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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Can we please stop hanging out in the library for fun?

Earlier this week, I was studying. I was in the library, where most people are when they study, and I found a perfect little table in the basement of Marston Science Library. It was nearing hour three of my study venture, and I was making decent progress. I brought snacks to tide me over and filled my water bottle. I had an arsenal of colored pens, my notebook, my hard copy of the textbook at my disposal. Last but not least, I had the most important part of any study session — my ear buds.

I was about to start my final section of notes when a group of girls (I’m not saying they were wearing Greek letters, but I will say they weren’t not wearing Greek letters) made their way over to the other table adjacent to mine, plopped down and started talking.

Now, you might say, “Petrana, maybe they were working on a group project and couldn’t grab a study room.”

If that were the case, I would’ve let it pass. I understand the struggle. I’ve been there before.

But they weren’t. They were eating lunch and drinking Starbucks. They were gossiping. They were hanging out for no other reason than to hang out — which is great. I’m not so much of a reclusive hermit that groups of giggling girls send me into shock. It’s just when you hang out, please be conscientious of where you do so.

There are plenty of places to hang out on campus and have a conversation. The Hub, for instance, the Reitz Union, the lobbies of the residence halls, empty classroom buildings and the dining facilities to name a few. If you’re going to have a loud conversation unrelated to studying, for the love of Albert, Tim Tebow, UF President Kent Fuchs and whoever else the typical student here at the great UF holds sacred, please don’t do it in the library. I don’t want to hear about what you did over the weekend. I don’t care about that hot guy you hooked up with or the fact that you’re “so done” with your classes. Social interaction is great, and meeting with friends is great, just don’t do it 3 feet away from me when I’m studying for an exam.

This is a problem that has plagued our campus for too long. Too many times have I been in the middle of study session, only to be interrupted by some loud story about what happened at the woodser last weekend. Too often have I been looking for a space to sit, only to find a whole table being used to watch Netflix.

When you go to the library, you’ve entered this unspoken social contract to use that space to do schoolwork. Whether on your own or with others, you must meet this expectation. I get that group study sessions sometimes veer into other categories, I do. I’ve been there, but at least fulfill the expectation and have books out, have the promise of going back to your studies — and actually do that once in awhile. Don’t talk for two hours about your vacation plans.

If you come into the library with no laptop or notebooks, and you snag a table for you and your closest friends to have a long discussion about tailgating, please remember what this space is meant to be used for. If I can hear you over my music, which is almost at max volume, please consider where you are. Yes, this is not the quiet floor, but it’s for group studying — not for catching up on gossip. I implore you, fellow students at UF, leave the libraries for studying. Socialize elsewhere.

Petrana Radulovic is a UF English and computer science (super) senior. Her column appears on Fridays.


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