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May

9

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Staff Writer Megan Wylie is tired of people asking her what her plans are after graduation. Really tired. 

As I walked out of my final final of my life, I had a realization: what the hell am I supposed to do now? I sent in applications and reviewed my resume, but we have become so accustomed to an academic schedule that it’s hard to imagine a world not centered on homework and student orgs.

So that leaves us (me) here: lying on my couch in my pajamas watching Netflix and eating cereal. In the midst of all of this, I have to repeatedly dodge calls from my mother who for some reason, thinks I have a staunch desire to be unemployed.

But after sixteen years of continuous education, do we really have to answer to every single person asking us what our next career move is? Do we deserve the pitied looks that we get once we say we don’t have a summer internship? Or do we have the chance to adjust to the real world?

I have to deal with probably never taking another blue book exam ever again, so I think I deserve to process my nostalgia by watching seven seasons of a television procedural and not changing for six days straight. And do I deserve to sleep for 15 hours without the impending doom of Butler? Probably not after what I sent in as my final paper, but I’ll still treat myself to it.

The moral of this post is that instead of stressing to appease all these people, I feel like we should be able to take a fucking break for two months before we enter the world of cubicles and mediocre coffee.

May

2

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Though protestors repeatedly tried to teach Columbia a lesson about worker’s rights, Prezbo has been notably absent from the conversation. Part of this is due to the fact that he is not on campus. Where did this enigmatic dictator go? Staff writer Megan Wylie has some thoughts. 

Found him!

The past week has included a lot of protestors, the President of Ireland, a gaggle of Councilpeople, various Assemblymen, notable SDS alums and Cynthia Nixon. Amongst all of these famous faces, however, one has been missing: our dear President, Lee Bollinger. You’d think he’d make an appearance in the midst of campus upheaval but alas, his house remains empty. While picket line chants ruminate across campus, PrezBo has deemed this the opportune time for a little Spring getaway. Where is he, you ask? Well, I have some theories:

  • He’s on a beach and is leaving a voicemail for the Provost saying, “you guys have fun! I’ll be back Wednesday”
  • Planning his run for governor against Cynthia Nixon
  • Playing golf at the Mar a Lago and laughing about union destruction with Trump’s entourage
  • Jumping into a pool filled with his $5 million dollar salary
  • Sunbathing on some autocratic leader’s yacht, negotiating an invite to the World Leaders Forum
  • Writing his commencement address centered on free speech and liberal ideals (while conveniently ignoring labor rights)
  • Discussing another book deal that’ll add to his aforementioned pool of money
  • He tried going to the stacks and got lost on level two. Look out for him this week
  • Hiding under a pile of free shirts and discarded pro-union signs
  • He’s actually just been waiting in line at the 114th street Starbucks this whole time and has yet to get his skim cappuccino
  • Persuading New York billionaires to fund another gentrifying STEM center uptown
  • He’s with DSpar and they’re currently jetskiing around Richard Branson’s private island
  • Alternatively, he’s interviewing for DSpar’s role as president of Lincoln Center
  • Plotting his revenge against the grad students by banning all relationships between faculty and students

Photo courtesy of  Martin Hanford (Edit courtesy of my procrastination)

Apr

25

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A member of the Liberation Coalition speaking to the crowd about changing the curriculum

On April 25th, Butler Library was briefly occupied by the Liberation Coalition, a collective focused on “decolonizing Columbia.” Bwog Staff Writer Megan Wylie was at the occupation, and had the chance to speak to members of the group to gain insight into their motivations for the protest. 

In the midst of the graduate workers’ strike, at about 1:25 pm on Wednesday, a group known as the Liberation Coalition gained access to Butler through entering with a prospective student tour group, and occupied the main stairway between the 2nd and 3rd floors for approximately 45 minutes.  Although an administrator who arrived on scene threatened to call the police and take protesters’ IDs, no IDs were taken and the police was not called.

