Goodbyes don’t sit well with me. I’ve never liked them, and never will. When my pet fish Greeny – yes, he was green – died, I silently thanked my mom for flushing him down the toilet before I got home from school because she saved me from a hard goodbye.
But Thursday, when I stumbled back onto the Hill from a night out, I wish I got to say goodbye. Bruin Cafe closed at midnight and I was heartbroken.
Now that The Study at Hedrick boasts of staying open until 2 a.m., Bruin Cafe shuts down at midnight. Besides being a great conversation starter, The Study’s grand opening this quarter serves as a painful reminder of my memories with Bruin Cafe that I’ll never be able to relive. I’ll no longer be able to walk over from Sproul at 1 a.m. and grab a coffee to get me through a night of studying for midterms. My roommate grieves the loss of her favorite late-night study spot, a matter I never fail to hear about every night. I don’t have the luxury of ordering myself an overly cheesy turkey and provolone sandwich – without the turkey of course – and now have to settle for crepes and quiches.
Sure, you can call me spoiled for complaining about a $9.1 million study lounge and fancy food. But is the Study really worth the money? Second-year psychobiology student Lovelyn Edillo doesn’t mind the price tag.
“I’m a big fan of how it looks so it really doesn’t bother me too much,” she said. “They should just fix the food. And if it attracts all the attention away from the lounges near me, I’m happy.”
Overcrowding at popular lounges such as the one in Sproul Landing leaves stressed students feeling even more frustrated. Edillo pointed out that the Study provides students with an alternative spot to work, making room in other lounges for people who live farther from Hedrick Study.
However, Edillo still does not prefer the Study over Bruin Cafe if she wants to make a quick food run late at night.
“The study is too far and I live in Sproul Hall,” she said. “Bruin Cafe is much more accessible and I’m too lazy to leave my dorm past 12 anyway.”
Bruin Cafe is in a prime location on the Hill. It’s close enough for residents of Sunset Village and Sproul to make a quick trip over, and convenient enough for residents of Rieber and Hedrick to stop by on their way up to their rooms. Hedrick Study, on the other hand, is one of the farthest residential buildings from the Hill.
I’m also not a big fan of Hedrick Study’s food. Second-year psychobiology student Suraj Palaparty agrees.
“Bruin Cafe has real food and not little crepes,” he said. “Real food is usually what I’m going for at 1 a.m. so I don’t like the switch.”
Although the displays of elegantly garnished tartines and waffles are pleasing to the eye, their taste doesn’t exactly match up. The crepes were subpar and the waffles were soggy. For me, they’re not as filling as an overflowing Bruin Cafe sandwich, so I’m not thrilled to waste a swipe on them. Additionally, there’s virtually no vegan food options besides fruits and beverages. For a multimillion-dollar project, it wasn’t fully thought through.
I feel fortunate to go to a school that puts this much time and energy into providing me with top notch facilities. But do I think $9.1 million facilities are necessary? Definitely not. I’d rather the money be spent on more dorm buildings so freshmen don’t have to be crammed into triples, or on improving Counseling and Psychological Services, to better serve the actual pressing needs of struggling students. The Study will take some warming up to do, but Bruin Cafe will always hold a special spot in our hearts.