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It’s exam season everywhere, which means that library spaces are scarce, the silent area of the library is actually silent, and food wrappers cover every available surface. During finals week, the library is more of a silent battlefield for tables, chairs, and books. Those who have managed to locate available resources refuse to give them up for hours on end. So now what?

1. Be one of those people who hoard resources

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Contrary to what all of your friends say, they will not get to the library early tomorrow to snag a seat. In fact, a lot of people claim that they will wake up early the next day to study, but this doesn’t often pan out. Our beds are just so comfortable. If you do manage to get out of bed early (and I mean like 8 am on a Sunday), snag one of the silent study desks at the library and claim your study space for the day. When you have to get up for a break, reserve your table according to the following guidelines. Try to keep your break times to a minimum. Leaving and reserving your study space for more than 30 minutes is just selfish. Get your food, go to the bathroom, and go back to the library.

Acceptable forms of reserving a table include:
– Leaving your bag on the desk / chair (take your valuables with you though!)
– Sprawling all of your notebooks on the desk
– Asking a friend to save a seat for you

Unacceptable forms of reserving the table include:
– Leaving a textbook that you pulled from the library stacks on the desk
– Pouring coffee on the table
– Hiding all of the chairs

2. Wear quiet shoes

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This isn’t just for girls in heels. It’s for just about anybody who isn’t wearing running shoes. Libraries echo and footsteps are irritating, especially in silent study areas. If you are going to pace around the library to look for a seat, make sure that you aren’t disturbing your fellow schoolmates. Otherwise, they will glare a hole into your back until you leave out of guilt.

3. Bring a cushion

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Your tushie and your back will thank you. Besides, you know that fatigue will take over your body eventually. The cushion can double as a pillow. (You could also just bring a pillow.)

4. Choose your friends carefully

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You favorite friend to party with may not be your favorite study buddy. Make sure that the people you study with are quiet and focused. They will guilt you into studying even when you don’t want to, if only because they’re studying so hard, and won’t disturb you when you finally get in the zone. You should also pay attention to how many people you are studying with. I find that anything bigger than a group of four to be unproductive.

What matters the most is that we share the study space and do our best on these exams.

Here’s to another successful exam season!

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What’s your library strategy?


Featured photo via Thinkstock