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If you do any of these things in Exeter’s Forum Library, you’re the problem

I’m sick of hearing about your sex life whilst I’m writing an essay


The Forum Library has come to be the hotspot for all Exeter students. It’s the place where we all gather to cry, panic and pull an all-nighter for our last minute essays. The library is known to have every kind of student in there. There’s the academic weapons who have been there since 5am, on their second can of Monster and jittering from their Pret double espresso as they work on their upcoming project. There’s also the laid back, “leaves everything until the last minute” types of people who have spent the past three weeks attending more TP Wednesdays than their 8:30am seminars. Oh, and then there’s the ones who see university as uni and are just there for the vibes and a good debrief about their Fever Monday antics.

Everyone is completely different to the way they use the Forum Library whether you’re a go-getter and have been cranking out essays since the crack of dawn or you’re a rugby boy trying to harass everyone to buy a Varsity ticket. The Forum Library has some unspoken rules that you must NOT do. If you do any of these things, then you are the problem. Sorry, hun x

1. Talk loudly

There is nothing worse than people talking loudly when you’re desperately trying to finish off an assignment that is due in two hours. It is even worse when you have arrived early to secure a seat in the Law Library and then have a whole group of freshers gossiping as if they are in the Fever smoking area. People who talk loudly in the library are the worst kind of people. No matter how many death stares you give them or how much you crank up the study tunes in your AirPods, they will just carry on talking. They will talk about their current house drama, their Tinder dates and what outfit they are going to wear to TP on Friday: “Rah, so I’m wearing my Urban corset with cargos, yah”.

The people who talk loudly are usually the first year students who are unserious about their degree and are only there to socialise and take their BeReal. They have no awareness as to how loud they talk and others around them forget where they are. You’re in a library babes, not the Unit 1 toilets, stop shouting. Look, I love to have a little natter with my friends but if I’m about to give them my most recent situationship gossip or debrief on my latest TP antics, I wouldn’t choose the library to do so. If you’re a loud talker who goes to the Forum Library frequently, you are the problem (I am trying to do my essay, not hear about your housemates shagging).

2. Make unnecessarily loud noises

The people who talk loudly are usually the first year students who are unserious about their degree and are only there to socialise and take their BeReal. They have no awareness as to how loud they talk and others around them forget where they are. You’re in a library babes, not the Unit 1 toilets, stop shouting. Look, I love to have a little natter with my friends but if I’m about to give them my most recent situationship gossip or debrief on my latest TP antics, I wouldn’t choose the library to do so. If you’re a loud talker who goes to the Forum Library frequently, you are the problem (I am trying to do my essay, not hear about your housemates shagging).

2. Make unnecessarily loud noises

This is a massive pet peeve of mine: People who make unnecessarily loud noises. Unlike the loud talkers, they don’t talk, but they do make you fully aware of how stressed or tired they are by the noises that come out of them. The constant grunting and sighing is super annoying and quite uncomfortable. The mouth breathing and the constant “mmmm”, “urghhh”, “arghhh” makes me, personally, very distracted and even more stressed out as your stress is being pushed onto me (and the smell of your Pret coffee breath). If you’re someone who makes weird, loud noises, please take a long hard look at yourself. We get your frustrations at having piles of work to do, but the rest of the Forum Library doesn’t need to share that with you, thanks.

3. PDA

Now, this is just weird. PDA, in general, is already quite an unpleasant thing to see in or out of the Forum Library. If you’re in the library hugging and kissing your partner every two seconds, please remember you’re in the library and not Fever room two. I have seen couples doing PDA multiple times in the Forum and always feel like throwing up into my empty Pret coffee cup. This is even worse when the couple are directly in your eyeline or in the main area of level one library. They spend more time putting their tongues down each other throats than doing actual work. Perhaps if you put more time into doing work than doing your boyfriend, you wouldn’t be so behind. Everyone can see you guys making out, you’re not being secretive.

