A Test of Patience: The Trials & Tribulations of Studying in the College Library

Nearly November guys, mid-term assignments and reading weeks are coming up. You're now half way through the first semester...all the assignments and exam dates have been announced. So, you've decided that this year you're going to do yourself a favour and organize yourself a bit better and head down to the library.  Just mind that its a pool of contagious anxiety and stress which boils over and affects all in its presence. If you can put up with all these things and your own stress, you've stronger will than I. Or maybe you're one of those people that are ruining it for the rest of us.

1. The people.

Those noisy fuckers who seem to come into the library solely to make noise and not study. They shuffle, cough, listen to loud music through their headphones and make weird noises which could be their chair moving, but they're probably farting. People are the most irritating thing about the library and the most unavoidable. You just have to stick out the foot tapping and pen clicking. Vent on Twitter and try not to throw things at them, I know it'll be difficult.

2. Not finding the book you need.

You didn't buy the book the professor recommended for the course because there were tons of copies in the library. So you head over there to start on an essay, which is due in maybe a week - you had other stuff to do, like that beer pong tournament. You search for a good fifteen minutes trying to locate the book and when you find where it should be, all of the copies are gone! All you can do now is either find an alternative book or spend the rest of the day searching the floors of the library looking for the student that has it. The sneaky clever bastard.

3. Photocopiers/Printers.


When they aren't offline or not working, they're out of ink or paper. If you do get a working machine, chances are you haven't enough credit on your student card to print anything anyway! Why do you even bother?

4. Queuing.

For the photocopiers, printers, bathrooms, computers, to get to the service desk to pay a fine or check out a book. Each queue will last at least fifteen minutes because somehow everyone always wants the same thing at the same freaking time!

5. The self-check out machines.


Brilliant machines in theory but just like the ones at a supermarket they aren't always fantastic at scanning the bar codes. And then if it scans but doesn't show up on your account how are you supposed to know if it worked? Are you supposed to joining the other queue for the service desk? If you walk out will that stupid alarm go off?

6. Hunger.

Not for knowledge, for food. You're not supposed to eat or drink in there - for fear of crumbs or stains on the old tattered books - but you are starving. You know if you leave you may not come back for hours. The pull of the student coffee place will be too strong to resist. Not only are you in a dilemma over that, you spot some basic bitch eating chocolate covered almonds in the corner. You're torn between jealousy and fury.

7.  Forgetting things.


Like your notebook or charger. When your laptop starts running out of power you realize just how far we've come from the old days when everyone actually wrote out all their essays by hand. It must have taken forever. You wouldn't even have had time to procrastinate. The bleep to notify you of your laptop's imminent demise makes you anxious. Better go join the queue for the college computers, the horror.

8. Blocked websites.

Seeing as your laptop died, you queued for a while to get to use a college computer. Only to find when you get there that the college has blocked Facebook and other basically harmless websites because they know that we're all actually immature thirteen year olds underneath our college skins. Clever fuckers. At least we have smartphones.

9. The anxiety of leaving your stuff.


Leaving for lunch or to find a book? What about all the things you've brought with you? Your laptop? Chargers? Those pens which may or may not hold sentimental value. Some real dip-shits attend this college and might possibly steal your stuff...maybe. But are you really willing to risk it? Or is this just your paranoia brought on by stress and caffeine overdose taking over your thoughts? You compromise by taking all of your valuables and cover the desk with your notes so no one is going to want to clear it because they'll make too much noise and a mess.

10.Finding the book you need but its destroyed.

It's actually there! Success! You grab it and rush back to your seat, ready to take notes or go over to the photocopiers to copy the chapter you need; only to find the book is illegible. Some prick has written notes on every available empty space: in the columns, in between paragraph breaks. On top of that they've highlighted nearly everything in pink highlighter so if you photocopy it, it might not come out. Oh, the frustration!

11. Staff hate students.

They all assume we're going to destroy all the books, sneak food in and mess up the organisation of the shelves. Most of us are here to study! Don't judge us all the same! Library 'security' patrol the floors letting the little power they have go to their heads: mostly the authority to remove disruptive students or student's belongings if they've been gone for hours.

12. Being uncomfortable.

The heat is unbearable, you can barely breath in the stench of BO in the humid air. The chairs seem to have been designed to cripple you if you spend more than an hour in one position. It is a place of dread and stress. A place all college students must face. If you can conquer the library, you can conquer your exams. Good luck friends.

Orlaith Costello
Article written by
Orlaith is a Creative Writing graduate from NUI Galway. Hailing from the low lying fields of Athenry, or at least what’s left of the low lying fields. She enjoys the internet as a means of living vicariously through others from the safe confines of her own bed. She will initiate a dance off after at least two drinks on any given night out.

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