A window inside life at Augustana College

Late Night @ The Brew

brew. 3am. its closed. lights are dimmed. and my sentences are incomplete because i’m coming down from the brutal buzz of a non-sugar-free energy/focus drink.

When my can of Amp had still been full, Keyana and I had just been watching the library empty out and the building begin to shut down as we settled down in the next closest available study area for a potential all-nighter.

And when my roommate texted us about the fire alarm that was going off in Westy right around 2, Keyana and I agreed it was a good time to break open that gourmet vanilla popcorn (that holds a strange and random place in the c-store) to celebrate our being here and not there. For some odd reason it felt almost like our version of roasting marshmallows over a campfire… In retrospect, how sad….

But I have to admit that it really brightened my night realizing how lucky I was to not be in my room this random time, but here when everyone in our residence hall (you have my sympathies) was being abruptly evacuated from the building in a blaring of noise rude at any hour.

What really made this night great, however, was studying (…i now use this term loosely) with our L.O.V.E. sister and almost-alumni, Liz. It felt so good to get something done together, and then indulge in a classic, much-needed long-awaited venting session with girls who truly feel like sisters, and it’s times like this that make me really appreciate the value of having them.

Since Liz left and Keyana and I finally got back down to work, we came to realize that the only thing marring our simple but solid night in the library was the big LOUD group in the corner that just wouldn’t go away! At first I was simply annoyed because their elevated volume slightly shocked my sensitive ears, especially in contrast to not only the volume level of the rest of the room, but its previous one as well.

Irritated but undeterred, I plugged in my earphones and hunted down some smooth jazz to counter the annoying buzz. This was a good idea, and it helped me very much, and I heartily recommend it to you (Thank you Pandora Swing & Smooth Jazz Radio:).

Yes, Ella Fitzgerald and friends worked well… until I realized I could still hear the other voices through my earphones, voices that really didn’t belong, penetrating all that bass, and all that sax, and all that jazz. I turned it up louder, but still the voices ebbed and flowed. The longer the chatter persisted the more it irritated me, not merely because I had to keep adjusting the volume accordingly, which was annoying in itself, but because I, at least, was under the impression that this particular spot on campus was a generally quiet, (usually silent), semi-private place to study after the library closes on weekdays. I was disappointed to say the least, as this spot had always had a sort of magical feeling to it whenever I encountered it after hours. It’s one of those common bustling places that see a lot of action in the course of a day, and for a long time I never knew it at night, never knew it was even open so late until sometime during my freshman year, and even then I felt like it was a secret. On top of that, there’s just something about a closed coffee shop…. Well, that’s probably roundabout where the “magic” came from anyway.

Tonight it was barely past close and according to my irregular and unprofessional observations there are usually a lot of leftover people hanging around in the Brew after 12, breaking up study sessions, saying goodnight, or settling in for one last solo stretch.  Few remain after 1 or 2, or especially 3am, due to a) the remote location in relative comparison with most dorms, b) how many lounges and similar areas there are in the residence buildings, and c) the fact that most people at this hour are disinclined to leave their room, let alone building. The few people left in here are typically doing serious late-night studying, or straggling through on their way to some place, only stopping to wait for someone or warm up.

Logic, to me, did not explain why this large group chose this small quiet study place to bring their obnoxious yelling, laughter, and noise. You would think the hour alone enough to prevent that. But for whatever reason, (it didn’t appear to be homework, most definitely NOT quiet study,) they still congregated here, being persistently loud. This would ALL be totally fine and peachy if there weren’t a handful of other people sitting by themselves clearly trying to study and do homework.

[I must acknowledge that at any point I could've packed my bags, admitted I was out of luck here, and headed out like a nomad for some other suitable place. But...]

It was still before 2, and I was hoping the group would leave at any moment. As the time passed and the noise didn’t, I couldn’t help turning around to see if they were getting ready to leave, or at least hush up sometime soon. When I finally did glance back I recognized most of them as freshmen.

Now, I am not one to harass or rip on freshmen, but rather to act a mother when it seems one is needed. I admit I did not take that step and get up and ask them to be quiet (again for various reasons), but I guess I kept hoping they would look around at all the [silent] grouchy faces and realize how rude they were being.

I know I have bigger concentration issues than most people, but isn’t it a pain in the ass (to say the least) when you spend hours upon hours (in my case days upon days) trying to get focused and get down to work, and when it finally starts happening and you start getting things done, or you finally get in the mood..and then something bad or annoying happens and begins to shake & rattle you out of the delicate zone that you’d been striving all night to get into, threatening to ruin everything you’ve worked for?! Well, it’s maddening.

Dear Freshmen,

This is college, and hell yes, it is intense. Yes, we work hard. Yes, we party hard. And through this, one lesson most college students inevitably learn (or should!) is to respect the efforts of fellow students when it comes to studying and getting work done. Of course this is not always entirely avoidable, as strange people may have strange habits, and public places are public places, so it’s not uncommon to step on each others’ toes without realizing it. It’s something we all face here, and should be able to relate to. For me this is usually not a problem: I’ll endure all kinds of ambient noise including amateur male choruses singing the ultimate stereotypical girl songs (or any other random tune for that matter) in anywhere but the library’s designated quiet floors and take it for the college experience. But if I may remind you, I’m talking about 3 AND 4 IN THE MORNING in the close presence of serious students; there’s nothing to call this but rude. I commend you on being so successful in shaking off the stress for a few hours with your friends this lovely late Monday night, but others aren’t so lucky, or at least on the same schedule as you…

So, Bottom Line:

THIS IS NOT THE PLACE TO DO IT.

Consideration and Common Sense (and, okay, maybe a little more Smooth Jazz, if I’d been able to hear it better) could have prevented this outburst!!!

NOTE TO READER: Keep in mind that this is, for the most part, me venting, sharing an opinion, and passing the time. For the least part, asking for some consideration among freshman, and for them to please use common sense and discretion when choosing the appropriate venue for their social or academic pursuits. Okay fine so maybe its 50/50.

 

This blog is probably a pretty good example of the combined effects of Week 5 of Winter term on a sophomore Augie student like me…………….

………………………………or maybe I just really am that whacked (meaning either really tired or really insane?)

 

Either way, I’ll stop now.

 

As Always,

Thanks for your listening ears and attentive eyes :]

 

 

 

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