It’s 12:30 a.m., and Sarah Bigley, a visual communications major, is still in the Mundelein Center. She said she’s been there since 8 p.m., and had no plans to leave anytime soon.
Bigley isn’t alone.
While some Loyola students are cozied up in their dorms after nightfall, others stay up into the early morning hours studying or working on assignments. Two places on campus that remain active with some late-night student activity are Mundelein Center and the Klarchek Information Commons (IC).
Mundelein is the biggest building on campus with 57 rooms. The building also houses an auditorium, theater, music hall and study lounge. Every day, hundreds of students file through Mundelein to and from class. Most students are done with their classes by the late afternoon, but some stay into the early hours of the morning to work on projects.
The entrance to Mundelein locks up at 9:30 p.m. or 10:00 p.m., depending on the day, but that doesn’t stop students from working there after hours. Their only obstacle is campus security officers who monitor the building.
“Oh, this is after hours, alright,” Jack McCusker, a senior visual communications and advertising and public relations double major, said at 11:45 p.m.
McCusker, 22, said some campus security officers were OK with him staying overnight if he closed up his space when he left. But, McCusker said other security officers were more strict about him leaving. Many students said they were frustrated because the building is not open 24 hours a day.
Those that spend late nights in the building often do so repeatedly, such as Bigley who says she tends to spend her Monday and Wednesday nights in Mundelein instead of sleeping. Henry Espinoza, a sophomore psychology major, and two of his friends like to study in the same room each time. They were found there both before and after spring break working on biology homework and psychology study guides.
“It’s like our second home,” Espinoza said.Mundelein might not seem like the obvious studying spot for many, but that is why some choose it in the first place. Espinoza said he prefers Mundelein because it’s more spacious and less crowded than the IC.
The IC is open 24 hours, and it’s a hub for studying. It’s bustling with students throughout the day, but the numbers start dwindling after 11 p.m. The PHOENIX counted about 20 students on each of the IC’s first three floors at 12:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 15. Students continued to stream out throughout the next hour.
A few students came into the IC, but by 3 a.m., there were about 20 students — not including overnight employees — in the IC.
Loyola nursing major Hannah Reilly was studying for an exam in the adjoining Cudahy Library and moved to the IC at midnight. She said she notices changes as the night transitions into the next day.
“You see everybody start leaving and it gets quieter,” the 21-year-old junior said. “When I first got [to Cudahy] … people were talking, laughing, joking around and you could see people walking back and forth and doing things. Now it’s dead silent.”
Some students like to study in the quiet environment at night.
First-year Clare Brees-Oswald said working on schoolwork late helps her stay productive.
“I’ll write papers at night really well because I can just focus,” the 19-year-old nursing major said. “Everybody else is asleep, so my phone doesn’t blow up [with notifications]. I don’t usually study at night, though, unless it’s a really big test.”
Back in Mundelein, Bigley was still hard at work at 2 a.m.
“Good enough,” Bigley said as she finished up a portion of her project. She did not end up getting any sleep that evening, but she did finish all her work.
Although late nights and all-nighters are a staple in some students’ lives, some studies suggest it’s not a healthy practice. The PHOENIX previously reported studying late can affect test performance, and it affects cognitive performance.