A nod to Lower Level One

Caroline Hendrix, Senior Writer

In order to achieve academic success at Bucknell, the decision of where to study on campus need not be taken lightly. There are a variety of spaces for every type of student.

Do you want an active, loud atmosphere? I recommend the ELC or the Seventh Street Café. You need silence and can’t focus in your room? Then it might be time to take the trek to good old reliable, Bertrand Library.

But even within such an esteemed study space, there are too many options to bear. That’s why I’m writing this, to help you see that the Lower Level One is the most elite part of the library to get your work done. 

Before we dive into the gem that is Lower Level One as the best floor in the building, we must rule out the others. The easiest floor to pin as last is the top floor. This is primarily due to the trek that it takes to get there.

No matter the season, I am in a full sweat by the time I make it up those stairs. Trying to concentrate after your heart rate has skyrocketed is not an easy feat. And oddly enough, the top floor always smells like burnt toast.

Let us now move onto Lower Level Two. This floor is second to last for two main reasons. The first is that I have only been there once. I want a study space to draw me in somehow and the lack of intrigue and allure surrounding this floor is reason enough for me to place it low on the hierarchy of floors. The second involves my one and only experience down there.

I was in between classes and went to Lower Level One, in search of a worthy spot but came back around to the stairs out of luck. At that point, I was restless. I remember a peer walking downstairs to Lower Level Two and my mouth went agape under my mask. There’s a Lower Level Two, I remember thinking to myself.

The curiosity forced my feet down those stairs and to a table. I remember how dark it was down there. You’d think it would be more silent than Lower Level One but I’m here to inform you otherwise. A group of six students sitting at the table adjacent to me were joking around.

Relative to the level that talking in a library should be, I’d argue that they were screaming through a megaphone. I tried my best to zone out the noise, waited for my next class to come around and trudged up the stairs with my belongings, unable to shake off my disappointment.

The second floor is the next to go. After it being my go-to freshman year, the second floor is no longer even a consideration. There are simply too many memories attached to this floor. I have out-studied my welcome, and I’ve come to terms with that. There is also something so visible about the second floor and the first floor that seems unattractive for a study spot.

Lower Level One offers a private and quiet ecosystem that keeps me coming back. You can hide away in one of many study rooms, cubicles, and larger tables that serves as a perimeter for the books. There are also tables hidden within the heart of Lower Level One, and while I’ve never personally sat over there, I do notice how satisfied everyone looks as I pass.

Lower Level One is everything that the other floors wish they could be and more: its inviting, it doesn’t take forever to get to, it’s quiet and offers secluded seating and most of all, it doesn’t smell of toast. 

Maybe I haven’t done the best job at selling Lower Level One or turning you away from the other floors, but maybe that is not the point of this article.

Hopefully you can learn from my experiences, but at the end of the day, you have to find the spot in Bertrand, or on campus as a whole, that suits you best. It will come in time and when you’ve found what I’ve found in Lower Level One, you’ll know. 

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