What your favourite University of Nottingham library spot says about you
With eight to choose from, the library spot that you go for really does indicate a lot about you
Many new students have a hard time adjusting to two facts: firstly, that when you come to university, you actually need to do your university assignments, seminar prep, and revision, if you want to get a degree at an academically challenging university. Secondly, doing your work from bed in your halls tends not to be the most effective way to study or retain information, as you’re most likely doing it half-heartedly so you can get back to watching Netflix sooner. Most students then have the bright idea of actually going to a library to concentrate – and at UoN, we have eight to choose from. Where you choose to study on campus is arguably a very good indicator of how hard you actually work, what kind of work you’re doing, even what subject you do and how far through your degree you are.
The vast majority of students, who are on University Park Campus, are most likely to go for either the George Green Library or the Hallward Library. There are (apparently) a few who go for the niche options though, like the Business Library, the James Cameron-Gifford Library or even the Djanogly Learning Resource Centre. There’s also loads of spots around campus to do work in which aren’t technically libraries, but I’ve decided to include them here as they’re definitely very popular study spots too.
George Green, specifically D Floor or the cafe
If you sit in D Floor or the George Green cafe, you either have very impressive concentration levels, or you never do any work in the first place. The pure chaos in these areas makes me question why anyone would choose to work there, but the answer is simple: you’re probably not actually doing any. If you sit here, you will probably be at a desk with your laptop open, but with the screen off due to inactivity because you’ve been chatting to your mates for the last half hour. In most other libraries, this might be frowned upon, but everyone else sitting around you is doing the same thing so it’s okay. You’re probably in second year, because you’re not stressed enough yet that you actually have to shut up and do some work, and you play rugby or hockey and show up in your Player Layer to every study session. You study either psychology, chemistry, or politics and international relations (which for some reason has most of its classes in the science part of campus).
George Green, the booths
If you’ve managed to get a seat in the booths in George Green often enough for them to be your favourite study spot, you are a third year or a masters student. You’re the most serious and stressed students around, because you literally have to be in George Green at 7am if you want a seat in the booths. You study chemical engineering, physics, or something extra scary like pharmaceutical sciences, and you’re likely to be an international student. You bring your lunch in a compartmentalised lunch box every day and somehow have enough work to do that you’re in George Green at the crack of dawn and don’t leave until at least 5pm.
If your favourite library spot is anywhere on the top two floors of Hallward, you are a first year, and you haven’t realised that it literally does not matter what grade you get as long as it’s above 40 per cent. Freshers aren’t the only ones who study in Hallward, but they’re the only people whose favourite spot is Hallward – because they don’t know any better. Granted, it’s good if you need complete silence to get any work done, but there are so many other quiet places on campus which don’t make you feel like you’ve entered a prison. There’s something about the combination of dark wood and the office lighting that just gives you such a fat headache, the only reason you’d be there regularly is because you live in halls, so it’s the closest to you, and you haven’t discovered Monica Partridge yet. Otherwise, you’re an english lit student and you were disappointed by the lack of dark academia spots on campus, so you have to make do with a window seat in Hallward where you can look over the Trent building and most likely gloomy weather while you annotate your copy of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.
If your favourite study spot on campus is Denis Arnold, I have to give you credit for being one of the most original students at UoN – this is no one’s favourite. That’s not even because the Denis Arnold library is like a tiny version of Hallward with similarly depressing lighting, or only has about ten study spaces: it’s because no one knows it exists. If Denis Arnold is your favourite place to do work, you won’t be studying anything other than music – because music students are the only people that know about this library – and you’re most likely either a first year who for some reason assumed they were only allowed in the library for their department, or you’re just very loyal to the Department of Music and would feel bad if their library was completely empty.
Your halls library
I’m not convinced accommodation libraries are actively anyone’s favourite study spot, but if it’s your go-to, you’re almost definitely a first year – even returners in halls prefer the actual libraries. You probably do a STEM subject and are actually quite good at it, but you forget your academically challenging degree is, indeed, academically challenging, so you regularly have to do emergency coursework seshes at 1am in your pyjamas – if you go at any other time, all your friends will be in there and you won’t get any work done.
Surprisingly enough, the business library is home to all things business: this also includes economics and finance schools. If this is your favourite study spot, you’re most likely a finance bro. You probably want to be on The Apprentice, and on the way to the library you listen to podcasts where rich white men tell you to invest in crypto and get into the sigma grindset: you’ve also started a TikTok where you post ‘motivational’ edits and you exclusively follow gym bros. What you don’t tell people is that you didn’t realise that there were two UoN campuses when you applied, because you’re now probably stuck on Jubilee campus for three years if you’re using the Business library.
The Humanities building is a very underrated building for study spaces: you probably only ever go in there (or know it exists) if you do philosophy, theology, or geography. To me, Humanities has the same vibes as Monica Partridge but a bit more boring. If this is your favourite study spot, it’s because you like working on sofas but you need quiet. You’re probably there often because you’ve got a break in between lectures and don’t want to go home and straight back out again, so you’re probably either a second or third year, or live in one of the halls further away like Broadgate or Hugh Stewart.
Saving the best building til last, Monica Partridge is arguably the best place to study on campus, no matter where you sit. If you prefer the ground floor booths, you’re probably traumatised from tripping up the seemingly endless stairs on a previous visit. You study history or a language, and you like a background hum but not audible talking – and you’re a big fan of the Starbucks kiosk. If you prefer to venture upwards to sit on the comfiest sofas on campus, you’re an english lit student doing a last minute reading for a seminar, or a third year still on the hunt for a grad job so you spent breaks between lectures trawling through the careers website desperate for some kind of inspiration. If you prefer E Floor, you’re probably insane if you like subjecting yourself to five flights of stairs just to do some work – granted, the top floor is very quiet, so you might be working on your dissertation or a deadline for tomorrow. There’s something for everyone in Monica Partridge, and if this is your favourite study spot you’re probably just as passionate as I am about how good it is.