Your not-so-secret secret study space: the department lounge

Ask any student at a university and they will each have their “secret something” on campus: their secret to getting cheap food, a secret bathroom that no one uses, and perhaps most coveted: a secret, non-crowded, silent study space.

Since about 22,500 students call UVic home, a secret study space is worth its weight in gold – but what if I told you that there might be a space that isn’t so secret, has your name on it, and is probably waiting for you and your peers to study in? I’m talking about your department lounge.

Almost all departments at UVic have a student lounge that is set aside for study, is chock-full of resources and can sometimes be a place for extra help and group tutoring.

books on shelves

Welcome to your new favourite study spot: your department lounge!

In the Department of French and Francophone Studies, our lounge is called Le Salon and it’s my cozy spot on campus. 5 tiers of French literature, dictionaries of every linguistic niche, and reference books and annotations and commentaries surround me as I get into a mindset of studying French.

It’s a designated “en français, SVP” space, so no English conversation allowed – but why would I want to speak English, when the flurries of “Bonjour”s and “Ça va bien, toi”s filling the space just outside the door remind me of how grateful I am to be studying such a magnificent language and culture in the best college town on the west coast!

An awesome blast from the past with a picture of the French club from almost 40 years ago! The abundance of scarves really make it French. I think we should bring the hair back.

The sights and the sounds of my little corner of campus encourage me to keep pushing on, and contribute to feeling at home on a macro “the University of Victoria is BC’s second largest undergrad university” scale, but also in the micro “there are fewer than 500 students that take French classes at UVic” scale.

Maybe the secret of the department lounge isn’t the room itself. Rather, the feeling of fulfillment you get when you’re immersed in the space and a sense of community when you’re surrounded by those who love to learn the same things as you do are what are worth tapping into.

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2 Responses

  1. john threlfall says:

    Great tip! Way back when I was a history undergrad in the early ’90s, I always used the dept study room—and it was generally empty and always quiet! I even ended up getting a workstudy position as the study room supervisor, since I was always in there anyway.

    • Justin says:

      Thanks for reading along, John! If you were a fly in the wall of that otherwise unassuming room in CLE, you’d see me in Le Salon every day. Something I didn’t mention was how the department lounges are a great way to meet your professors outside of class and get to know them as people, even if it’s just to pass by their office and say “hello”!