Photo: Metro

An Open Letter to Freshers in the Library

Use the library, but don’t be an ass about it.

Look, I didn’t want to have to write this article. I don’t dislike freshers. I have friends who are freshers. I am on committees with freshers, and most of you are pretty greatBut, with all that said, I do have a problem with freshers.
More specifically, I have a problem with Freshers using the library.  
Now, to clarify, this isn’t going to be one of those articles. I don’t think being an honours student means I have a God-given right to respect and deference, or even a library seat, and I’m certainly not arguing for a blanket ban of first years from the library. They have just as much right to take out books, or take up space, as anyone else, and I do find it just a little rich when friends of mine who live on Market Street complain because a gaggle of freshers have somehow made it to the library from DRA or Albany Park before they could. (Although, by virtue of living near Morrisons, I reserve the right to judge both parties).  
Photo: Hercampus

No, my problem is not with the first years simply using the Library, it’s with the way some of you do so. You know what I mean. Congregating in packs near my favoured study spots. Laughing. Talking loudly. Enjoying all the frolics and freedoms that come with only needing to get a 7 in order to justify their continued presence in The Bubble. And, again, they’re free to do that. Just not when I’m trying to study. I mean, for f*cks sake guys, I’m an English student – my prospects for employment are shaky enough even without you distracting me. And I understand that you genuinely think you’re making good use of your time with your “group study sessions”. I did as well, before I realised I had to start caring about my grades. Pro-tip: If you’re laughing loud enough to distract passers by during your “group study session,” then you’re not having a group study session. You’re having a friendly, gossipy catch-up with your books out. In the Library. While I’m trying to work/study/shed silent tears over my shattered hopes and dreams, and how the outside looks so, so beautiful but also so, so, unreachable, and the fast-approaching realisation that soon I’ll have to graduate, and try and find a job and oh god what are some of these terrible choices I’ve…  

Sorry. That wasn’t all meant to come out.
Photo: The Tab
But you take my point. If you want to treat academics as an optional add-on to drinking and socialising, that is absolutely your prerogative. But it’s also your obligation to be a little more respectful of those who don’t have that luxury. And yes, I know, there are also second years and honours students – hell, probably postgrads as well – who treat the library like it’s a kitchen in halls, but those people are bad, and irresponsible, and you should not follow their example. 
The point is, this is a small town. Students rubbing each other up the wrong way is bound to happen and library overcrowding is unfortunately a fact of life. But we can minimise all of that by treating each other with respect. So, first years, here’s an easy to follow rule about library use: you can use the library, but if everyone can tell that you’re a fresher, you probably shouldn’t be there.

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