Silent floor or social floor? Keep it quiet
Published: Sunday, April 24, 2011
Updated: Sunday, April 24, 2011 15:04
Looking for a quiet place to study? The fourth floor of the library may not be your best option anymore.
What was once the "silent" floor is now the "social" floor. This used to be my study refuge from my noisy dorm room freshman year, but now it is the last place I will go if I need to get something done.
Couples romancing, cell phone conversations and noisy study groups ignore the "SHH, this is the silent floor" signs plastered on the walls.
This 226,000-square-foot library has three other floors, so if you know you are going to be talking throughout your stay at the library, go to another floor or another building. Do not disturb everyone else around you.
My last and final study session on the fourth floor came to an to end after distractions from a couple sitting in front of me.
The girl was wearing earplugs, so as to not be disturbed by anyone else around her while her boyfriend's earphones blasted music, which could be heard from tables away. I am not quite sure why they were there in the first place because she got up incessantly to kiss him, I guess she was trying to make sure he was still there.
I was trying hard to focus on Chapter Six of social psychology, but all I could hear was this girl's problems with her grandma. Not only was she right next to my table, but she was also screaming because her ear plugs were still in. After 30 minutes of listening to her chicken-noodle soup story, I finally said something.
"This is the fourth floor of the library. It is quiet study."
The couple did not approve of my comment and the episode of Love Boat continued.
In a study done by Alison M. Wolfe, Elmira College found that 80 percent of college students prefer to study in a quiet place.
A New York Times article released in January discussed the new book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, which studied a wide range of college students at a variety of universities, proceeded by a standardized test.
"Professors ... noted that students who spent more hours studying alone had greater gains on the standardized exam being used as a benchmark," according to Jacques Steinberg in "How Much Do College Students Learn, and Study?"
My question is: Where is a quiet place to study when people disrespect each other, live in noisy dorms or are faced with distractions elsewhere?
I discovered my solution from Love Boat girl: ear plugs. These bright orange and rather unattractive, foamy devices have saved my studying career. A package of 20 costs $2.99 and saves you hours of distractions. I now study in the convenience of my own room, porch or even the Student Union.
Moments before a test or the last few hours before a paper is due are vital.
It can leave us feeling irritable and stressed. All we need is quiet to think about social psychology, finance or whatever, not grandma's soup.
All I am saying is have a little consideration and a little thought for others in the library. If that phone call is really important, step outside to take it.
If you need some romance, stay in and respect the fourth floor, it says "SHH" for a reason.