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Transfer Diaries: Transitioning to Spring

The first thing I did when I arrived at Barnard was move in, and the second thing I did was figure out my favorite study spot. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I did know that soon NSOP would end, classes would start, and I’d have to find a good chair somewhere that would be the perfect combination of comfortable enough to focus but not comfortable enough that I’d fall asleep.

From what I’d heard from other students, there were no moderate feelings about any of the study spaces, only vehement love or hatred for Butler, Lehman, or the Diana. But I knew I’d have to decide for myself if Butler really was too intense, Lehman really was too ugly, or the Diana really was too loud. (A lot of times, I’d end up wherever I ended up before my fingers lost feeling in the sub-hero hell that was winter 2014.)

But it seemed like I had only just picked my favorite cubicle on the third floor of the Diana when I spotted the first peek of grass from outside the Liz’s Place window. Soon, the tables moved out onto the patio and the steps of Low had more bodies than spaces to walk. Some brave soul broke out salmon shorts. And sure, this was three weeks ago, before the weather plummeted back down into the 30’s and students returned to hibernation, but it served as a warning to me: I needed to start figuring out where I was going to hang out in the spring.

In the winter, any place warm was great. The libraries and common rooms were half study spaces and half social spaces; there were only a few places you could spend your time outside class, because you sure as hell weren’t going to spend it inside. But warm weather opens up a million more possibilities, all of which seem to draw less reaction. Maybe it’s just because the spring is more relaxing than the winter, but everyone seems to be down to sit anywhere.

Which is a little overwhelming, actually – where should I start? What patch of grass or which building’s steps would I find most comfortable? Whereas I had a long list of pros and cons for each indoor study space, every outdoor part of campus seems to be fair game.

And so I want to try them all. When I remember not to wear a dress, I’ll climb the cherry blossom tree outside Diana and read a book lounging in its branches. I’ll lie on the grass (if I can find a spot). Maybe I’ll even camp out on college walk or have a picnic-for-one in Riverside, because a view of something other than buildings or walls is always welcome. Or even take advantage of the weather to study AND get exercise (but let’s be honest, that might be a little too ambitious) by strolling outside of Morningside Heights to find some quaint café with outdoor seating and a cute barista.

With the indecisive weather of the past two weeks, I didn’t give this too much thought; I figured I’d be working under fluorescent lights for at least another month. But thankfully, with spring here seemingly for good (and let’s hope I didn’t just jinx it) it seems I’ll have to figure out my favorite spring spot pretty soon. And of course, any suggestions are welcome.

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Gaby Kirschner

Columbia Barnard

Barnard '16. Writing in NYC.
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