Sarah Talty gives us some points on how to make the most of preparing and going to the library coming up to exam time.
Every student knows that prepping for the library is vital, especially around exam time. With students circling library spaces like vultures, the last thing you need is to settle down in your prized 3rd-floor seat overlooking the campus, just to realize you’ve forgotten something at home. The two aims of going to the library are to get there and stay there for as long as possible when you get there. Coming up to exam time, seats are like gold dust and equally hard to hold onto so you want to make sure you won’t need to give up your seat as you may not find another one. So here is a list that will hopefully help you fully prep for the library so you have a successful day studying:
1. Make a list
Make a list of essential things you need like laptop, notebook, books, earphones, etc. and check them off. Make sure your bags are packed the night before you go to the library, this way you won’t forget anything if you rush out the door in the morning. You want to just wake up and grab breakfast, grab your bag and head out the door.
2. Bring a friend
It’s so much easier to go to the library with a friend! You can scope out good seats together, take breaks together and rely on them to tell you to get off Facebook and back to studying. It’s also a lot harder to back out of the library if you know your friend is also getting out of bed at an ungodly hour and trekking across campus to meet you.
Studying is thirsty work. Your best bet would be to bring a litre or two of Spar Family Value Water. That way you won’t loose out on 20 minutes study by running down to the shop to get a new bottle and have to stop chatting to all the people you’ll likely meet on the way there and back.
4. Be realistic
There’s no point planning on going to the library at 8am if you’ll be asleep at the desk. Some people are more night owls than morning people and that’s okay. Libraries usually stay open quite late and even if you’re not the first in the door in the morning, you can be the last to leave.
5. Plan your meals
If you plan on studying in the library all day, plan easy, convenient meals. Too often we leave the library because we tell ourselves we need to run home for lunch or dinner when we could grab a good meal on campus for less than a tenner and be back in half an hour. If you’re studying all day, plan a good breakfast before you go, maybe bring a sandwich for lunch and agree to meet a friend for dinner on campus. Or if you need to run home to eat, you can ask your housemate if they’ll have dinner ready when you get home so you can eat and get back in before your seat is gone.
Snacking in the library is essential! You don’t want to be 10 minutes into studying anatomy and your stomach starts making sounds like a mama whale calling her babies, which then makes it impossible for you to concentrate. Pick snacks you like to treat yourself to during the day. Also, keep in mind how silent your library will be and how noisy some snacks are; if you bring a pack of Taytos, you’ll probably be the most hated person in the room.
7. Plan breaks
Around exam time, most libraries warn you that you can only take X minute breaks before they move your stuff, so you gotta work fast. But breaks are essential to good studying and making sure you don’t burn out. Plan to have a meal on campus or meet a friend for coffee. Then you’ll be recharged and ready to head back in for another few hours.
8. Don’t give yourself any excuses
The thought of going to the library can sometimes be draining. Many times, students better than you and I have copped out of going to the library. It’s all too easy to have the best of intentions and then wake up late and decide not to go. Or if you say you’ll go at 1 pm but get held up until 2 pm and decide there’s no point in going now. Pack your bags, plan your meals and set your alarms. If all else fails, to ask a friend to hold you accountable and bother you until you set foot in the library.