The group was formed in response to CUCR’s speaker series earlier in the year, and is focused on ending what they see as Columbia’s relationship with white colonization and systematic racism. They claim that this relationship, which they outlined in speeches and a flyer they handed out to bystanders, is expressed through racist statues and names on campus, a curriculum centered upon white men and intrinsically connected to colonization, the gentrification of Harlem, and institutional biases against students of color marginalized by white supremacy. Their demands seek to combat this connection between Columbia and colonization.  These demands include: “Replace racist statues and names on campus with people of color who resisted oppression;” “Decolonize the curricula by centralizing and privileging the voices and knowledge of marginalized people;” “Stop gentrifying Harlem;” “Provide free tuition for Indigenous and Black students, especially those from the Lenni Lenape diaspora and Harlem communities;” “Allocate financial and legal resources in defense of all marginalized communities;” and “Divest from white supremacy, settler colonialism, military occupation, and fossil fuels.”

Although these demands are significant and wide-reaching, the protesters in Butler today primarily sought to disrupt the normal flow of Columbia life and educate students about their cause. The collective consists of both graduate and undergraduate students, and does not have individual leaders.

As they marched through Butler, they carried signs that referenced the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, as well as a large banner that said “DECOLONIZE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY.” In response to their chants, several students began yelling at the protesters, calling them disruptive and obnoxious.

“You have acres of colonized land to study on,” one protestor responded.

How did this protest pan out?

Apr

14

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Does a black and white photo add legitimacy to my case?

At a recent Bwog event, one staffer found herself in a familiar position: surrounded by shocked faces once she announced her love for former Barnard president, Debora Spar. In a haphazard effort to justify her unpopular opinion, Bwog Staffer Megan Wylie gives to you: the defense of DSpar.

When I first arrived at Barnard, DSpar’s tumultuous reputation was unknown to me. It was only when I expressed that I “worshipped her” did people inform me of their hatred of her. The realization happened gradually– she would walk in with her assistant in tow, and my admiration was drowned out by the groans of my student body.

I don’t blame them, DSpar has made some questionable decisions, such as maintaining her board seat at Goldman which probably made her more popular amongst CC econ students than the Barnard community. But I swear guys, she’s not that bad. Did she embody corporate feminism? Probably, but did she also do great things for Barnard? In my opinion, yes. The Georgetown School of Foreign Service/Harvard Business School Alum had all the prereqs to launch Barnard into a new stage of its existence.

Honor the fallen, continued

Apr

12

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As I watched Miranda make her announcement, I wondered: Could I run for office while I was still running from my feelings for Big?

Now that Cynthia Nixon has announced her candidacy for governor of New York, Sex and the City fans, as well as those interested in NY politics, have a lot to say. Bwog Staffer Megan Wylie, who happens to be both a political science major and such a Charlotte, has some theories on the next Barnard alum who should jump into the race ASAP.

Sex and the City provided my younger self with a series of philosophical questions that guided my life, and as someone who has worked on various local campaigns, I am very conflicted about these two worlds crossing. As Carrie, arguably a closeted misogynist, once asked: “Were women in New York really giving up on love and throttling up on power?” Perhaps, but in today’s political climate, what do we have to lose? At least Cynthia Nixon played a character with a law degree and a love for pantsuits.

While her candidacy is controversial, Barnard alums are known for shaking things up in the world. Carrie once ended an artful post with the following question: “Are there times when the ladies should just shut the fuck up?” The answer, dear Carrie, is fuck no. So instead, here are some more Bold, Beautiful Barnard babes that should throw their name into the gubernatorial hat:

  • Greta Gerwig (2006)- Self explanatory. If she was snubbed by the Oscars, we should at least give her control of the state.
  • Lauren Graham (1988)- Idk, her obsessive involvement in Rory’s personal life was a bit excessive, but maybe her love of fixing other peoples problems would help her navigate state welfare reform!
  • Chelsea Peretti (2000)- If there is anything that New York is in need of, its some good old fashioned snarkiness. If anyone can keep corrupt Albany legislators in line, it’s Chelsea.
  • Martha Stewart (1964)-Where else will you find someone with such a knowledge of home decor and the federal prison system?
  • Ann Brashares (1989)- If she can make a book series about a pair of inanimate pants a bestseller, then I am positive she could do wonders for the MTA.
  • Zuzanna Szadkowski (2001)- Zuzanna played Dorota on Gossip Girl, and arguably was the best character throughout the entire six seasons of the show. That alone should qualify her. Besides, she immigrated here so it would probably do the added bonus of pissing off Trump.

