What your study space says about you
Ali G is for newbies
Study spaces are like Justin Bieber songs. Everyone has at least one that they secretly love. But where you choose to cram in those last minute revision sessions says more about you than you think.
Alan Gilbert Learning Commons
It’s modern, it’s fancy and there are colours, stripes, white coffee tables and glass panels in abundance. Ali G draws in many a first year (too scared to venture to the real library) with it’s shiny newness and what it beholds. It’s classier than the library, you feel like you’re in some fancy hotel or airport lounge. Like you’re Instagram profile, the Ali G’s aesthetic is minimal, modern and there’s no smelly books cluttering the space.
Then you get inside and there aren’t any bloody spaces. But that’s all part of the challenge. You want to do work do you? You want to get a first? Then you’re gonna have to work for it. And by that, we mean either come in at 6.30 or walk around for half an hour looking for a seat. You’ll wander from floor to floor, circling three times whilst searching for your prey (someone weak that will crack and leave soon), before deciding you’re going to have to settle for the shit bench opposite the lift. That is dedication. That is Ali G.
It’s convenient location makes it a popular spot, so don’t try to print anything off at peak times. And if you want a snazzy classroom to work on your group project then book it, ideally months in advance. It won’t just be free. The best thing about it? You legit never have to leave. I’m pretty sure some people live there. The cafe may be expensive, but it’s cheaper than rent. Forget the scratchy wooden chairs in the library, kick up in the Ali G and get your own sofa, armchair or booth. And with the new nap zone sleeping pod you’ve even got a bed. Embrace the working lifestyle.
Main Library (Purple)
If you have just moved into second year then the main library Purple area is your new best friend and is destined to be the highlight of your social calendar. You’ve traded your single bed in tower for the Hogwarts style, dimly lit surroundings of Purple. The main library is the cooler, fitter, edgier older sister of the Ali G – it’s the Kendall Jenner of the learning space scene.
Outfit wise you’ll find yourself keeping it fairly casual, probably wearing what used to be your clubbing garms when you actually used to go out last year. The best part of your day is when the library girlfriend or boyfriend you’ve been gazing at all day might ask you to watch their laptop for them, or if you’re lucky even borrow a pen.
What would a day be without your tall caramel americano with room for milk? £3 a day on coffee might be an issue for most students but when mummy and daddy fund your life, who cares if your whole loan dissolves in a grande latte? You’ve probably owned a pair of Uggs and a Jack Wills gilet at some point in your life, so the words basic bitch aren’t foreign to you. Who cares if you actually get no work done whatsoever because you’ll always have more fun with a frappuccino in hand than the peasants slogging away in the library.
Owens Park Cluster
Either you’re a fresher (why are you even in there?) or you crawled out of bed 15 minutes ago and threw on your least minging sweatshirt to waltz into this disgusting building like you own the place. You’re too lazy to get on the bus to the library so you try your chances for a space in here, with any luck the keen freshers will have realised they have no reason to be there and you’ll get a seat. You’ll probably spend the next couple hours on Facebook or curating yourself a sick DJ set on Soundcloud before you write three lines, roll a cig and go home.
You’re an Engineer. If you aren’t an Engineer you probably have no idea what the George Begg is. We can take our pick of the multitude of large screen PCs available and often boast about the range of engineering programs installed on them. You’ll spend your “revision” surrounded by your coursemates, chatting about the newest game releases and how shit humanities are. This is your space and you will stay here until at least five every night, at which point you can tell all of your non-engineering mates that you’ve worked harder than them. In reality you spend your days in Begg watching football on the projectors, chain smoking and talking to everybody there.
Your desk, floor, various spaces around your bedroom
There are two types of uni students who work from home, and they are polar opposites. Most of you study-from-bed types are second years, embracing the freedom of your very first house because you never had enough space to work in halls. You wake up whenever you feel like it and you probably haven’t attended any lectures (or left the house) in weeks.
Your housemates think you sleep all day and watch endless Netflix series’, and they are right. The only time you work-at-home types actually work from home is the night before your deadline. At least Turnitin means you don’t have to leave your bed to submit work though, which is a bonus.
For the rest of you who actually do study at home, you relish in showing the rest of us up. You look like you actually shower daily and your eyebrow game is stronger than ours.
You’re the type who manages to go to lectures, go to WHP/sold out events and get all your work done from home (because you don’t waste half your life on the bus to the library). You’ve either got a clone or you’re buying essays online, whichever it is we are onto you, bitches.
Alan Turing Computer Cluster
A world unbeknown to many that makes a safe haven for many a Maths student in search of somewhere quiet to revise. You just want to take it easy, you big chilla. Unlike the stress of Ali G, you will never have to hunt longer than two minutes for a computer and there is always someone older and wiser at hand to help you out with the odd equation.
The cafe is merely steps away and if you’re lucky there’ll be an open day with free food that you can steal if you’re feeling particularly rebellious.
You are a Medic, and you are here a lot. And why are the steps so far apart?
The building that looks like some kind of Greek palace near McDonald’s on Oxford Road. Also known as the best escape from the overcrowded and stress-fuelled place that is the main library. With PS4s and Xboxes free to hire, a fully kitted out iMac suite and a café where they wouldn’t dare charge you for a fork it’s the only logical option. Even though there’s rumours of the odd romantic rendez-vouz in the downstairs loos and there are always a few odd locals roaming around you’ll never have to get up at 5am for a seat, or fight tooth and nail for a plug socket.
You probably study Art History, and consider yourself quite alternative – Ali G is way too mainstream for you.
Most people who enter this building will take one look at their poor excuse for a library on floor four and turn away. The building, which is home to a library and a cluster, remains well hidden in the depths of the second floor and has maintained a legendary status as the knowledge of its whereabouts is shared only by word of mouth.
It has never been at capacity even during exam times. The only downside is the occasional class. It boasts more free computers on average than any of the other libraries. The true gift of Mansfield Cooper is the mutual understanding of those studying there of what a special place you have. It’s like stumbling on to the “Beach”.
The Joule Library
Impossible to find and unheard of by many, Joule Library is the platform 9 ¾ of libraries. It’s not quite on E floor but only partly reachable on F floor of Sackville Street. Many a bespectacled engineer’s head will bob up as you walk past, aghast that anyone else would need to do any studying.
Choose from either the grey abyss that is the cluster, or go old school with a wooden desk with heightened panelling to ensure complete peace and isolation whilst working (or so no one judges you when you decide to binge watch TOWIE, we are in Joule after all).