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Studying in residence halls can be marred with distraction

By Jason Suwandi

Section: Opinions

February 5, 2016

It’s the year 2016, and with the start of a new year comes opportunities to make Brandeis a better place for its students. I’ve been hearing a few suggestions from the students around Brandeis, and I think that it would be a good idea to list them out in this article.

For starters, let’s talk about food. Personally, I think that Sodexo could provide more food variety for its catering services. I see the same food they serve over and over again. As a resident of Massell Quad, I often eat at Sherman and after a semester here at Brandeis, I practically know what to expect from Sodexo. At breakfast, you can expect five things that will never go away: scrambled eggs, omelets, sausages, bacon strips and potato wedges; don’t forget the daily influx of sausages, grilled chicken, beef patties and french fries for dinner. Those items are classics and I’m not complaining about them. They make up a majority of my body after all.

It’s just that I understand that Sodexo offers Recipes From Home, a service that allows students to submit recipes to Sodexo online. However, based on what I’m seeing at Sherman, either Sodexo doesn’t care about the recipes Brandeis students submit, or students aren’t using the Recipes From Home service enough. I don’t know what the reason behind it is, but I believe that I can speak for almost everyone at Brandeis University that it would be nice to see more varieties of food coming from Sodexo. It would also be nice to have more places at Brandeis that accepts point, but that’s a conversation for another time in the future.

Moving from food, let’s talk about studying. For me personally, it is 100 percent impossible for me to study in my residence hall. There’s the bed in front of me softly whispering to me, “Just lie down and relax. Forget the other stuff you have to do today.” Next, there are the occasional loud noises from the hallway that break your concentration. Finally, there’s just something about studying in the library that you can’t get from studying from your dorm. It just primes you into the right mindset for studying.

At your residence hall, you have tons of other options besides studying. You could hang out at your friends’ rooms one floor above you. How about playing ping pong or foosball at the Shapiro lounge? At the library, things change. Sure on the first floor it’s a little loud, and you could sneak in an occasional chat with a familiar face in a class you’re taking. Once you hit the quiet room, it’s different. You could literally hear a pin drop in the floor. Everyone is focused on what they have to do and they give off an aura of, “Don’t talk to me. I’m doing work.”

My advice to all adjusting midyears: Don’t study in your residence hall. Study in your residence hall if you don’t have a choice. My next tip is if you’re studying in a group, go to first or second floors of Goldfarb library, or maybe by Starbucks. However, if you’re studying by yourself, the best place would definitely be the quiet room. There’s nothing else distracting you from your work in your tiny cubicle. There’s just the textbook in front of you and a bunch of other people minding their own business. Sure, it might take more work carrying your textbook to the library, but I promise you, studying at the library is simply more efficient than studying at your dorm. Who knows? If you plan your studying schedule just right, you might be able to snag one of the course reserve textbook from the front desk without carrying your textbook around.

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