By: Konrad Philip
Grades aren’t everything, but when it comes to being considerate while studying, one should always strive for an ‘A’. While exam time tends not to bring out the best in us – note stealers, loudmouths, and space hogs abound – it’s easier than you might think (and there’s no scaling required!). Whether in a library, study hall, or any other popular study spot, keep in mind these four tips:
- Sharing notes: Almost everyone studies for finals, even those who didn’t pay attention in class. So what do you do if someone you barely know asks you for your notes? It isn’t mean to say no if you don’t feel comfortable. The person asking you knows that it’s no small favor, and likely asked others before you. If you still want to help, suggest a good course note website or offer to study together. Helping another learn the material could give you a better understanding of it, and perhaps a new friend as well.
- Be scent-sible: Sometimes old books are not the only things that smell musty at the library. Around exam time, the 24-hour Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is filled with a bouquet of foods, powerful perfumes, and the seasonally popular “B.O. Collection”. When bringing food into the library, be mindful of its smell. Avoid most hot foods, especially anything with fish, garlic, or eggs. Once you’re finished eating your non-smelly food item, clean up your workspace. Library rats aren’t real rats; they won’t eat your crumbs off the table.
- Get the h*@& off your cell: Whatever the official rules are, it is inconsiderate to have a long cell phone conversation near people who are studying – even if the room is rather loud. If you have to pick up a phone call, the rule of thumb is to keep it under 30 seconds, or step outside. When texting, turn off your ringtone and do not place your phone on a shared surface if it’s going to vibrate; nobody likes to study on a pinball table.
- Learn or give someone else a turn: When you feel like you need to take a longer break or a nap, vacate your spot. Vacating means taking all of your things with you, not leaving a laptop and asking someone to watch it until you come back 30 minutes later. Fellow students will appreciate your consideration and your head will appreciate sleeping on a surface softer than a table. It may even pay you back on exam day!
Konrad Philip is an etiquette writer and creator of NotAwkwardAnymore.com, a popular manners website for youth. He believes that following proper etiquette makes one feel confident and comfortable, not conceited. Follow Konrad on Twitter @notawkanymore or email firstname.lastname@example.org