What your David Wilson library spot says about you
Judgement awaits in the glassy jungle
Welcome to the David Wilson library – looming before you in all its glassy glory, filled with the promise of education and quite frankly, dread.
You amble toward it slowly, weighed down by deadlines and a laptop that is far too heavy and far too slow to exist in this decade, before weaving through the line of international students who are linking arms, six abreast, for safety.
As you pass under the warm breath of heating from the doors, fumbling for your student card and avoiding the steady gaze of the help desk staff, you know this is it: the commitment has been made and now follows a choice: where do you sit?
This will be the make and break of your study session, where you choose to set up your procrastination station says a lot about you than you’d think, and you’ll be judged on your choice by your fellow library-goers.
I hope you’ve got your men’s 48-hour double-strength extra-protective deodorant on, cos this shit’s about to get sweaty. As warm as the fiery pits of hell, the weak are separated from the strong down in the basement.
The lowest level the library has to offer, the basement is home to those at the height of desperation. This is the place to go when the realisation that you have 3,000 words to write for tomorrow smacks you in the face like an oversized book – and what’s more, you’ve spent the last three days dicking about on the third floor group study area like Leicester’s biggest BNOC.
There are no distractions here: your only friends are the bleak, windowless walls and racks of dusty journal articles which can be found online if you manage to pull your finger out before it’s too late. And don’t even think about snacking down here – the slightest crumple of a food wrapper or, God forbid, the whiff of some Asda’s own cheese and onion crisps will see you met only with several death stares and a possible post-it note death threat when your back is turned from the diehard basement dwellers.
Alternatively, you might find yourself in the basement as the lost and lonely fresher, too scared and inexperienced to tackle the lift just yet and having run for the nearest and quietest staircase with gay abandon. Or perhaps you tried to find a third floor seat up with the cool kids, only to find it packed-out by groups of chatting hooligans.
You were slowly forced down, floor by floor, until the only space available to you was in the bleak basement, devoid of hope and banter.
Honestly, who even are you people? Not daring enough to venture higher up but you also haven’t sunk to the Basement level of desperation. You have a plan for your essay, and maybe even your life… good on you.
However don’t pat yourself on the back just yet, friend. I know who you are. You get in my lift, destined for the third floor, then skip out at floor one, which not only wastes my time, but disorientates me. I disembark the elevator of knowledge and follow you out, only to realise that, as the lift doors slam mockingly behind me, I have been fooled. Taken for a mug, I, and so many like me, have to take to the stairs with a false sense of purpose to avoid further embarrassment.
Go on, first floor-ers, take your shameful behaviour with you into the silent zone, open your Apple Mac and begin writing with your smug arrogance and lack of exhaustion that one flight of stairs would surely have given you.
You are the dedicated, you are the experienced. This ain’t your first rodeo and you don’t have the time to waste exploring each floor for a spot. You probably don’t even have the mates to fill a group’s study table with. You’ve left them in the SU, you’re better than their distracting behaviour and so, you charge on with purpose to the silent zone, ready to show cognitive psychology who’s boss.
Fair play to you – not many of David Wilson’s inhabitants have your level of concentration and determination.
Also found on the second floor is a peculiar type of person – the student who came to uni without a laptop. What do you do? Send your work back and forth via email? Do people still own USB sticks? You second floor computer users are different to those who duck in to the ground floor room to use a printer when in a rush.
No, you planned this, you chose this life. Your gaze flashes back and forth from the impressively large and equally as slow computer screen to the lowly passers by, lugging their ancient Acer and 14 books with them. You too, come alone. Silent zones are no place for companionship. Who needs a friend when you’ve got tort law to keep you warm?
Finally, the floor we’ve all been waiting for. Party in the front, business in the back. Gather the squad cos there’s about to be a study soirée.
Only the coolest of the cool get to sit at the group study tables. You’ve made it if you can find a spot here. Even if you’re on your own, that’s okay, spread those books and get to learnin’ because those who walk past you to the quiet zone will do so with an envious stare.
Or maybe you’re too sauve for the communal area. Instead, you choose not to ride the banter bus with the rest of us fun seekers and breeze into your private, pre-booked study room. Fair play, we all wish we’d thought of it first, and we will spend our time staring longingly at your apprentice-worthy swingy chairs and the lush TV-screens which can often be seen displaying live sports during the oh-so-stressful exam period.
Diverse in its nature, the luxuries of the third floor don’t end there. A respectable student may also be found round the corner from the party zone, in the quiet study area. Mostly seen as an overflow from the cool tables, you might also take to this strip of benches for the scenic views of Clarendon Park and a slightly more reserved mode of studying.
Worry not though, you’re still a savvy studier and you’ll lose no lad points for sitting here – and your mates are only spitting distance away for that well deserved break after writing the title.
Everyone needs a break from the clash of air conditioning and stuffy central heating, a temperature accompanied by sweat and sadness, and what better place but at the cosy metal tables and chairs outside? You’re probably a smoker if you’re seen here and possibly you’ve taken up smoking purely to find reason to keep nipping outside for some “fresh air” every 25 minutes.
Or maybe you’re just waiting for a mate. Either way, no judgement. Take your time, watch the carefree people wandering home, Starbucks in hand, blissfully unaware of how lucky they are.
Metres away yet worlds apart is the library café. The price of its food seems reasonable just after loan day and yet ludicrous towards the end of term but some people can pass the time in here all day, every day. With your coffee hotter than the centre of the sun, you chat idly with a friend, occasionally turning the page of your Dickens novel or pause to tip-tap on your laptop for a moment.
You are relaxed and calm, seemingly with no impending time restraints. Or maybe you’ve slipped so deeply into the leather sofa that you cannot in fact ever leave and are destined to work here until they kick you out at closing time. Regardless, you think you’re better than the rest of us, and you’re probably right.
See you on the way out, Humanities student. Enjoy your panini.