If you’re in a relationship and go to the library with your partner often, perhaps tone down the PDA to a complete zero. No one wants to see that, especially those who have pulled an all-nighter and already feel like they’re on the brink of death. Those who are extremely hungover from a TP Wednesday and can feel the green Venom coming back up also don’t want to see it, I can assure you. If you do PDA a lot, then you are seriously the problem. Please, get a room. And no, an actual bedroom, not the corner of a booth in the Law Library. We can still see you.

4. Take up ALL the space

Getting a good seat in the Forum Library is tougher than securing a TP Wednesday ticket. You have to get there before the midday rush of when students actually decide to wake up and attend their first lecture in a month. So, a lot of us either go early or late at night to secure a good spot and become the academic weapons we want to be. Sometimes we can’t go to the library when its quiet and are stuck frantically finding a seat. A lot of the time, you spend more time at the library trying to find a seat than doing actual work, which is super frustrating. But, if you’re someone who takes up all the space, then you’re a serious problem.

What I mean by this is that you decide to lay out every single notebook you own, your laptop, iPad, chargers, books and the kitchen sink in front of you and around you. You may even have placed your bag on the left chair and your coat on the right. This is super annoying, especially when other people have spent the past 20 or so minutes trying to find somewhere to prop their MacBook open. I understand not wanting anyone to sit next to you or just having loads of books for your course. But, come on now. Let’s not be selfish here.

5. Taking your shoes off

This is a bit of a weird thing to do anywhere, anyway. But, if you take your shoes off in the library, then you’re the problem (and need a bit of help). I understand that you may have been sat in the library since 8am and need a bit of a stretch, but there’s no need to be taking your shoes off in the library, especially if you have bad foot odour. I don’t really understand why people take their shoes off in the library, but they do, sadly. I have only seen this happen once or twice, so it is quite a niche thing. But, seriously re-evaluate your life choices if you constantly get your feet out. No one wants to see your dogs, put them away.

6. Eat smelly food

With the Forum Library being placed at the heart of campus, there are many food places to go to when you need your midday Marketplace snack or a break by getting your third Barista coffee. This means that there’s always constant sounds of unwrapping your ham and cheese panini or slurping your empty Starbucks cup (a bonus point for annoyance). But, with all the different kinds of food that are in the library, some may opt for the worst kind: The smelly food.

As you are writing away your 2,000 word essay and catching up on your lectures, you start to get a weird whiff of something. Is it you? Is it the person next to you? Is it coming from outside? No. It’s the person sat six seats away unboxing their tuna mayo sandwich they got from Marketplace. This person may already be aware that their food choice does smell bad, but they do not care. They stick to what they like and it comes with a price – making everyone hate you. As they tuck away at their family pack of Quavers and open their cheese and pickle sandwich, they know all eyes are on them. If you’re someone who always chooses the worst smelly foods, you are the problem although you can argue that you’re only eating for about 10 minutes, the smell still lingers. It makes me want to whip out the Febreze rather than do my work. Nasty.

7. Type super loudly

Now, I can’t judge too hard here because I know I do this a lot, especially with acrylics on (oops sorry). But, if you’re someone (like me) who types super loudly, you are the problem. It can be very distracting for everyone else in the library, especially in the quiet study rooms. Everyone is trying to concentrate, do their work, watch their lecture and all they can hear is: “CLACK CLACK CLICKETY-CLACK”. It’s even worse when you’ve hit writer’s block and can’t think of what to write for your essay.

Personally, I notice when people start to stare at me for typing too loud. It’s an unspoken rule. Sometimes you just want to shut off their computer and throw it out the window. It is super annoying. But for those loud typers out there, we understand that you are either in the zone, trying to frantically finish off an essay or want to finish any uni work in order to be on time for your TP pres. Either way, loud typers cannot be helped. If you come across a loud typer in the Forum Library, crank up your music to 100 and let them type away, or tell them to stop typing so loud. They are the problem, after all.

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