Norlin is great. It has a million places to study, plus coffee and food. So it always confuses me when people tell me they never go to the library. Well, until I go to the library and run into the infinitely annoyingly weird people. Then I understand. Here are a few ways to avoid being that person in Norlin.
Only take up as much space as you need
During midterms and finals, the library gets crowded. Good luck finding a seat where you’re not uncomfortably close to strangers studying for their exams or writing a paper. The limited capacity of the library is frustrating, but usually you can find a seat somewhere. But when you’re scanning room after room for a seat and you keep running into tables dominated by one person and their books and papers and laptop and backpack and spirals and notes and old tests and pens and markers and three Red Bulls from the Laughing Goat… that’s annoying. You’re one person. Yeah, you probably have a lot of stuff. But you don’t need the whole desk, and it’s ridiculous to pretend you do. Recycle your empty Red Bull cans, stack your notebooks, throw your backpack on the floor, and leave the stuff you don’t need in it.
Keep your food to yourself
There have definitely been times where I would not have eaten all day if not for the Laughing Goat. They have soup, chips, cookies, bread, candy, yogurt, and coffee, soda, water, juice and tea… basically something for everyone. I love The Laughing Goat, even if it might be a little overpriced. Go buy some soup or chips and bring them back to your desk to help you concentrate on your paper instead of your stomach. But, don’t be the person that chews with their mouth open, spraying half-eaten chips all over the table. Don’t be the person that slurps their soup so loudly that the person next to you wants to vomit. Odds are your mother raised you to chew with your mouth closed and not make disgusting noises while you eat. So don’t embarrass her. Just because you’re studying, or maybe you have headphones in, it doesn’t give you the right to be absolutely disgusting. It’s distracting and rude.
Don’t hog the computers
Carrying my laptop around in my backpack can get heavy. If I can avoid lugging it around campus, I definitely do. That means, though, that sometimes I need to use the computers in the library. This might surprise you, but the computers aren’t there for you to check your Facebook or watch cat videos on YouTube or even Tweet about the annoying girl sitting behind you that won’t stop giggling. So do the rest of us a favor, and do that on your smart phone or bring your own computer, or just wait until you get home. On a similar note, if you’re sitting at a computer with your laptop open beside you, you are dead to me. I understand using the library computers for printing or scanning instead of your laptop, but there really isn’t any another reason for you to monopolize the public computer when you have your laptop too.
Adjust the volume
There are certain parts of the library that are loud, and there are certain parts of the library that are quiet. If you’ve been in the library more than twice, you probably have figured that out. If you want to talk or work on a group project, head to one of the louder parts of the library. And if you want to work in quiet or you can’t concentrate with noise, go to the quieter parts. Don’t be the person that’s trying to shush people when you’re writing your paper in a part of the library where everyone talks. Don’t be the person that’s breaking the silence and talking to your friend when it’s completely quiet in the room otherwise. You don’t want to piss anyone off during midterms or finals – students under lots of stress aren’t very forgiving, and honestly, kind of scary.