Somewhere around 8:50am, I make my way to the reading room, groggy and slightly cranky, I convince myself this is how I’ll get work done before lectures, this is how I’ll fill that pesky one – hour gap in between seminars and more.
9:00 am, the masses have descended upon the reading room. You have the colourfully coordinated with notes, planners and more, then there’s the poor soul attempting to make sense of lecture slides, and the reading room regulars who have marked their territory by leaving various jackets, hoodies and water bottles scattered over desks.
By 9:15am the room starts to fill up, packs of students file in, the door is now redundant as it swings open almost every 30 seconds and the noise from the hall outside slowly spills in. An innocent fresher, struggles to get their student ID out and fumbles trying to tap their card at the door.
By this stage you can guarantee it’ll be busy, seats here go like gold dust during exam season, but for final years like myself the games have already begun. Already lecturers are telling us if we want to go up a grade and get a better degree we need to show up, we need to do the readings, we need to engage with the content, after all, there is a difference between a 2.1 and a 1.1.
There is always one unfortunate soul dying from the flu, a few hungover creatures trying their best to get work done, and the snacker. There is always someone who brings in the loudest food they can think of, whether it’s the rustling packets, or someone cracking open a can of Red Bull or Monster. If you want to get work done, invest in a good pair of headphones to drown out any background noise.
In all honesty, though, what do you expect from a room filled with people trying to study? There’s always going to be one of these types around, but the worst has to be the gossips. They start a conversation in the middle of the room, taking no notice of the other people around them, and it’s always the same conversation: “Were you out last night?”, “Yeah no I’m not drinking for the rest of the week either,” or “I’m so screwed for this module I don’t know where to start,” and these types can be guys or girls.
I’ve been in the same boat, but nine times out of ten, you’re better off just putting your head down until you’re ready to go, or until you’ve finished for the day. Honestly, the only way you’ll ruin your grades for a module is if you just don’t show up. If you’re going to the lectures and the seminars at least you have some idea of where you’re at.
It’s always the same story: someone you know, whether it’s a housemate or one of your own mates, has missed a load of college, they stress out right before the exam and end up cramming in the days before. I’ve done it myself and ended up crashing after the exam. It has been a week of late nights, early exams and drinking coffee just to try to stay awake.
From a final year, try to stay on top of college, it can all pile up very quickly.
To my fellow final years, let the games begin.
Story courtesy of NUIG’s student newspaper, SIN.