I can literally feel the temperature rise from the sweat, desperation, hard work and the focus required to study when I walk into the library. Most college students see the library as a study haven when they are ousted from the noisy dorms, an alternative workspace where a roommate bugs them while they are drafting a paper or a place where they force themselves to focus when they are unmotivated to work elsewhere.
While we may joke about Club Richter with its noisy first floor, I am surrounded by productivity as I walk around the extremely crowded room. While some students may be chatting aimlessly, many more seem to be intently focused on scanning notes or reading a textbook.
People come to Richter with a purpose. They get something done and get out. However, many students fail to use these valuable resources for relaxation. While the library is absolutely overflowing with educational journals and texts, people fail to notice the current issues of People magazine placed near the comfortable chairs and never glance at the best-sellers eagerly awaiting to be read.
While students seem to be reading more than ever for their classes, it is rare that college students list reading books for enjoyment as a favorite activity. More so, with books online and bookstores rapidly reaching their demise, many have resorted to online textbooks.
However, when did the library stop being fun? I remember browsing at my local library and leaving with armloads of girly teen books that I couldn’t wait to read. When did the library transform from a place filled with wonders of words to a place full of doom and gloom?
While I have been a UM student for more than a year, it never occurred to me to utilize the library to promote relaxation. Granted, most people have no interest in any outside reading after hundreds of pages of classwork. But, what about all of the movies that Richter provides?
The library is full of hidden treasures. Students just need to take a few minutes to be willing to explore. It is far more than a quiet place to study. The library can inspire pleasant thoughts in our minds, rather than the typical dread of spending hours on end with our noses in books.
We simply need to give it a chance.
Alyssa Jacobson is a sophomore majoring in advertising and political science.