Talking in library cartoon

Ah, dead week. I don’t know about you, but the name is always super fitting. In other words, I feel like I'm dying.

We’ve all heard that we shouldn’t wait until “the last minute” to do our assignments. Yet, here we all are in the fated last minute itself, each of us inevitably suffering. I’m always running on anxiety, caffeine and pure fear during this time of the semester.

This anxiety is a normal part of college, sure, but recently it’s become even worse. I can explain.

Whenever I want—or, more accurately, need—a change of study scenery, I resort to quiet spaces on campus. I usually set up shop in the LSU Library to furiously type or speed read for my classes.

This experience is relatively pleasant most of the time, if for no other reason than the ambience of every other student around me also silently panicking to finish assignments. However, this semester’s library visits have been annoyingly different from what I’m used to.

I’m just going to say it—people are outrageously loud in the library. I’m not naïve enough to sit on the first floor and expect a serene, silent study space, but I can sit on the second floor or above and still get bombarded with noise.

From people walking around chatting on their phones to other obnoxious, echoing conversations in the stairwell, I struggle to concentrate in my former safe studying space.

I hate to sound like I’m nagging, but I am nagging. Please shut up.

It’s not just a rogue whispered word I catch now and then. It's as though most people who visit the library have never seen a movie with the cliché old lady librarian shushing everyone and wagging her finger.

Maybe I’m an elderly librarian at heart, but so be it: I would appreciate being able to concentrate in arguably the most stereotypical quiet location.

Luckily, I’m able to drown out most noise with lo-fi study music blaring in my headphones—at the low, low price of premature hearing loss. But I feel terrible for anyone with ADHD or other concentration issues that make it impossible to focus by simply tuning out the chatter.

Believe me, I’m far from the only misanthrope complaining about the noise in the library. I’ve heard horror stories of people being shushed on the first floor while others shamelessly hold loud conversations on the third floor. This is so backwards it physically pains me.

I’m not usually such a stickler for following unwritten social rules and codes, but making any amount of noise in the library feels like a crime against humanity.

Ultimately, I’ve decided to retire my library studying days until next semester. It’s reached a point where I can’t think straight unless I'm drowning out the noise with other, even louder noise. It’s counterproductive and just adds even more stress during the final countdown of the semester.

I sincerely hope that come spring 2022, we can all peacefully coexist in the LSU Library. And to be clear, that means shutting up anywhere above the first floor. It's for the greater good.

Emily Davison is a 20-year-old anthropology and English junior from Denham Springs.

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