Campus Life warning

MAY CONTAIN NUTS Kickin’ back

Seeking out the best lounges at MIT

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The CSAIL Recreation Zone (32-D440) offers fun diversions from a hard day of coding.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech
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The Margaret Cheney Room (3-310) is a private space for MIT women complete with study areas, beds, showers, a kitchen, and a grand piano.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech
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The Green Room in the Infinite Corridor is a popular study destination between classes.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech
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The small Edgerton Lounge (NW10-034) has space to chat with friends as well as Athena computers and a printer.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech
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The large Edgerton Lounge (NW10-032) has table-top games and a wide-screen TV.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech
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The Tang Hall Lounge features a pool table and a flat panel TV mounted on the wall.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech
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The Given Lounge (35-520) is available with permission from the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity.
Alexander Chernyakhovsky—The Tech
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The CSAIL lounge (32-G950) is a popular location for larger events, like the kickoff of the CSAIL Olympics.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech
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The Black Students’ Union (BSU) Lounge (50-105) is a place for BSU members to relax and hold events.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech
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The Dreyfoos Lounge on the first floor of the Stata Center boasts group study areas.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech
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The Concourse Lounge (16-128), open only to Concourse students, boats a kitchen and seminar room.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech
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The Rainbow Lounge (50-005) has LBGT-related materials in addition to study spaces.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech
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The Marlar Lounge (37-252) has the perfect equipment for practicing presentations.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech

I entered the Rotch Library to a sea of coffee cups, books, laptops, and heads bent in intense concentration. As I took a sip from my own coffee cup, I realized that my life had evolved into this regimented schedule of sleep, work, extracurriculars, more work, food in between, and then back to sleep. I had no time to relax and from what I saw of my peers in the library, they didn’t either.

At MIT, especially during crunch time, it can be difficult to fit in relaxation time. Every caffeine-injected minute becomes valuable, and the stack of papers, p-sets, and exams becomes a colossal force to be reckoned with. In the process of battling the academic sphere of our lives, we become so engrossed in the heat of it all that we forget that we might potentially need to take a few minutes to relax with friends or sleep.

I decided that I was now going to adopt “study-parties” as my form of balancing a social life and academics. “Study-parties” are essentially times where a couple of friends and I do work together and take planned breaks every hour or so for about 10 minutes. In my search for places at MIT to combine social life and academics, I found a few lounges and study areas that effectively balance both. Here is my short-list of places where you can go with friends to have study-parties or hang out.

Rainbow Lounge (50-005)

The Rainbow Lounge, run by LBGT@MIT, is a cozy and bright space in the basement of Walker Memorial. Bright yellow walls complement red chaises in the main space and some basic study amenities are provided: a desktop, printers, sound system, and a DVD player for movies. There is also a small kitchenette that accommodates small cooking projects. For those of you who are like me, you’ll take solace in knowing that the lounge even has a stash of Dum Dum Pops. There is also an inner room adjoining the main area with a library of literature and movies associated with LBGT topics. Open from 2–5 p.m. Monday, 12–6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 12–5 p.m. Friday, the Rainbow Lounge offers a nurturing space that allows you to come in the middle of the day to do work or relax in a comfortable setting.

Lounges in Stata Center

There’s a lot more to Stata than I had originally thought. There are multiple lounges in various parts of Stata. Of the multiple options, I visited two large areas that were convenient for group p-setting or relaxing. There is a study space in the Gates Building on the ninth floor that has sofas, coffee tables, long tables conducive to group work, and whiteboards. There is also a “common area” on the fourth floor of Stata as you go towards the Dreyfoos Building that has multiple tables for students to sit together and hang out or do work. Though I didn’t personally visit other lounge spaces, there are small lounge areas within Stata that have dart boards and pingpong tables for those 10 minute breaks from work. Open 24/7 with ID access, these spaces are conducive to either work or relaxation.

Marlar Lounge (37-252)

Nestled in Building 37, the Marlar Lounge was a gem. It had the perfect space for hanging out, practicing presentations, or doing group work. The room is divided in half by a sliding divider. The left side has a conference room-type atmosphere with chairs, presentation screens, a projector, and a lectern to practice group or individual presentations. The right side houses multiple couches and tables to either do work or relax. Bring a board game or a deck of cards and play for a bit.

Margaret Cheney Room (3-310)

The Margaret Cheney Room, exclusively for MIT women, has an open lounge area with couches and tables. In the main foyer, there are a few large windows that bring light into the room to make the atmosphere warm and welcoming. There’s also a Steinway grand piano for the music aficionados who would like to get some musical relaxation in.

The Cheney room also boasts a kitchen and supplies for baking projects. And if you want to take a relaxing shower to calm your nerves, there’s also a shower room in the lounge.

Given Lounge (35-520)

The Given Lounge is open with special access from the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity. Go to the second floor of Building 35 to request access and the key for the lounge for any planned study parties you may have!

1 Comment
1
Divya Srinivasan almost 7 years ago

The following lounge was not mentioned in the article, but is certainly a spot you should check out! The Latino Cultural Center Lounge (Room W20-028) can be found in the basement of the Student Center. The "LCC Lounge" is a hub for Latino students and student organizations, as well as individual MIT community members who are interested in learning more about Latino culture. The Lounge is mainly used for student study breaks, socializing and studying during the day, and for group meetings and events in the evening and during the weekends.