For students who are uncomfortable in crowds and crave quiet spaces, university can be daunting. However, there are ways to make the hustle and bustle of campus more bearable.
If you have a choice between an early class and a later one, always choose the early one. The strain of an early morning is worth it as campus is always quiet at 7:30. Not only will there be no crowds, but your class will likely have fewer people in it and lecturers often arrive early to 7:30s, allowing a few minutes of consultation time without making an appointment. Office hours and consultation times are your friend. If you have a question or don’t understand something during a lecture, accept that you’re not going to put your hand up in front of 400 other students and rather request an appointment to ask the lecturer privately.
Instead of studying at the Student Centre or Steers between classes, find somewhere a bit less busy. The library offers quiet spaces to work and you can often find an empty lecture hall all to yourself in the Humanities building. There are also study spaces in many buildings around campus, such as the Natural Sciences 1 Building, which has desks outside the Anatomy and Physiology department and there are tables in the Graduate Centre. If you don’t plan to study during your break and just need a quiet place to chill, the back room of Haloa provides both good coffee and a bit of tranquillity.
UP has many hidden quiet spaces for those who know where to look. For those who enjoy the outdoors there is the Botany building garden, the garden behind the Mathematics building, the benches outside Plant Sciences, or even a short bus ride away the LC de Villiers campus where you can enjoy some time under the trees. If you prefer the indoors there is always the music library in the Musaion.
For those who have found themselves with a roommate for the first time, it is recommended to invest in some noise cancelling headphones. You could also download some white noise to play when sleeping or studying.
When the hustle and bustle of campus becomes overbearing it is nice to know where to go to quietly work, or just get away for a bit.