Photo Courtesy of CBS

Mar

9

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Previously a critic of St. A’s, Bwogger Megan Wylie has stopped kidding herself and conceded that maybe – just maybe – they’re alright. 

I’m not quite sure why, but I have found myself writing two critical articles about St. A’s when in reality, I don’t have a problem with the group. Maybe the resentment is rooted in my subconscious due to the fact that I went to a B-list New York private school. Whatever the cause, this post is apologetic in its nature. I don’t want to criticize their spitting of a pig or the over-the-top themes; instead, I am here to give credit where credit is due. Of all the parties I have attended at this university, I have to say the playlist at the last St. A’s party was bomb.

Just imagine the security guard begrudgingly waiting in the foyer

It was definitely the whitest playlist that I have heard, but there was something about Taylor Swift’s ‘Lovestory’ played after ‘Knock You Down’ followed by ‘Unwritten’ that really brought out my best. I could have done without Vampire Weekend playing in the same room where their album was shot, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it was an ironic gesture. Somewhere between ‘Hot N Cold’ and ‘Toxic’, I found myself jumping up and down and being handed a polaroid by someone I have never met. It was during ‘Mr. Brightside’ that I discovered an ‘Eyes Wide Open’ mask which would haunt my dreams later that night. A friend and I proceeded to jump up and down with a champagne bottle and an excessive amount of sweat that blurred the make-shift Harry Potter scar I had drawn in lipstick, and aggressively screamed along to the lyrics. We were so energetic in fact that my Apple watch chimed in that I had done my daily amount of exercise–a task that does not get completed when I’m in the secluded back booth of 1020 watching reruns of ‘Divorce.’

Anyway, the playlist made the trek….who am I kidding? the Uber down to Riverside Drive in the middle of a storm worth it. It brought me back to the days of middle school, with math teachers pulling apart preteens awkwardly grinding to T.I.’s ‘Whatever You Like.’

Photo courtesy of New York Big Apple Images

Feb

23

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Education and Incarceration was an event hosted by the Human Rights department, and was led by none other than Bwog’s own Sarah Dahl and featured a panel of Professors with the Justice-in-Education initiative as well as prison rights advocates. Avid The Night Of watcher and Staff Writer Megan Wylie checked it out. 

The role of education and prison, as well as prison reform in general, has been an increasingly popular issue in the political world due to the country’s dependence on the prison industrial complex. This particular panel focused on the role of university professors and outreach efforts to maximum security prisons. The two Columbia professors on the panel were noted prison advocates Achille Varzi and Christia Mercer. Also present was Danny Li, a Columbia senior who has dedicated his time to teaching debate at Rikers Island every week, whose passion for teaching inmates debate skill helped him organize excursions to Albany and cross-prison debate competitions for the participants. The panel also featured Aisha Elliott, a formerly incarcerated student and prison education advocate.

I’m pretty sure this type of cell isn’t used anymore, but you get the point

Mercer began the event by presenting staggering statistics regarding prison populations in the US and the disproportional targeting of people of color and people below the poverty line. The entire system favors the white and privileged, from the criminal justice system to the bail-bond process, and this is clear in the rates of incarceration in relation to race and income. In addition, due to the climates of prison, rates of reincarceration are extremely high since inmates are released into society without being rehabilitated or educated by the state, and face rampant discrimination.

Find out more after the jump

Feb

21

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Ugh, I bet all of these people got jobs at Goldman in October.

