This is an interesting phenomenon I observed in the self-study room today.
I reached the self-study room at 9:30am, and as I looked in front of me, I saw 6 people, all of which were sitting at the ends of the tables, and facing me (i.e. the back of the room). By the way, the next 2 people who entered took seats in a similar pattern.
As you would have realized, I was the only one in the room sitting in the middle of the row, and facing the opposite direction from them. You could tell the different motivation levels of “studying” between me and the rest of the students. Sitting at one end of the table decreases the possibility of being interrupted by anyone who comes and sits beside you, and facing the back of the room (away from the door) will minimize distractions from people entering and leaving the room. Perhaps it’s just my character, I always like to sit in the middle and face everyone else, such that I get increasingly engrossed in observing people, than reading my book or doing my work.
Perhaps a little off topic, but this phenomenon more or less explains how we instinctively choose our cubicles in the men’s toilet.