Surviving Finals: Library Etiquette


It seems as though finals week is one of the only socially acceptable times on campus to let one’s sense of style and (perhaps) cleanliness fall to the wayside.  Granted, this rare chance to wear sweatpants in public is not to be exploited too much, as your peers certainly probably may continue to judge you.  You don’t want to show up at a party the night before your flight home all dolled up, only to be asked by some hot stranger if you’re the one that licked ketchup off of your shirt in the library – not that anyone does that. Cough. Moreover, you don’t want to risk becoming known as that horrible person who slept for three hours at a desktop computer in the SciLi basement. People will hate you forever. Please abide by the following rules of etiquette in pursuit of a more perfect union library experience.

1. If your laptop battery has more than half of its life left to live, be kind and don’tyoudarepluginyourlaptop, especially in a coveted outlet.

2. If you must nap (and believe me, sometimes it cannot be helped), keep those inter-chapter snoozes to 30 minutes or less.  Learn the art of power napping, and don’t forget to set an alarm so you don’t end up sleeping for hours on end.  Of course, I always advocate closing the books and actually going to sleep, but keep that in the bedroom, please.  Can’t you see that I’m waiting to print my paper??

3. Speaking of bedrooms, keep that in the bedroom.  I have walked past far more moments of self-love in the stacks than I’m willing to admit, and I may have to suffer through years of psychotherapy for it. 

4. Please shower often.  I’m not asking for a full face of makeup, but if I can smell that someone is sitting at a carrel before I actually see him or her—major red flag.  In case you’re wondering, Brown has lovingly tried to ameliorate the personal cleanliness of our most frequent perpetrators of negligent hygiene by installing showers in certain buildings: please use them.

5. Wear underwear. 

6. Finals are about give and take.  If you give up sleep, take in a couple more muffins. If you give up wearing real pants, take on shirts long enough to cover your bum.  If you give up on doing your makeup, take up actually brushing your hair and teeth regularly.  If you give up on brushing your hair, take up a hat collection or learning to French braid.  If you give up showering, take up the realization that you may lose all your friends.

7. Remember that people can hear you when you whisper in the library.  Also, remember that people are most prone to violent and dramatic acts of passion during times of high stress.

8. Cut people some slack.  Acknowledge that people “studying” in the SciLi basement before 2am are probably not 100% dedicated to purely studying.  The basement can be somewhat of a social atmosphere, so if you truly want a zero-decibel study zone, you may need to climb some stairs.

9. Try to avoid running into the local coffee shop two minutes before they close to order your thousand-shot-extra-skinny-no-foam whatever with extra whipped cream.  Here is a list of closing times on Thayer, so for their sake, plan accordingly.

  • Starbucks: open til midnight (or 1am on Friday and Saturday)
  • Blue State Coffee: Bookstore open til 8pm (or 6pm Sunday), Café open til 10pm (Poetry Night on Tuesdays, plan accordingly)
  • Tealuxe: open til 10pm (or 11pm, Friday and Saturday)
  • Au Bon Pain: open til 10pm Mon-Fri (or 9pm Saturday and Sunday)

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1 Comment

  1. Greg Jordan-Detamore


    Also, to add to #1 — When in the Quiet Center (SciLi 4th floor), never EVER take a table with an outlet if you don’t plan to use the outlet. Peeps got laptops to charge.

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