, and your inevitable failure is going to be messy. While you’re going to want to track down a superior venue within walking distance, here are some spots to avoid.


The Killam Library


Trying to study at the Killlam is the strategic equivalent of heading to the “safe zone” at the start of the zombie apocalypse. This is the only library 90 per cent of students in res know exists. No one can predict the moment when the majority of your fellow freshmen will suddenly realize they have to complete at least some of their assignments to pass, but rest assured you will arrive one evening in late November to find all the desks claimed, despondent latecomers camped out on the floor between aisles, and the atmosphere reeking of smuggled Subway and sweaty desperation.


The Sir James Dunn Law Library


Pros: The library is immaculately clean, exceedingly quiet and refreshingly well lit. Cons: The regulars are all Machiavellian sociopaths who will stop at nothing to guard their territory.


Law students may tolerate you at first, but when space and resources become scarce around exam time at least one of them will suffer a breakdown and forget everything she’s ever learned about legal ethics. Don’t be surprised if someone dumps a bottle of maple syrup over your head before running off to the librarians to accuse you of hosting a pancake orgy in clear violation of s.4.1 of the Dalhousie Libraries Food Policy.


The University of King’s College Library


By all accounts this is a beautiful, peaceful study space, but if you have a history of asthma or any other respiratory conditions, you may find the thick cloud of smug in the air a little overpowering.


The Patrick Power Library, Saint Mary’s University


SMU students are such underachievers that their own administration has actually given up trying to schedule classes on Fridays. Do you really want to share a library with them?


Actually, upon further consideration, please disregard this entry. As a library catering to SMU students, this may be the quietest, emptiest building in the city.

John Hillman
John Hillman
John Hillman is the Gazette's Opinions Editor. John is a second-year law student, but he has been at Dalhousie for much longer than that. Recently discovered cave paintings indicate he was first observed lurching around campus by Halifax’s original human settlers some time during the late Pleistocene epoch. He started writing for the Gazette back when you were in elementary school, but he unexpectedly went off the grid a half-decade ago to concentrate on helping found Punditry.ca, a DSU-focused political blog. Where exactly was he hiding between the years 2009-2013? Certain individuals would prefer he not comment. Why has he returned? Not because of a top-secret Illuminati indoctrination project known only as the Omega Initiative, that’s for sure. You can email John at opinions@dalgazette.com.

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