Do quiet study hours mean productive study hours?


Nichola Monroe ('22)

Jojo Jiang (‘22) plays “Not-Tetris” at 9:08 p.m..

Imagine you have had three long academic classes. A mountain of homework assignments awaits you after afternoon activities. You eat dinner, you do check-in, you take your mountain, and head down to Fawcett Library. You focus for two hours and get a good chunk of your work done, but it’s 8:55 p.m., and you know you have to go back to your room for independent quiet study hours. 

After walking for three minutes back to your dorm, you realize: burn-out is real. You have reached the crackhead-hour. Nothing will get done now that you have entered the period of procrastination at its purest. You might as well give up now. 

During individual quiet study hour, students must remain in their rooms and silently study from 9 to 10 p.m. The handbook also states that if students have finished their homework, they should work ahead, read a book, or do any activity that is quiet and will not distract any roommates and dormmates nearby. It is a time to try and help those who procrastinate to get at least one hour of work done.

Sarah Lantz, VWS Dean of Students, said, “In setting aside that time, we feel that if nothing else, there is one hour in the evening where everybody has some kind of quiet time, some kind of downtime … to be working on their own.”

However, many students agree that the individual quiet study hour is not as effective as it may seem.

Joanna Yap (‘22) said, “Our generation easily does that on a daily basis… so it doesn’t really encourage me to study or do homework, it just makes me want to procrastinate even more. I think students will do their work when they want to.”

Students often claim that the individual quiet study hour is annoying because they need to finish up some group work that took longer than two hours.

Mrs. Lantz responds, “Group work is great, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done individually.”

And while I agree, confinement to a silent dorm room can also create an unproductive environment.

Joanna Yap (‘22) said, “I think people work differently and I think people don’t always work best quietly. Sometimes students need chaos or music blasting to get their work done. I just don’t get any work done during independent study hour.”

The independent study hour can also be confusing because it is not consistently enforced.