If you’re like me, the many distractions present in your apartment/dorm room can make studying at home extremely difficult. Fortunately for us, we have the carrels. The carrels offer a dedicated, personalized study space, complete with your own desk to store your belongings. The social atmosphere lightens the mood while studying, and the proximity to your brilliant classmates cultivates productive discussion about the course material. When you need a break, just walk down the hall to the kitchen to eat leftover pizza, or to take a nap on the couch in the lounge. Whether you need a place to cram for the next exam, or you’re just looking for a desk to store your things, the carrels are the perfect place for you.
– Brian R., M1
Bernard Becker Medical Library
Do you love arriving at your school’s library in the wee hours of the morning, just to stake out a spot for the rest of the day? Do you love searching for a seat in the library for an average of 2.56 hours on each day that you arrive slightly after sunrise? Then the Bernard Becker Medical Library is not your scene. Becker Library boasts sprawling tables and desks that are rarely (read: never) filled to capacity. If the second floor does not have an open seat, I bet you that a mere prance up one staircase will land you a whole table. Bonus: The atmosphere of this study space is greatly enhanced by the huge windows and stacks of old medical tomes that haven’t been read since pre-historic, pre-Internet times. Also it’s pretty quiet in there.
– Christine A., M1
The Danforth Campus
The Danforth campus lies just on the other side of Forest Park. It’s a quick, five-minute drive or a couple of MetroLink lightrail stops away, which is perfect if you just want a change of scenery. The architecture is stunning and offers a plethora of great study spots. The Olin Library is open 24/7, full of comfy chairs, secluded nooks and study rooms, and has Whispers Café (so you can replenish your blood glucose levels as needed!). Also make sure to check out the Law and East Asian libraries. While not open 24/7, they offer some beautiful, less populated study places. In the fall and spring, see who they’re bringing for Walk In Lay Down (WILD), the semiannual concert put on by the undergraduate Student Union; this past fall they brought Kygo and Magic Man. Medical students can purchase subsidized tickets, which get you both admittance and free food and alcohol. If you’re looking for other great events, Washington University a cappella (a.k.a. Histones) is phenomenal and the cultural shows (Diwali and Lunar New Year Festival) are always fun. No matter your reason, make sure to head over and explore at some point during your first year!
– Aisling L., M1
You may hear people refer to Barnes-Jewish Hospital as “Big Barnes,” and they call it that for a reason. As a first year, I still haven’t quite figured out where all of the sky-bridges go or what the difference is between the Johnson and the Mallinckrodt elevators. I’m learning fast though, and the medical campus is already starting to feel a little smaller. During your first year, you will spend some time in the hospital with your fourth-year clinical mentor, who will help you learn how to take a history and perform physical exams on real patients. You will also have ample opportunities to shadow in the hospital through programs established by our various interest groups. For example, I’ve shadowed in the Emergency Department through the Emergency Medicine Interest Group, in Labor and Delivery through the OB/GYN Interest Group, and in the surgery suites in the Center for Advanced Medicine through the Ophthalmology Interest Group. The St. Louis Children’s Hospital cafeteria is also a great place to grab some coffee when you’re at school studying late, and students get a discount!
– Danielle C., M1
At some point between interviewing and receiving your acceptance, Room 100 transforms from doomsday headquarters into a coffee and candy distribution center. Applicant status aside, the office is housed during normal business hours by friendly and ever helpful admission staff, but it takes an acceptance letter to see the rainbow through the rain. Many mornings and often between class, Room 100 is a place of congregation for medical students looking to vanquish the drowsiness or sweeten the tooth. As a first year student, it has become tradition to jump over the back row seats during a boring moment in class and hurry down to refill on caffeine, greeting those present in the office with gratitude that, by the end of your four years, will be hard to repay.
– Jeffrey H., M1