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15th March 2024

Main library musings – rant column #1

Edition #1 of the Opinion section’s rant column: Dive in for some good old fruitless grumbling about issues the Opinion editors think plague student life
Main library musings – rant column #1

Esme Campbell, Deputy Opinion Editor:

I didn’t sign up for a second DofE – I found the first harrowing enough. But I may as well file for the credit now, due to the number of collective miles I’ve stacked up while embarking on quests around the library in search of a seat.

It’s probably a good thing I’m not doing a post-grad, because if you checked back in with me in a year I likely would’ve transformed into something Gollum-esque, hissing at people comfortably doing their work and gently stroking a free chair whilst whispering ‘precious’ into it. I’m sick to my back teeth of wasting precious time during exam season wandering the hallowed halls in search of a decent place to sit, before either consigning myself to a dank area in blue – or else just taking it as a sign from the universe, giving up, and going home. This isn’t about my personal levels of motivation and self-discipline, leave me alone.

Is it so much to ask that the university provides enough study spaces to accommodate its increasing student numbers? I don’t want to get up at the crack of dawn to fight for a seat like I’m in the Hunger Games arena, I want more options.

Lily Wallen, Deputy Opinion Editor:

Have you ever experienced such a profound, mind-boggling thirst that the dryness of your mouth could rival Jesus’ after 40-days-and-40-nights in the Judaean Dessert? No? Well, I have, and it was in Blue 3.

When will people stop using the second stream of the water fountain as the first is already in use? Yes, I know there are 3 available taps on the fountain. No, that doesn’t mean all 3 should be used simultaneously, reducing the rate of water to no more than a measly dribble.                              

It’s seriously painful. There I am just trying to fill up my £2 Primark bottle in peace and suddenly I’m choosing between weirdly tense eye contact or watching water fill my bottle at the speed of a 142 during rush hour. 

Other than eating a tuna or prawn sandwich, this is probably the worst thing you can do in the library. It’s a commitment to slowing everyone down. I mean seriously, you never know what people are going through; the person next to you might have 4 minutes to get to a seminar in the depths of the Sam Alex corridors.

Alexandra Baynes, Head Opinion Editor:

I love food.

I love the process of listening to what my mind desires, writing it down, sauntering down Wilmslow Road, scarpering around Aldi and then smugly tucking it away (in various ways.) But recently the food shop itself has been buggering me. I’m bored of shovelling pesto pasta or chilli con carne or avocado on toast down my throat, yet I also can’t be bothered to find new recipes. It’s too easy to turn to what I already know.

Of course, time and money – the things which perpetually plague uni students – are the main reasons as to why my plate looks so dull and repetitive. I’d quite like a Personal Assistant or an in-house Chef to sort this for me, but again, time and money are the issue as to why this can’t happen (mainly money, who do I think I am). Or maybe I’ll become a mukbang merchant, determined to try every food place on the Oxford Road corridor – oh wait, time and money.

How do I solve this problem? I don’t know, and I don’t necessarily want to hear your views unless you’re offering to be my private chef, so for now I’ll just stick to reaching for fajitas for dinner again.

Violet Robins, Deputy Opinion Editor:

The community fridge. Where do I start?

That fridge is a deeply depressing yet hilarious reminder of last year’s execs’ scramble to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis. While some methods – like getting a one-off payment of £170 – were popular, the community fridge fell flat on its face.

Walking into The Hive should be a pleasant experience, only hearing the chatter of students, the occasional dings of the microwaves (another popular method in the cost-of-living policies from last year), and the alarms from the Fuse studios. But no, instead you’re greeted with a sensory nightmare of the droning hum of that horrible fridge. 

Additionally, the fridge was strapped for options. As if Corridor doesn’t already fail in providing adequate food options for those with dietary requirements, their leftovers are ten times worse. When the fridge was active, I was a gluten-free vegetarian who desperately needed to use that fridge; I was never able to find any food I could eat.

Students were hardly told when the fridge was restocked either, except for the occasional post on the SU’s Instagram story. Therefore, it would just be dumb luck if you were able to get your hands on any food. That’s if some selfish person doesn’t swing by beforehand and takes the entire stock for themselves.

It was an unregulated nightmare, and I’m glad that the embarrassment hasn’t been used much this year.

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