For those of us who are not being recruited for logical fields like consulting or finance, family events are particularly treacherous. What do you say when a non-millennial asks what you’re doing after you graduate? Saying the wrong thing can lead to follow-up questions your Creative Writing major did not prepare you for. Luckily, Staff Writer Megan Wylie is here to provide you some quick responses:

Recently, I was asked in Russian what my post-graduation plans were. I told my Step-Grandmother to translate my go-to response comprised of a longwinded explanation incorporating all my hopes and dreams, so imagine my surprise when I was then pelted with questions about how I’ve spent four years as a PoliSci and History major, and all I have to show for it is an ability to loosely define sovereignty. While this left me speechless and reaching for a glass of water,  I thought up some ways you can learn from my mistake:

  1. Let Julia Roberts answer this one for you: “I think I’m just gonna go to Bali and find myself, you know?”
  2. Praise your binge-watching skills by saying, “I think I’m gonna dedicate myself to film”
  3. Say that you’re going into computer science, and change the subject by offering to help them set up their new iPad.
  4. Point to them, say, “good question!” and hope they pick up on your awkward laughter
  5. Say you’re going into the hospitality business while you’re making an income off of putting your apartment on Airbnb at an inflated price
  6. Commit to going to the 2022 Olympics in something you can pick up fast, like luge!
  7. Confidently say,  “I’m gonna take a couple of years off and then go to law/business/journalism school,” but provide absolutely no concrete timeline so they can’t question when you’re still watching Black Mirror three years later
  8. Scream out one of those vague one-word professions, like litigation, or consulting. No one really knows what exactly that entails, but they’ll nod and pretend to know so they don’t look stupid
  9. Propose a time machine for the specific purpose of going back in time to inform your teenage self that the only way to have the assurance of employment is by focusing on science or math
  10. Turn the tables on them, and question what the fuck they’re doing with their lives
  11. Alternative choice, throw the closest person your age under the bus and ask them their post-grad plans
  12. Run to the closest exit with no warning and hope they get the message

Image via commencement.columbia.edu.

Feb

1

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This weekend, Bwog received a photo of St. A’s roasting a full lamb on a spit. Immediately there were questions: Where did this lamb come from? how did it get to a riverside drive mansion?  who rotisseries lamb? Wanting more details on the mystery, staff writer and belligerent vegetarian (who sometimes eats duck) gets the inside scoop from the most infamous animal on campus.

How will I get that McKinsey internship now??

I just keep going back to that photo. Do you know how embarrassing it is to be portrayed like that for the whole campus to see? If you were to tell me last week that I would be rotating on a grill at a Riverside Drive townhouse cookout, I’d call you insane. But here we are. Let me give you some context because I assure you–I am NOT that kind of lamb.

So I’m just sleeping on a farm one day, dreaming of some nice daffodil-filled fields when I feel these large hands behind me. Next thing you know I’m on a bus headed to the big city. At this point, I think I’m getting my big break. I mean, have you seen Babe in the Big City?

My naivete aside, I’m now just a tad bit confused. What the hell am I doing chilling–literally–in a Midtown freezer? So imagine my surprise when I get picked up by some nice-looking college boys. I didn’t see their face, but their shoes looked pretty shiny so I figured things could only get better going home with some handsome boys like that. But then I start hearing them try and bargain. Excuse me? You’re wearing Gucci slippers and you’re trying to get a deal on a prized lamb like me?

This story isn’t over yet.

Dec

9

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Glad this album cover has single-handedly supported the St. A’s butler

Those who have walked through the foyer of the fateful house belonging to the members of St. Anthony’s hall often have a common question: how do these children fund the ridiculous inner workings of that townhouse? Staff writer Megan Wylie looked into the possibilities of how the ‘elite’ society gets its chump change.

Theory 1: They are still collectively living off of the Vampire Weekend proceeds they were promised in exchange for the band using the chandelier as the cover for their titular album debut.

Theory 2: They have been secretly frequenting the black market to sell the Rolexes that their pledges are allegedly forced to buy and throw in the Hudson.

Theory 3: They force members to donate a Canada goose jacket so they can turn them into overpriced luxury pillows.

Theory 4: They have been renting their secret pool to Upper West Side parents looking for bougie birthday parties for their eight-year-olds.

More very real possibilities after the jump.

Dec

7

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On Wednesday, December 7th, SIPA hosted an event regarding the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act following its repeal by President Trump. Staff writer Megan Wylie went to the timely event which featured a keynote address from Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito and a diverse panel of professors and community activists.

