I write this sitting deep underground in one of the most uncomfortable wooden chairs I have ever sat on at 10:52 in the morning. 

I can only hear the hum of air conditioning and constant typing. The light above me is almost yellow enough that it doesn’t resemble hospital LED-lights, but it’s still bright enough that it burns into my retina, even if I dare to close my eyes. Books are meticulously arranged in black metal shelves that are too smooth and don’t feel cold or warm or any temperature. There’s an outlet right below the black leather table I have my laptop propped on, so I can never stand up and my laptop will never die, which means that I am obligated to do my work. There’s an image of a missing cat named “Forbes” who was last seen on March 4. I can feel the tears of students that have evaporated into the air around me. 

I’m doing what most, if not all, Yale students do at least once in their Yale career: sit in Bass. 

I’m only here for research purposes; I don’t come here on principle. Unlike countless other students who claim that Bass is one of the most productive places to work in, I think that it is the most unmotivating place on campus. As I walked down the stairs from Sterling Library to Bass, memories of first-year Isa scrambling to write English papers or trying to figure out a statistics p-set emerge from the grave. I was so innocent and young, I had no idea where I truly was. Descending further down the red-brick hallway, I felt an increasing weight on my shoulders, making my backpack feel heavier. Gravity decided that it wanted a piggy-back ride, and it grabbed onto me and pushed me down closer to the ground. 

If I had tripped down the steps, it would have made sense: the weight from the pressure and the stress that consumed the air would have been more than enough. I might have stayed there on the gray carpeted floor. I don’t think anyone would have noticed; so many people stare into their screens that I think all peripheral vision is lost until the last word is written, the last question is answered, the last line of code is typed, the last index card is memorized. Bass is the place where things get done. And while good grades, graduation and admission to graduate school is a fine goal, I’m not a fan of working into the wee hours of the night. I prefer seeing what long, good-quality sleep feels like.

When I ask students who frequent this place “Why? Why here?” it’s almost always because they feel like they have no choice. They need to grind and cram. Though I would argue that there is always a choice. There are so many other locations on campus where one could study. The Beanjamin, Haas Library, Blue State — oh wait. Scratch Blue State. There’s just two other places. But really anywhere is better than Bass. 

I have nothing against the people who work here; it’s not our fault that we have to do homework and get them done in time. In the wise words of my Mami, “That’s college. What else would you be doing?” It’s the place. For a library whose name is a homonym of a fish, an instrument and a tone, it is not as exciting as any of these things. It’s clickbait.

If I ever say that I’m studying, find me in the Good Life Center, sitting in an orange bean bag and coloring.

Isa Dominguez is a current co-editor for the Opinion desk and a staff columnist for the News. Originally from Doral, Florida, she is a senior in Timothy Dwight College majoring in English.