You know those long nights when you find a quiet study room in your dorm, settle down to tackle your readings and then no one enters the room for the rest of the evening?
Yeah … neither do we.
We’ve all had it happen at least once: You have a date with your literature anthology, and suddenly half a dozen people burst in with food, laptops and no intention of studying quietly. You go from reading about the expansion of the British Empire in the 19th century to suddenly having your own study space being colonized by outsiders.
Your first reaction might be to ask them, “What do you think you’re doing?!” But instead, you’ll probably shrink silently into the corner and hope they’ll just read your mind and leave.
The next time you’re in this situation, you don’t have to resort to passive-aggressively sighing or glaring at them from across the room. Try out one of these more proactive responses instead:
Take up more space. Spread out those papers. Everywhere. Make yourself look really busy and important.
Invite your friends over. Create your own study group to combat the loud invasion. Hopefully, you have friends who are willing to sacrifice their quiet study time for your battle of the wills over who will leave the study room first.
Or, you know, you could communicate. We do have to admit that even if certain people seem to lack courtesy, they’ll probably be accommodating if you talk to them. Ask them how long they plan to be around, or throw out a suggestion for a bigger room more conducive to group work (and eating). You aren’t going to be best friends with these people, but figure out what you want from them and then try to get it.
Finally, if these people really are as bad as you assumed they were when they walked through the door, you’ll probably just have to leave. Find another room, or call up a friend and walk over to Main Stacks. It’s not exactly fair that you had to surrender, but do you really want your grades to suffer because you were too stubborn to leave a noisy room?
Image source: Quinn Dombrowski, under Creative Commons
Contact Jessica Rogness at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @jessarogness.