12 types of people you’ll see in the library: Cambridge edition

Exam stress affects everybody differently, and there’s no place better to see that in action than in the College library


As a sequel to our last article recounting the 12 types of people you’ll meet clubbing in Cambridge, we’re back and better than ever with an article that’s slightly more relevant to exam term than that one turned out to be. So, without further ado, here are the 12 types of people you’ll definitely have seen in the library at some point or other over the past two months.

The Sidge Fashion Icon

We all know this person: you agree to meet at 10am at the library, and you show up looking washed-up and sleep deprived in joggers & Crocs, only for them to turn up 45 minutes late with immaculately-styled hair and a full face of makeup, with an outfit fit for the runway.

The History Library and RFB on Sidge: the place to find some Fashion Icons. Image credits: joseph beuys hat via the Creative Commons License.

But as jealous as you might be when you first see them, you know full well that all they’ll do is sit there fiddling with their hair, checking themselves out in the library window and touching up their makeup every half an hour. Who’s the real winner here?

The Pyjama Queen

The antithesis of the Sidge fashion icon, these two could not be more different. The pyjama queen rolls out of bed, chugs some coffee, and saunters with all the confidence in the world right into the nearest library. The thought of getting dressed doesn’t even cross their mind – why should they? Time is money, and they’ve got in in spades.

The All-Nighter

This person only woke up at 4pm, was in the library 30 minutes later, and yet here they are now, at 2am, still going strong in the College library. In their depths of their caffeine-fuelled study sesh, there’ll be Red Bull cans littering the desk, papers strewn everywhere, and frantic typing at a speed no normal human could attain. Don’t even try to talk to them: their 9am deadline will body block any attempt at conversation.

The Early Bird

Every day, somebody has to be the first person to head into their Faculty library.

Someone will be waiting right here at 8:45… Image credits: huangcjz (left) and Sebastian Ballard (right) via the Creative Commons License

And you bet this particular Early Bird will be there waiting from 8:45 onwards for the librarian to unlock the doors at 9am on the dot – and they’ll probably be tapping their toes in impatience for those long fifteen minutes, too. But as they say, early bird catches the worm.

The Clique

Every college has one. The library clique. They come and go in a pack, never one without the other. At lunchtime? They’ll head out arm-in-arm and leave their bags strewn across their chosen section of the library, daring any one to so much as approach. Time for a toilet break? More like an opportunity for a group study break. And come evening time? They’ll head over to the College bar together – inseparable. As always.

The Dramatic Sigher

This person will let out the loudest sigh you’ve ever heard… Every 5 minutes, or whenever they hit a minor hurdle with their work. If everyone was The Dramatic Sigher, the library would sound like the inside of an aircon unit 24/7, but thankfully, not everyone can be this melodramatic.

The Crocs Fangirl 

Crocs have made a monumental comeback as of late to become the new it-girls of fashion, lighting up catwalks across the globe and kickstarting a world-renowned Croc revival… Or, at least, you’d think they had if you stepped inside any Cambridge College library at any point this term.

This is the number of pink Crocs you will see in any Cambridge library. Image credits: loop_oh and tonysladeuk via the Creative Commons License

The Crocs Fangirl, in their irritatingly pink pair of Crocs, will invariably make an appearance at some point during any Easter Term library trip.

The Crier

Oh dear. Maybe we’ve all been The Crier at some point in our lives, but this person will sit there in the darkest corner of the College library, tears streaming down their face, Sad Girl Spring playlist blasting through their airpods, typing away in an especially tragic kind of silence. Vibes unmatched. Stress levels untouchable. Work ethic strong enough to withstand all kinds of overwhelming emotions. And yet all you’ll want to do when you see them is give them a massive hug. It’s all going to be okay, we promise.

The Gossip Queen Freshers

You know they’re freshers, because their exams don’t count: and they’ll use every minute they spend in the library in Easter Term to remind you of this, and of the fact that your exams do count, and that it’s exceptionally hard to revise for your exams when a bunch of tiny freshers are loudly gossiping in the middle of the library about their ex’s ex’s ex-ting and giggling about where they want to go out for drinks tonight.

The Studytuber

The Library Studytuber might or might not be an *actual* studytuber, but either way they’ll get to the library, take out their books, and spend 10 minutes taking selfies and pics of all their textbooks aesthetically strewn out on the desk for BeReal and Instagram.

Studytubing at its best….. Image credits: author’s own screenshots via YouTube Channels PaigeY and Ali Abdaal

They might even switch places a few times to find the best lighting the library has to offer… And then they’ll probably spend about five minutes contemplating their fine array of impressive-looking textbooks before deciding enough’s enough for the day and heading out to find a new iconic selfie spot for the ‘gram. Honestly? Mood.

Toxic Typer

A more aggressive typer than the Toxic Typer you’ll never meet in your life. You do realise that you don’t need to hammer your keys hard enough for the entire library to hear in order to write up an essay, right…? We get it, you’re on a roll and want to bang out that conclusion before your mind wanders again, but try being a little more gentle next time. Your laptop will thank you later.

The Picnicker 

It took us a while to figure out whether ‘picnicker’ is a word (WordPress autocorrect says it’s not, but then WordPress autocorrect also says WordPress isn’t a word, so who even knows), but either way, it applies here. This person will begin pulling their first snack out of their bag and you’ll cringe inside, knowing you’ll soon be forced to endure the worst kind of pain: listening to someone crunching and inhaling a bag of Monster Munch in your ear. But then, somehow, it gets worse – they then reach into their bag again, and draw out snack after snack after snack… It’s beginning to feel like a five-course fancy meal.

In all seriousness, College and Faculty libraries are hilarious places to be: when you look up from your work, you’ll be surrounded by a wild cast of characters, a wild cast that’s been our source of writing inspiration here.

We might be poking fun here, but we can all agree that we’ve probably all been at least one of these 12 people this term… And hopefully, the grind was all worth it, you smashed your exams, and now you can sleep for three straight months. Either way, it’s summer. We made it.

Feature image credits: Rosie Smart-Knight (left) and Poppy Robinson (right)

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