I’ve never really been much of a “library revision” kind of person. Something about how silent libraries are gives a chatterbox like me so much anxiety. To top it off, I’m also that annoying friend who constantly disturbs everyone else’s revision to show them memes because clearly quality memes are most appreciated when you’re nose deep in a textbook (to all my sixth form friends, I’m sorry guys!).
However, university has hit me differently. I might as well not be paying for accommodation at this point considering how I spend the majority of my time on the fourth floor of the library – and yes, for all those aunties out there, I swear I’m actually working! I’m at the point where all I have to do is type “I’m” and my phone automatically suggests “at the library” which is both simultaneously useful and downright annoying when you think about it. I remember at the start of first term, my parents would call me at around 10 pm and I’d reply with “Hi guys, I’m just working in the library right now – I’ll call you back later” to which they’d respond with words of shock and a few snickers of disbelief.
“What are you really up to?” they’d say, “Out with friends right now?”
“No, I’m genuinely just at the library.”
These days, I could be at the library until three in the morning and they wouldn’t question me. Why would I want to be there that long, you ask?
Well, for starters, the library is like its own social networking platform. Now, I know I’m not a maths student but I do think I’m safe to say there’s a very large chance you’ll bump into someone you know at some point. If you don’t want to talk to them, you’ll probably end up looking in their direction a few times (we’ve all stalked people on Facebook – this is no different).
The fourth and fifth floors of the library also have some pretty great seating options, in my opinion. The curvy desk booths that can be found in groups of three desks (or the “Kidney Booths” as I like to call them) are probably my favourite bit. In fact, I don’t think I’d go to the library at all if it wasn’t for them! They offer privacy without making you feel like you’re alone and secluded because of the people all around you. The group study bit on the first floor is also pretty amazing with its booths and big whiteboards – that’s if you manage to actually find a free table! Having large and accessible whiteboards might seem trivial to some of you reading this, but something about having them there gives the whole place such a cool vibe.
Now this probably seems like a given, but the library cafe and how long it’s open is definitely a motive to go. I’m a pretty lazy person so going back home after a five hour late night revision session to cook pasta is not my cup of tea. I’m not saying the library cafe has the best food, but it definitely has something to keep you going and, of course, coffee.
A good coffee break is honestly so underrated.
To conclude, I’d like to say I’m still the person who annoys everyone with a good one or two memes (okay, maybe fifteen) and, sometimes, a five minute conversation or Instagram break can easily turn into an hour. There’s also times where I find myself just staring off into nothingness and then end up accidentally making awkward eye contact with the person sat five rows away. The heating occasionally makes me feel like I’m in a sauna and sometimes I want to rip my hair out because Panopto keeps buffering and my phone has no service.
However, all of this is part of the library experience and it’s honestly kind of fun.