Don’t You Have Homes?!

Exam season is behind us, but one hot topic that remains on everyone’s lips is the presence of sleepers in the library. Harry Penrose speculates.

Exeter library Sleeping

We’ve all been there: late stint in the library, putting a big shift in before an exam, or maybe even making the final adjustments to an essay.

Eyes start to thicken, and before you know it, you’re drifting off into a world where there are no assignments, no assessments and certainly no reason why you would find yourself working at 11pm on a Saturday.

At this point, most people have the good sense to either pack up and go home; or man up, bolt another energy drink and ride it out. Why then, are there so many students who feel the need to treat libraries as bedrooms, sprawling themselves across chairs, sofas and desks to grab some sleep?

Surely the student population, who regularly find themselves napping in the library, have homes to return to?

It then occurred to me that perhaps this isn’t the case. Maybe these people genuinely have no housing, having fallen victim to hesitation. We are all aware of the emphasis on sorting housing early for the next year, but I had never thought it such a dangerous issue.

Are there large numbers of students who are forced to adopt the library as their principle residence?

If this is the case then I do feel bad about ridiculing their sleeping habits. It can’t be an easy life having to wash in the bathrooms next to the PC clusters or existing on a diet made up largely of the contents of the vending machine. And, I can only speculate as to the difficulties faced by a library inhabitant bringing a girl back to his, should he get lucky on a night out.

All kidding aside, library snoozing has become surprisingly common. Anyone who has encountered library sleepers will tell you that the act of grabbing some shut-eye in university buildings is popular amongst students from all over the world. The trend is also by no means exclusive to Exeter, having warranted an entire purpose dedicated website.

I'm not sure I’ll ever understand the cultural differences that make kipping in the library seem so appealing, but I am happy to say that I welcome it. During the most recent exam period, catching a glimpse of library sleepers offered a moment of light relief to even the most intensive revision sessions, and no one could argue that this is a bad thing.