The City Council Speaker giving the keynote address discussing New York’s policies towards immigrants

Being both a native New Yorker and a politics nerd, I inevitably have a guilty pleasure for local politics. When I saw that the event was featuring Melissa Mark-Viverito, who was the first Puerto Rican councilwoman in New York City, I was interested due to the fact that it would not just be an academic approach to tackling the issue, but a personal one. Born in Puerto Rico, Councilwoman Mark-Viverito moved to New York when she was a child and attended Columbia for undergrad, and moved on to Baruch to pursue her master’s. Back to the topic at hand, the Councilwoman has helped make the city remarkably accessible to immigrants affected by the dismissal of DACA through providing legal, social, political, professional and economic assistance to those at risk of being deported.

Read more…

Dec

1

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“Please don’t make me read and review a journal article you wrote in high school.” – The professor

It’s finals time, and the inevitable panic that sets in when you look at your lax notes will probably lead you to beg for mercy during office hours. While waiting for those 5 minutes you have to discuss everything that has been taught in class, you will face some human obstacles. Staff writer Megan Wylie warns you of one of the most dangerous archetypes: the ‘try hard.’

The ‘try hard’ is unfortunately not a rare character at Barnumbia. A frequent voice in class, they have a unique skill that gives them the confidence to ask a question in a 100 person lecture and turn it into a full-on conversation. Despite this tactic, they choose to arrive a full thirty minutes early to office hours in order to sit themselves down in front of their professor’s door. The bleak two hours that your professor holds office hours is your chance to butter them up before they grade your research paper, or maybe you just want to learn a bit about them.

The try hard goes to office hours, however, for a different reason. They trek to SIPA and bother their tenured professor just to make sure their busy educator knows about their knowledge of early German literature and how it relates to the curriculum. Plot twist: it doesn’t. Despite the uselessness of their visit, they make sure to spend a solid 45 minutes babbling on about how they disagree with their professor who has a doctorate in the field. They hold a conversation with the professor for as long as they can, however, it’s not so much a conversation as it is a one-sided critique of what historical academia deems to be true.

So what else do they do?

Nov

16

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Although climate change has graced us with weather that unfortunately lets people get away with wearing flip flops to class, the cold has finally set in. With winter approaching fast, Staff Writer Megan Wylie researched some tips to prepare yourself for what you’ll see on campus.

  1. Couples trying to pretend they aren’t on the verge of a breakup by posting a tree lighting pic

    Not shown: The patch of black ice that made me late to class

  2. A scarf that smells like mothballs being used to save three seats in Ref
  3. Your crush in class ruining their aesthetic by wearing a horrendous beanie
  4. Athletes posing half-naked in the snow (you know who you are)
  5. Winter accessories that cost more than tuition
  6. The inevitable melange of filth and snow that covers Broadway after the first snowfall
  7. Students blending together in a flock of Canada Goose jackets
  8. Kids from Florida looking like they’re embarking on an Arctic excursion.
  9. People trying to ski down Low Steps
  10. “Cuffing Szn” Instagram posts
  11. Longer lines at the 114th street Starbucks
  12. Ferris dedicating the entire dessert display to some sort of tasteless gourd
  13. International students freezing outside Butler while smoking in subzero temperatures
  14. A lot of people posting about the weather even though it’s only 10 degrees colder than it was last week. Stay warm!

Oct

25

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Photo Credit: The Independent

Doing what I did best in my natural habitat.

With the lack of appropriate October weather, there has been a noticeably missing motif on campus: the Canada Goose. To gain an insider’s perspective on this epidemic, staff writer, Megan Wylie, jumped into her closet to get in the head of her dusty, aging parka.

We always hear about the effects of Climate Change on polar bears, and on penguins, and on humans; But do we ever hear about the true victims? It’s nearing the end of October but I, a carefully crafted manifestation of goose feathers and trust funds, have remained in the back of a closet. Thrown amongst old prep school sweatshirts and cashmere throws, I spend my days in envy of the short sleeve tees that have taken my place.

