With exam season now in full swing at UF, hundreds (maybe thousands?) of students are constantly packed in the library furiously studying their Study Edge and Smokin’ Notes packets, while also scrambling to cram in the last two weeks of online lectures they’ve skipped. Whether you’re more a fan of Marston or if Library West is practically your second home, we’ve all gotten to that point where you’ve been in the library for so long that you lose track of how many hours it’s been or what time of day it is. And, if you haven’t experienced this yet, just wait. The day is bound to come.
And no, I didn’t just decide to do this experiment out of the blue, but after I had been in the library everyday for about two weeks, I figured I may as well challenge myself to see how many days in a row I could go to the library, and what effect it would have on my life. Here’s what happened.
I now drink more Starbucks coffee than any human should.
Within one month, I went from getting the Starbucks app to now being a gold member. Just let that sink in for a moment. Yeah, I was drinking more coffee than I was drinking water. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that there’s a Starbucks in all the major libraries, but it’s just so convenient that it’s dangerous. At the end of the month when I looked at my bank account, I definitely cringed–okay I literally cried–because of how much money I spent on coffee. Oops.
I found the secret to getting a table without having to walk around for an hour.
During the first week or so of going to the library everyday, I would go right after my classes were over, usually around 2 o’clock. I’m not kidding when I say the entire library would be full. I found myself walking around for a good 20 minutes before I’d finally see someone start to pack up their things. I then proceeded to sneakily walk over before they left and then snatch the table as soon as they turned their back. It was like some sort of crazy library survival game.
Well, after doing that for way too long, I finally figured out that the library is almost completely empty early in the morning, so in order to get a good table, I began going before my classes. My library life was then changed forever, and now you too know how to hack the library. You’re welcome.
I became friends with the library “regulars.”
After about the third week, I began to notice familiar faces. I realized that certain people were there everyday like I was, so one day I went and sat with a group of people that I always saw sitting at the same table every day. Before I knew it, we became the most unlikely of friends. These people have all different (super difficult) majors, and they probably all still wonder why a telecommunications major (AKA me) was at the library everyday just casually writing to-do lists and occasionally a few articles.
I know the layout of the library better than the layout of my sorority house.
Yes, this is sad, and yes, I should know know my sorority house better, but I get lost upstairs in the house sometimes (it’s really confusing; cut me some slack). As for the library, I probably spent more time there in the last month than I did at the house, so it kinda makes sense. I have the floor plan for Lib West, where I spent most of my library days, completely memorized, probably from all that time spent walking around looking for a table. I also know the quiet areas and where it tends to get loud, so I can decide where the best area would be depending on how hard I need to focus.
I’ve become insanely productive.
As far as academics go, I’ve realized that I became a lot more motivated to do my work when I was surrounded by people who are working super hard (or at least they looked like they were). By forcing myself to be there everyday, I would often get work done way in advance, and as the world’s worst procrastinator, this was quite a feat. I never thought that I would actually have time to study for an exam and not have to cram the night before.
I also began to write to-do lists everyday, which helped keep me on track with homework, and I never missed any assignments.
I now look forward to going to the library.
The library has become a place for me-time; somewhere I can recollect my thoughts and plan out what the rest of my day or week will look like. I am the kind of person that needs some quiet time every once in awhile, so the library has become the perfect place to unwind while also being a place that I can be productive. Instead of watching Netflix at home, I would be at the library leisurely working on homework, which in the long run greatly reduced my stress because I always felt like I was doing something rather than pushing things back.
Overall, the month was a great one. I became more productive and less stressed, but I was also probably way too caffeinated. I enjoyed being able to get my work done way ahead of time, but at the same time, my social life suffered a bit since I wasn’t able to hang out with friends as often. I think the main takeaway is that there should be a balance, like everything in life, between study time and social time with friends. I feel much more at peace with my life after this experience, but you definitely won’t catch me at the library on Saturday night anymore.