The Seven Students You See in the Library During Finals Week

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Illustrated by Diane Kim

Andy Knox

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Feeling stressed out while working in the library over your lack of productivity is a universal UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) student experience, especially around finals week. When focusing on your own procrastination, you might assume your fellow Gauchos are studying with pure focus and maximum efficiency. But if you look closely, you’ll start to feel less alone in your struggles. These are the seven types of students that may be hiding in plain sight at the library during finals week. 

1. The Gamer

The gamer’s GPA could be anywhere between 2.0 and 4.0. They could be the most motivated student in the library, or the least. All we know is that they repeatedly tell themselves , “One more game and then I’ll study.” But, they continue with their campaigns for hours in a row, stopping every 15-20 minutes to make a negligible amount of progress on their work, just to reward and distract themselves with another game. When they notice how much time has been wasted, they briefly return their focus shortly, before heading back home for a scheduled League of Legends competition on Discord. They’re either a genius or just apathetic about failing their exams.

Hours studied: 2

2. The “Self-Care” Procrastinator

The “self-care” procrastinator absolutely idolizes productive discipline, but their health-focused lifestyle can create the illusion — both to themselves and others — that they are getting more work done than in reality. Having already planned out their week using eight multi-colored highlighters and two planners, their day begins precisely at 6 a.m. with one hour of yoga and a morning mindfulness walk. After making it to the library at 8:30 a.m., slipping in two more quick hours of self-care and a short break to order a macchiato at the Arbor’s café, they return to the library and finally opens their laptop around noon. They take a moment, just one more hour, to browse through social media and then finally, they start  working on their final papers. 

Hours studied: 3

3. The Hermit

Though their coffee, restaurant take-out, and four Trader Joe’s bags perpetually occupy the best study nook in the library, the Hermit’s whereabouts are unknown for most of the day. During their 16-hour stay at the library, they may be spotted on the top floor, pondering the sight of the mountains, people-watching with a big smile, or (as rumors have it) crawling on the ceiling. Though they spend some chunk of their time at a desk, they must dedicate at least two hours to eating the most crumb-conducive foods they could bring during one of their notorious grubbing breaks. 

Hours studied: 5

4. The Group Studier

At heart, the group studier is really just there to have a good time. They spend most of their five-hour study room reservations talking with their group, cackling at unfunny dank memes, and howling at each other’s impressions of an awkward professor. When their scheduled time is up, the group gets boba together to destress after a hard day’s work. After all, they’ve earned it.

Hours studied: 0.5

5. The Computer Science Major 

The CS major is the one stereotype who justifies your inferiority anxiety. No matter how long you stay, they arrive 30 minutes before and leave at least an hour after you. They do not seem to have peripheral vision and only look up from their work to fill up their 32-ounce sleek-black, stickerless hydro flask precisely twice an hour. On these brisk, bi-hourly walks to the water fountains, water-bottle carabiner strapped to their back, CS majors make it a point to avoid eye contact with any chatty member of the crowd. Aside from these brief trips, the only time they are not at maximum productivity is during their mysterious, daily 43-minute bathroom break, immediately returning to their  coding project afterwards.  

Hours studied: 15

6. The Mad Philosopher

Having procrastinated an eight-page term paper until the night before it’s due, the philosopher is more stressed than they have ever been (except for last quarter, and the quarter before that, and so on since 11th grade). Frantically murmuring esoteric jargon in incomprehensible fragments at light speed, they swear that the currently inarticulable concept in their head is the solution to a 1,000-year-old unresolved philosophical dilemma. After submitting the paper at 11:57 p.m., they regret not having used those two extra minutes to completely transform their thesis.

Hours studied: 13  (including the majority of hours they spend grasping at straws during their two quick smoke breaks)  

7. The Panicker

After getting the worst sleep of their life while staying overnight in one of those weird egg-pod things, the now-studying panicker looks at their computer with the most fervorous stare and twitchiest eyes you have ever seen. Despite having gone to office hours four times in the past two weeks, the material still makes no sense to them, and they suspect that their psychology professor is gaslighting them as part of some cynical study. There is a one-in-five chance they will pull the fire alarm by the end of the day, desperately hoping that the event will result in their final being canceled.

Hours studied: 1-11 (depending on when the fire alarm gets pulled)

While we all hope nobody pulls the fire alarm when we are trying to study, if you fit into one of these stereotypes don’t feel ashamed! You’re a quintessential part of the UCSB finals week library experience. The Bottom Line wishes you a good dead week, finals week, and a happy summer break!

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