On my tour of St. Olaf, the enthusiastic tour guide led my mom and me up three flights of stairs to the then-newly renovated Holland Loft. I remember telling my mom that I would always study there if I went to St. Olaf. I question now, when I look back — what about the exposed pipes and steel beams appealed to me? Was I really into colorless industrial interior design?
16-year-old me misread the room as a cozy study spot — comfortable is the last word I would ever use to describe the sixth floor today. The furniture choices and placement feel like an afterthought. The comically large conference table, uncomfortable couches, and high tables directly next to the air vents ensure you will never be able to enjoy a relaxing study session. You constantly have to repeat yourself if you attempt group work. Even if you just want to snuggle up and read, you risk falling between the two sections of the couches or having to put on a jacket at the chilly high tables.
As a “Holland major,” I spend a lot of time between classes in the lounges that fill Holland’s first five floors. But the sixth floor, the loft, will always be hostile. With its cold, industrial design, the loft is more of a window into the structure of the building than a pleasant place to do readings between classes.
Caroline Geer is from Northville, Mich.
Her majors are sociology/anthropology and race and ethnic studies.