As we roll into the exam season, the inevitable debate arises over whether first years really need access to the library as other, older panicked students dash past the barriers from 8am on peak days to nab a hotly contested seat or box in the silent study area. It might come as a shock to second and third years alike, but us freshers have as much right as any other year group to use the library.
I understand the misconception that many must have, as they try to comprehend: “Why are you even in the library in the first place? You do realise you only need 40% to pass the year right?” My response: why stress myself out in second or third year attempting to understand how the library’s (often cryptic and chaotic) shelving system works? This would be at the same time as I’m dashing around at the eleventh hour, trying to find that absolute diamond of a quotation as the clock slowly ticks away for a deadline that actually does count.
To be honest with you, I have found that it can be a cocophony of third years printing off their draft dissertations for the nth time that irritates everyone. It’s their sheer volume (in number and noise) that is disruptive, not the first years, who sigh collectively as they frantically scribble corrections in red biro all over their fresh masterpieces, hot off the press.
Whilst we may not always be the most hardworking compared to our older scholarly colleagues, our presence cannot be viewed as a hindrance by others just because their work, in their eyes at least, is seen to be more important.
If third years really want to bag a seat, why not bring a sleeping bag and set up shop in the corner or down a library aisle?
Just a thought.