As you may remember from last semester, one week I was feeling uncharacteristically magnanimous and used this column to explain one of my trademark secrets about how to decode someone’s personality from their coffee order (patent pending). While this is probably one of the most important life skills you can possess (along with playing pool, driving stick and a decent left hook), I do realize that unlike myself, some people don’t happen to spend all their time in coffee shops. Fear not, my friends. There’s an equally accurate way of decoding your friends’ true inner natures, and it’s their go-to study spot. Skeptics, I invite you to take an espresso shot and actually think about it: As students, we spend more time than anything doing work, and since one of the only things we control about that is where we do it, of course it’s an insight to the soul (or lack thereof).
Group study: You’re basic, and this isn’t the first time you’ve been called that. You can only drag yourself to the library with the promise of seeing your freshman year roommate, your old TDC partner and your childhood neighbor within a five-minute span. You probably don’t get all that much done in your marathon Sunday afternoon sessions, but do you end up with a 3-minute Snapchat story, so you call it even.
Reading room: You’re intense. You need absolute silence to concentrate on your work, and, a lá Wolverine, the claws come out should anyone disturb your peace. You’ve probably been called “high-strung” or “psychotic” at least twice in the last few days, and you’re currently in the midst of quietly settling a lawsuit from last year when that one kid just wouldn’t turn his phone off vibrate.
Ginn: You’re pretentious. You turn up your nose at those who turn up on Thursday nights, and you look down on the underclassmen that think Tisch is the only library on campus. You are often found wearing argyle grandpa sweaters and loudly discoursing on the shortcomings of modern society.
Campus center: You’re overworked. (How do I know this? No one’s go-to study spot is the campus center, it’s just not). You end up studying in the Rez for easy access to caffeine, and find yourself tolerating Hotung’s weird mood lighting just so you don’t have to leave for dinner. You have at least three meetings during every study session, and as a result have a blood pressure through the roof and are often found running around like a chicken with your head cut off.
Brown & Brew: You’re under-worked. You use B&B’s heavily reduced hours as an excuse to avoid doing work, because “that’s the only place you’re productive.” You’re a little off the beaten track, and have been called both “quirky” and “antisocial.” You divide your study time equally between Instagramming your latest cappuccino, drafting the next great American novel, and actually doing your reading.
Your room: You’re laid-back and likely addicted to Netflix. Even though you know you’ll get more work done at the library, you can’t justify spending the 20-minute round-trip to get there because, hey, that’s an episode of Friends right there! You prioritize proximity to the fridge over passing your midterms and strongly resent being forced to put on pants.
Halligan: You’re an engineer, or else just a sociopath who enjoys being around others’ pain and suffering. It is impossible to differentiate.
So you see, Jumbos, even if you haven’t yet discovered the magical properties of the Elixir of the Gods, it’s still possible to stereotype every single one of your classmates, all without stepping foot in a coffee shop — although, let’s be real, no one’s trying to do that. Happy studying!