Your days in the library might be over but you sure as heck haven't managed to escape these dark, dark memories just yet...
1. Loud crunching
Just as you're starting to focus on your essay, the person next to you decides it’s the ideal moment to whip out a packet of crisps. Not only does their crunching grate on you, but they also chose the smelliest of flavours.
2. Trying not to crunch yourself
Then the moment arrives when you want to eat your lunch, and you realise that you’re in the same situation, but in reverse, and you have to resort to stealth-crunching. Why oh why did you bring the noisiest foods? And you also have the annoying-af problem of keyboard crumbs.
3. People answering phone-calls
Twenty minutes later, the crunching on both parts has subsided, and you’re all set with a belly full of food to carry on with your essay - but not for long, because someone, out of nowhere, shouts “HELLO, YEAH I’M IN THE LIBRARY MATE”, disrupting all peace.
4. Receiving a phone-call
Again, the situation gets reversed when your phone, politely put on silent, lights up with an incoming call, and internal breakdown unfolds. Should you leave your seat to answer it? Or let it ring off? But what if it’s important? And worst of all, what if someone steals your space, which are few and far to come by in exam season?
5. People loudly whispering…
After dealing with the phone-call situation, you can finally work in the peace and quiet of your surroundings and really start to focus. At least you think. Enter stage left: A group of giggling freshers, trying to keep it to a whisper, but failing miserably. And they don’t seem to get the hint from everyone glaring at them.
6. …or not whispering at all
And there’s also those that don’t even try to whisper, using the library as a space for social gathering. Sure, they might be discussing the work, but you really don’t want the sound of a maths student rambling about x, y and z in the background when you’re writing an English Lit essay.
7. Coughing, sneezing, burping, farting, you name it
Finally, somebody calls what everyone knows as the “library police”, the noise-makers are given a stern word, and silence prevails. But, after a while, this is rudely interrupted by the guy opposite you letting one rip. He doesn’t even seem fazed by it, and just sits there proudly smirking to himself.
8. Trying to hold in your own coughs and sneezes
You might not take it as far as flatulence, but a cough is acceptable, right? You feel an attack coming on and try as you might to hold it in, it just has to come out. You’re not sure if you go red from a lack of oxygen or embarrassment at interrupting the dead silence.
9. Loud music
The whole time, there’s been a muffled beat blasting out from someone’s earphones, and you can’t quite figure out whose. You wish they’d realise and turn it down a bit…
10. Trying to stifle your own music
You give up and decide to try and drown out the noise with your own music. But it’s all too much… what if you cause the same problem as the previous guy? In desperation, you comically take your earphones out at regular intervals and hold them at a slight distance to test whether other people can hear them, hoping no-one’s watching.
11. Hopeless wanderers
Noise aside, the stress of exams leads everything to irritate you. Every twenty minutes or so, someone comes in and does a loop of the room, desperately searching for a seat, and the movement in the corner of your eye is really distracting. Tough luck mate, you’ve got to come early if you want to bag a space, that’s just how it goes!
12. The loyal home-dogs
Those of you who do come in early are creatures of habit and tend to go for the same spots every day - it’s a comfort thing. Smiles are exchanged with your “library friends” every now and again - as much as you annoy each other, you’ve got each other’s backs.
The headphones are in, people have given up looking for a space, and you finally have the perfect environment to get on with your work. But wait, you’d better check your emails first. And reply to them. And text your mum, you haven’t done that in a while. And have you organized your schedule? Before you start, you make an elaborate plan of everything you need to do, thinking it’s productive, but in reality, you know it’s just to put off doing what actually needs to be done.
14. Unexpected focus
Once all that’s out of the way, you actually find yourself in a surprising state of focus, spurred on by the pressure of all the productive people around you, and boy does it feel good. No matter what the distractions, you know you’ll get it all done in the end. You've got this! We believe in you.
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