I wouldn’t call these next three weeks off an ‘Easter Holiday’, nor would I call it an ‘Easter break’. I would just call it ‘Three weeks without lectures or seminars’, as the level of work to be completed in the coming weeks has stayed fairly consistent- I know I’m not alone with my final year stress. But whilst most people have journeyed home for comfort food, warm houses, and clean washing, I’m staying firmly (and slightly reluctantly) rooted in Leicester. It sounds sad in every sense, but the library has unintentionally and embarrassingly become almost a second home. For anyone else who has decided to stay-put over the next few weeks to get some serious work done, here’s a list of things I know you will understand:
You now have a favourite desk.
There is a desk in the library which has the perfect level of sunlight, the perfect view out of the window, and the perfect distance from any other computer, and in your eyes it’s totally yours. You have laid claim to that computer, and it has your name all over it (or at least it remembers your P number). You may as well store your books, toothbrush and pyjamas under this computer and god help any person who makes the mistake to log onto it.
Pack- lunches have become a culinary discovery.
Some of us just can’t justify a £3.50 meal deal every day, which begins a new journey of discovery into the pack-lunch. You spend the first few days settling for a basic ham or cheese sandwich, maybe accompanied by a bag of kettle chips. But after the first week you come to the realisation that lunchtime is the best time of a library day, and you want to make it special. You start experimenting with salad leaves, ready-cooked chicken flavours (oh, peri peri!), and a drizzle of exotic dressing à la Tesco. You add fruit, chocolate, yoghurts to the pack lunch- anything to jazz up this moment of the day where you can walk away from that computer, sit down and munch.
Starbucks sucks your wallet dry.
I begin with a rant. Why is it that De Montfort only has the two most overly priced coffee shops on campus? Boy, do I miss the Coffee Lab- those were the days. The extortionate price and the fashion statement that has developed from carrying a take-away Starbucks mug into a lecture hall like you’ve just come out of a very busy and important meeting has never failed to wind me up. But all of a sudden, I just don’t care. Caffeine is a necessity to my day, and those rubbish 70p coffees from the machine in the library that I could finish in one gulp are just not cutting the mustard. But it’s not only the coffee I’ve been drawn in by a new fiend- the Swiss flapjack. £1.70’s worth of heaven, which makes a bad day in the library just that little bit more bearable.
Your life is suddenly scheduled, and it’s weird.
There is nothing particularly scheduled about a student’s life. Up until final term of third year I got up, ate, drank, did work, watched TV and went to bed exactly when I wanted to. But these library days have suddenly enforced a new schedule to my life, and it’s scary. I feel like this is the point where your mum would go: ‘That’s what it feels like to be an adult’, and it’s true. I just thought I wouldn’t have to turn into one of those things until at least the end of May. But all of a sudden my alarm is set for 8.30 every day, I’m in the library by 10, lunch is at 12.30 and I’m home by 5.30- even writing that boring schedule out makes me want to cry. But I get sh*t done, and I guess that’s all that matters. One positive that has come out of this repetitive state of being is everyone makes the most of the weekends. By the time I get to Friday night I am ready to gulp down a bottle of wine, and will do so without a hint of guilt- a weekly routine that isn’t such a chore.
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