Homecoming has come and gone, but I remain unused. October is typically the month when my long summer hibernation comes to an end, and I resume my daily position outside of Butler with the rest of my flock. Every day I hope for a sudden plunge in temperatures, yet it is still 70 degrees outside.

Gone are the days that I complained about being pelted with gin and tonics in the back booth of 1020, or about the pitiful waits outside Mel’s in subzero terrains. Instead, I woke up one morning and with a coating of white powder on my waterproof exterior, and I thought, could it be? The beautiful feeling of snow that I longed for? I soon realized my excitement was premature, and it was just a thin layer of cocaine that had been the result of my owner’s tryst with an international student.

What else is the Goose thinking?

Oct

12

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Coming in at number 3, Ref is the best way to make sure your breakdown resembles the Ivy League caliber you constantly strive for

We’ve all been there at one time or another: It’s your ninth hour in Butler, you have three midterms this week and you just feel the overall need to let your stress out in the form of light tears and subtle screams. As far as coping mechanisms go, it’s one of the healthier ones, so Bwog Staff Writer Megan Wylie left her cozy cubby on the 4th floor in search of the best location in times of crisis. 

7. 5th Floor Reading Rooms

The glass doors and lack of personal space in these rooms make this resemble a pitiful zoo. All anyone needs to do is walk out of the elevator and you’re met with awkward eye contact from a girl in your NSOP group three years ago. 2/10

6. The Stacks

Although the stacks would be the obvious place to hide out from your TA returning from a smoke break outside, don’t be so easily fooled. Yes, it’s quiet; yes, it’s secluded; yes it’s dark, but it’s only a matter of time before the solitary confinement of Stacks level 8 gets to you and you start hallucinating said TA winking at you from the next bookshelf over. 3.5/10

5. Islamic Studies Room/East Asian Studies Room/Graduate Reading Rooms

While the nice views and cozy nature provide a guise of a safe place to cry, it has its limits.  First, the smallness works against you and your voice will amplify, leading to a lot of confused faces glaring at you when you scream “I should have gone to Cornell!” Second, the fact that it closes at 11 is a major drawback—Everyone knows Butler breakdowns are to be conducted between the hours of 1AM and 4 AM. 5/10

4.  209

209 is like the classic Columbia student: a little studious, a little testy and a little fun. As far as study spots go, it’s a pretty good one–as long as you don’t sneeze too loudly. In times of crisis, however, 209 is too public for my liking. Plus, you risk a significantly awkward interaction if you’re sitting at a two-person table.  6.5/10

3. Ref/301

Ref can go either way. The chandeliers and tall ceilings can be scholastically daunting, and the sound of silence with a touch of whispered gossip is enough to break those of us on our sixth cup of copy in the midst of a thesis induced psychosis. Due to its size, you’re safe to run to the stairway if you’re near the entrance, but if you’re in one of the back rows, you better hope you’re not walking down the aisle of your social funeral. 7/10

2. ButCaf

I don’t know how anybody can do anything but a group project in ButCaf, but who am I to judge. The cafeteria-esque vibe provides an impressive amount of noise muffling, and the access to a giant cookie is unparalleled. All in all, it’s a solidly mediocre place for a 3 am cry and subsequent chocolate binge. 8/10

1. 403

A bastion of hope in the endless black hole that is Butler Library. The cubbies are an anti-social studier’s dream and provide ample privacy for when you need to take a recovery break to watch Law & Order: SVU. The fourth floor is like the beautiful love child of Ref and the 6th Floor Reading rooms, creating a pristine melange of sociality, quiet, and calmness. 10/10

Honorary Mentions:

Avery:

Honestly, it goes without saying, but unless you want forty hipsters with wire-rimmed glasses shooting you death glares from behind their copy of The Brothers Karamazov. -0.5/10

Staircase:

Not technically a library room per se, but the staircases should be valued no less as a prime breakdown getaway. The dim lighting, accessibility, and sound isolation is a true blessing. I will admit it’s not the comfiest, but it’s truly the best if you need a quick recovery scream in between assignments.  14/10

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