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How to Live in the Library

How to Live in the Library

By Contributor

Courtney Guth is surviving on Skittles and a prayer. How's your finals prep going? —Sparkitors

At last, Finals Week has arrived! It’s almost time to pack up and leave for the summer, but before I can confidently assert that I’ve survived my first year of college, I need to endure these last few exams and papers. It’s going to be tough since the weather is lovely, but if I shut myself in the library for a few days, I can probably manage to survive. It’s time to grab the essentials, lock my dorm door, and hit the books, because I won’t be returning until my studying is done.

Every student has his or her own study location preferences. Some head over to the lawn for a sunshine-saturated study session, while others work best sweating it up with their books at the gym. The combination of these two is called GTS: Gym, Tan, Study. I’m not from New Jersey and I’m pretty old school, so I always end up in the library.  
There’s something about being surrounded by a plethora of anthologies and that lovely musty old book smell that makes me want to continue studying. My friend and I prefer to travel into the deep abyss of our library in order to complete our work. With seven floors of literary fun, my school’s library is a bibliophile’s dream come true. It’s no surprise that students frequently flock here during finals week. Some even set up camp, refusing to leave until it’s time for their final. In order to make it through the craziness, a survival guide is certainly in order.

Step One: Secure a spot. When navigating the library to procure the perfect study spot, it’s often best to travel alone. You’re never going to find a table to fit your group of eleventy-seven people—ever. Forget what they told you; there isn’t safety in numbers. In this literary jungle, it’s every student for himself. Once you find that Holy Grail of a spot, do not leave. No matter how hungry you are or how badly you need to use the restroom, do not give up your spot. It will not be there when you return, and neither will your belongings.

Step Two: Eat. Marathon study sessions make you hungry. Be sure to bring a well-balanced meal to the library. Mine currently consists of Skittles, Pull ‘N’ Peel Twizzlers, and a bottle of Sobe—yum! If your library doesn’t allow food, practice the age-old art of stealthily sneaking it in. It’s basically a college right of passage, right up there with streaking across the mall or swimming in the fountain. I recommend using a purse or satchel.

Step Three: Indulge in distractions. Aside from the adorable guy three study carrels over, you’re going to need something to entertain you during your study break. My latest habit has been watching Arrested Development on Netflix, but everyone has his or her own preferences. I don’t recommend turning to Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, or Stumble Upon. You’ll get sucked in, and before you know it, an hour of creeping has passed and you still have seven pages left to write for that paper on the pedagogy and working in a writing center…not that that has happened to me or anything.

Step Four: Leave offerings. When all else fails, turn to your school’s mascot. My school’s beloved mascot, Testudo the Terrapin (that’s right, fear the turtle) sits right in front of the library in all his terrapin-esque majesty. During midterms and finals, students frequently step outside of the library to leave offerings to him. You’ll find anything from Starbucks Coffee, to mints, to small amounts of change. Anything goes when it coems to Finals Week. All hail the mighty terrapin!

So there you have it: all you need to know to survive living in the library during finals week. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to leave some of these leftover Skittles for my good friend Testudo.

Do you live in the library during finals week? Are you there right now??

Related post: How to Fight Final Exams

Topics: Life, College Advisor
Tags: studying, exams, libraries, college life, the daily trials of an english major, finals week

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