The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Scholars go on treasure hunt for a room of their own

University life is an extraordinary phase in one’s development. It presents a vast assortment of opportunities and challenges that one may never have foreseen. And among the trials of these formative years is one that I was not expecting when I entered SMU – acquiring space.

I do not mean space in the figurative sense, where it might signify independence or self-determination. That sort of space is abundant. But rather, I mean literal space – a physical area in which to be.

As I am sure many freshmen can attest, the living conditions on a university campus, while bearable, are certainly less spacious than one might be accustomed to. Sharing a cubicle-sized room with a stranger is not exactly a luxurious experience.

Furthermore, the diverse activities in which one is engaged on a college campus demand different settings in order to be executed appropriately. Primarily, research and projects for class require a significant amount of space.

All too often, this is space that one simply does not have in a dorm or small apartment.

Or, if one is privileged enough to have spacious living arrangements, then it is frequently the case that the ambience is not conducive to this genre of work.

Therefore, ironically, a university student finds him or herself without the necessary space in which to complete course requirements.

Speaking from experience, this can be a detrimental problem with serious ramifications, including a total lack of motivation that results in skilled procrastination.  

Twentieth century writer Virginia Woolf expounds on this phenomenon in her seminal work, “A Room of One’s Own”. She explains that if one does not have the necessary space in which to accomplish tasks, then creativity is stifled, thereby limiting the completion of work.

So what is a struggling college student to do when Facebook stalking in an overly-crowded room is no longer entertaining?

Of course, the library! There are plenty of libraries on campus, but if you are like me and find the somber atmosphere overpowering after a few days, then that solution is futile.

However, there is hope yet; SMU is filled with spacious and comfortable offices and common areas that are open to student use a majority of the time. These precious gems, while not rare, are little known to the majority of the student body.

While I do not know the location of all of these areas, I can suggest a few. The newly opened Embrey Human Rights Program’s office has a large conference room that is often available for students. It can be found in Clements Hall, room 109.

Additionally, don’t forget to visit the Lawyer’s Inn on the first floor of Carr Collins. The combination of mature law students, leather seats and a cozy fireplace is almost irresistible.

Most departments on campus have a comfortable waiting area where you are welcome to study. This is a particularly advantageous option because not only are professors nearby if any questions arise, but also it is always beneficial for your professors to see that you are, in fact, working hard in their classes.

Also, on the third floor of Hughes-Trigg, the SAMSA has a lively environment and a fantastic meeting table for group projects. Finally, the brand new, highly innovative and technologically savvy Caruth Hall no doubt offers myriad options for your studying needs.

So, before the work load of the semester becomes so overbearing that there is simply no alternative, and you are forced to sit at an inadequate desk in a cramped room, go on a treasure hunt of your own!

Adriana Martinez is a political science, public policy, French and history major. Adriana can be reached for comments or questions at [email protected].

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