How to beat the uni library struggles

Flo Theoboldon 10 May 2023
A warmly lit industrial-looking aisle in a library.

Noisy students, smelly foods and no space are all things you might face in your uni library, here’s how to push past it.

If your cramped desk space is becoming an unproductive distraction, or working in the same spot every day is beginning to take a toll on your posture, doing something about it can be super beneficial. You could either change up your workspace to change your mindset or go elsewhere entirely.

Libraries are not always easy breezy. Whether these be big or small, you are bound to have experienced the struggles of group study spaces at one point or another. We can’t change these, but we can help you change your attitude towards them. 

Check out our tips for more productive library sessions below… 


How do you get past a lack of space?

What you’ll probably find on a campus library with thousands of students, the library and study spaces will fill up way too early. Unless you’re there when it opens, finding a spot to work becomes a lot harder than it should be. This can be super frustrating and throw off your motivation to study. 

There are a handful of ways to deal with a small study space:

  • Minimise the amount of stuff you put on the desk.
  • Go somewhere else to eat.
  • Take regular movement breaks to not feel boxed in.
  • Dress for comfort rather than beauty.


How do you deal with old tech in a uni library?

Another issue you might find in your uni library is outdated technology. This can be a real struggle when it comes to long loading times, missing software, and just nothing like what you need for your modern studies. 

Out of date technology can also be printers, bluetooth, headphones, all the things you easily have access to at home. If you're in the library and there’s no option to connect your bluetooth headphones, then watching that video you were assigned, unfortunately won't be an option.

If you have a laptop or tablet, take it along with you. Having your own tech will make sure it all works as appropriate. Also, if your course has specific technical requirements, the subject departments will always have computer rooms with said necessary software and/or equipment. 


How do you cope with a busy environment?

As a student the library can be an equally distracting and unproductive place as your cramped dorm room. This can be due to the previously discussed reasons or just the idea of a public space where inevitably there will always be something that could be a distraction. 

In order of most expensive to least, here are our recommendations for the best headphones and earbuds:

  1. Premium active noise cancelling headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM5 (RRP £380)
  2. Active noise cancelling headphones like Bose QuietComfort (RRP £239.95)
  3. Premium active noise cancelling earbuds like NuraTrue (RRP £199.99)
  4. Active noise cancelling earbuds like JBL Tune (RRP £79.99)
  5. Passive noise cancelling earplugs like Loop Quiet (RRP £19.95)
  6. Basic passive earplugs like these silicone earplugs (RRP £6.99)


How do you fight the urge to leave?

This is a tricky one. You can just walk out at any moment.

You have to find the best way to motivate yourself. For some people this can be changing tasks or environments to refresh their brain. For others it can be the promise of rewarding yourself.

It might take you your whole academic career to learn what works for you, but by putting in the effort to find out, you’ll motivate yourself that way.


How do you put up with other students’ shenanigans in the library?

The final struggle every student faces in the library is other students. Not everyone is going to sit in silence, stop fidgeting, and get their work done efficiently. A lot of students will use the library to have a ‘quiet’ gossip with friends, eat the loudest snacks you've ever heard, or play their music just that little bit too loud so you can hear it through their headphones. 

You don’t have many options for this one. People are distracting, but they are free to do as they please. Loud conversations, however, definitely should be addressed. Politely ask them to take it elsewhere, trust us, others will back you up.

What’s your university’s library like? Join our student panel and let us know. You’ll get 1000 reward points for signing up.

Flo Theoboldon 10 May 2023