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Preparing for Finals: Food You Can Bring to the Library

Crunch… crunch… crunch… crunch.  You’re sitting in a cubicle in what was a perfectly silent Bapst, and you suddenly hear the unmistakable sound of someone noshing on what sounds like a bag of potato chips.  With each crunch, your attention drifts further and further away from your studying, until all you can focus on is awaiting that next crunch.  Finally, you jump up on your desk, spot the culprit mid-bite, and yell, “Take another bite of that chip, and it’ll be the last thing you ever do!”  Then you commence pouncing on said library-criminal a là the animalistic mall scene in Mean Girls.  Just kidding about that last part.  However, you’d all be lying if you said this never crossed your mind.

We’ve all been on both sides of this situation.  In fact, as I type this, I’m about to finish off my last Hillside frip, while I comfortably lounge in a booth at the bottom of O’Neill.  Hey, I’m not perfect (although this may come as a surprise).  We all get hungry, especially while doing work at all hours of the day and night.  So, how can we be courteous to our fellow students?  I think an investigation of the best and worst library snacks is in order.   
Let’s take a good look at the vending machines at the bottom of O’Neill.  Chances are, if you’re looking for a late night snack, you’ll get something from here.  So, I’m going to break down our options.  First up, we’ve got your standard Coca-Cola machines, which I would say rarely causes serious library drama, with the exception of accidental spillage on your laptop.  The same goes for the Seattle’s Best coffee machine, granted you can figure out how to use that thing.  Beverages are quiet, and therefore, pretty library-safe.  It’s the food that is usually the source of the problems.  In between the Coca-Cola machine and the coffee machine we have the awe-inspiring “Diji-Touch” vending machine, which besides housing the best snacks in the library, is also home to a large, red, catapulting, Sour Patch Kid and the Planter’s peanut man, who creepily beckons you to come inside.

There are a variety of chips in most of the vending machines, but as you’ve seen from the beginning of this article, it’s best to stay away from all of them unless you are working in an empty library or have the ability to swallow chips whole (if so, I applaud you).  There are also many snacks that you can easily pop in your mouth, though some of them are louder than others, so proceed with caution.  A good suggestion might be Smartfood popcorn or trail mix.  If it’s something sweet you’re craving, M&Ms, Oreo Cakesters, Pop Tarts, or Welch’s fruit snacks are all solid options.  If you’re into bringing your own healthier snacks to the lib, I would just stay away from the innately ear-splitting carrots, celery, and apples, as these will annoy your fellow students as much by their acoustics as their sign of health consciousness at a time meant only for high levels of sugar and salt intake.

So now that you’ve got your snack, there is always that awkward moment when you sit back down and have to try and figure out the quietest way to open it.  With this issue, I have only one piece of advice: just open it quickly, in one, fast swoop.  Just like pulling off a Band-Aid; it’s going to hurt for a second, but then you’re in the clear.  The only thing you have to worry about after that is not making a complete ruckus when you reach into the bag for more.
There you have it, collegiettes™.  With finals approaching and the numbers in the library increasing every day, the last thing you want to do is be that girl obliviously chowing down while everyone gives her the stink eye.
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