By Daniella Low (14A01B) and Gao Wenxin (14A03A)
You have three hours to kill before CCA starts, and you desperately need to sit down and start cracking that Math tutorial. (You could have done it during lunch break, but somehow you ended up queuing for Haw’s Kitchen.) But with all the study spaces around school, where should you go?
In the first half to this two part series, Raffles Press scouts out the more popular and conventional locations around school to spend a date with your graphing calculator.
Shaw Foundation Library (Block H, level 4)
Shelves of useful reference material and textbooks beckon, and the ‘mugger’ atmosphere of the library hits you as soon as you pass the gantries. The intense mood of the place is bound to get you started on your lecture notes and tutorials – as soon as you find a comfortable spot to study, of course.
Talking and loud whispering is generally frowned upon, so take your group discussions out unless you book a ThinkTank (rooms available through Discovery or this link).
Windy Benches (Block A, level 1 next to Theatre Studies Room)
A breezy and accessible area, it is for people who study well with a bit of background sound and enjoy the feel of wind in their hair. Rumour has it that it is one of the RJ cats’ favourite haunts. Why not reinforce your learning by telling it about ceteris paribus?
There are also assorted benches along level 1 of Block B, at pick-up point P4, as well as next to Popular bookstore.
Canteen/HP Canteen (Block E)
The canteen is noisy all year round, which is good for boisterous study groups. It is also ideal for those who need to munch and stock up on caffeine to get through their tutorials. The HP canteen has all these benefits and it is slightly quieter, significantly airier, and not just for HP students! In fact, a fellow peer who wishes to remain anonymous remarked that “the HP canteen is less intimidating.” Definitely for those who wish to stay out of the spotlight.
Manna Café (Block B, level 1 next to P4)
A slightly more expensive alternative to the canteen, the Manna Cafe serves pastries and drinks ($3.50 for a cake and a cuppa), as well as set lunches. It combines the both of the library and the canteen: it is air-conditioned, with food available! It is definitely an option to consider, when studying during the warm, humid afternoons. Wednesday afternoons see this place quite empty after school, so do indulge yourself once in a while!
Computer Lab 2 (Block H, level 4 outside the library)
The only computer lab open to students, Lab 2 is for those who need a computer or printer (though we suspect air-conditioning is another key factor) but are not dressed in proper attire for the library.
Hullett Memorial Library (RI Y1-4 level below Shaw Foundation Ceremonial Hall / RI Boarding Dining Hall, opposite Sheares block)
Who says you need to stick to the Y5-6 campus? The Hullett Memorial Library, established since 1923, is one of the most beautiful study areas around. The wooden furniture and large sofas add to the comfortable atmosphere in the library. Unlike the Shaw Foundation Library, however, there are lots of chatter from the Project Group areas, which might irritate those who like their share of peace and quiet.
There are cubicles on the right side of the library for studying, but they are not recommended for the disorganized or claustrophobic. Tables and chairs are also available outside the library if you prefer a more secluded open-air environment. Otherwise, if one does not mind the noise, the interior is a cosier alternative to the Shaw Foundation Library.
If one enjoys absolute silence, there is a Student Reference Room behind a glass door on the right side, towards the far end of the cubicles. It is so quiet that you can hear the proverbial pin drop.
Rajaratnam Block (RI Y1-4 level 1, short walk past Admin centre, opposite RI Boarding)
The Rajaratnam Block, or the Raja Block as it is more commonly known, has become the unofficial link between the two campuses. Though part of the RI Y1-4 campus, many RJ students still go there to study, or just to hang out with friends. The area is “breezy and bright”, as Andre Hui (14A03A) puts it, which makes it a hit with both the boys from the secondary school as well as the Y5s and 6s. The CCAs from RI Y1-4 practice or play games here sometimes, so there is the noise factor to take into consideration. The vending machines are not always stocked up either, due to the amount of human traffic that passes through that block every day, so it is a good idea to arm yourself with food and drink from the RJ or RI canteen before heading here.
The above places have been tested and proven true by generations of Rafflesians, and are the safe bets for those wishing for security and a stable environment to work in. Still looking for more suggestions? (Take a break, you workaholic!) Do stay tuned for Part 2 of our Warrior’s guide, as we trawl the school campus on the hunt for more study areas!