The weather is shit, freshers have realised that they hate the friends they made in Michaelmas and finalists have remembered that they need a 2.1 before they can sell their souls to the city.
This has meant that the libraries of Oxford have been more packed than ever as of late, bringing new kinds of irritation to my life, with every passing day a new way of shitting on library etiquette is flaunted in my face. Here are but a few of the worst offenders:
- People who treat libraries like clubs. I understand that for finalists it has probably been a long time since they have let loose and had a good night out, but people who listen to their music and then start inexplicably dancing in the middle of the Bodleian are just bizarre people who need to stop immediately. There is nothing more irritating than seeing someone out of the corner of your eye bopping up and down. Stop.
- People who crack their knuckles, or back, or make any sort of clicking noise with their bones perhaps as a physical representation of their work-induced mental anguish are high up on the list of people who should have their bod cards shredded. This also goes for people who yawn dramatically. We get it. Revision isn’t all that fun. This is not an excuse for amateur chiropractors to practise…
- People who dump their stuff early in the morning then leave for a year, or take infinite breaks are selfish people who are taking up a space in the library that could be used for someone actually doing something. If you didn’t want to work all day, work in your room, please xoxo
- Can people who seem as if they aspire to being cast as extras in Made in Chelsea stop having loud conversations whenever they spot one of their many acquaintances? Instead of braying incessantly about needing a coffee and a catch up – go and have a coffee and a catch up. Bye!
- People who eat in the libraries. There is no way of doing this without being an arsehole. If your food is noisy, you are awful. If your food is smelly, you are awful. If your food is both odourless and quiet then you just look like the kind of twat who can’t even bear to take a 10 minute break away from the fascinations of 19th century shipping laws, even to eat, which makes you annoying because you are more productive than I am and I am jealous. I do not want to name names due to the backlash she would undoubtedly face, but I have it on strong authority that a second year Spanish student was spotted eating a banana in the closed stacks in the depths of the Gladstone Link. Of course, upon learning this horrific and anti-social news, I have had to terminate our friendship, which shows that a lack of library etiquette has both short and long term consequences.
- Finally, people who take their shoes off in the library. The 21st century has seen our society reach such levels of comfort and affluence never before recorded. No-one doesn’t have shoes, and everyone should wear them. If you struggle with the laces, try Velcro. Why do you think people want to see your water-polo blues induced verruca on a mid-morning Monday essay slog?
It seems plain to all that a few good A-levels and smarmy interview techniques are not enough. We have an infestation of idiocy colonising our libraries and ruining the calm and peace that otherwise reigns supreme. I have had to start a mindfulness course to try to not find people irritating but it has only made me more mindful of how right I am and how wrong everyone else is. And so I put this plea out to all of the students of Oxford: