I hate to sound like every college prospectus going here, but college is great. There genuinely are loads of opportunities for those lucky enough to acquire student status. And I don’t just mean eating all the pizza you want, sleeping in, sleeping around, drinking the very best of cheap beer and student discounts.
“But surely”, you cry, “that’s what studenthood is all about!”
Now that I face the prospect of finishing up my time in university I’ve realised that there’s a whole pile of things I’m going to miss like hell. Things I wish I had taken advantage of sooner. so I’m going to create a list of genuinely golden opportunities to be had at college. For those of you who still can or who would like to seek them out. Most of these things are out there in the big bad world, but in college they are right at your doorstep, all but begging for your attention
1. The Library
Wait, don’t stop reading yet! Many students come to see the library as a place of drudgery, poor air-conditioning and stacks of textbooks, but there is so much more to it.
So obviously, there are textbooks. But even if you’re not that keen on your course work or don’t consider yourself bookish – you have other interests right? So does the Library. Name virtually any general topic and the library will have something on it. I went for a proper browse around the library this year. (In all my years at NUIG I had never strayed too far from my home in the humanities). If you find yourself with some spare time I highly recommend going for a wander. Far too many of us never venture from our subject areas but remember: nothing is off limits!
Okay some things are off limits, but generally…
I found myself between ailes of books on Harappan Civilisation* and a substantial section on something called the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial.
I have no idea what this is!
I should find out!
Now maybe this will only appeal to the innately curious or those who are bothered by personal weakness in general knowledge (TblQz4life), but there will be section for you too. Last week I found myself in the film section and spent perhaps a little too much and not altogether spare time reading about mise-en-scene* in popular film. In the English Section you’ll find anything from Daphne Du Maurier to JK Rowling. Among the visual arts you’ll find Picasso, Pollack and Rembrandt alongside graphic novels like Watchmen. Yes, the library has comics. Comics matter too.
Maybe you’ve always had a secret desire to learn about the mating habits of the Table Mountain Rock Dassie, maybe you want to know what the Nietzsche’s deal is with God? Where did marriage come from? How does a radio work? What’s that little hollow under your nose called? Why do American sitcoms say you can’t wear white after Labor Day? What is Labor Day? How did young Karl Marx have such an awesome beard? All of these answers and more can be found in the library. Except for the beard thing – that’s just a mystery.
So next time you have an afternoon off and you think you’d like to enlighten yourself or find out more about Witchcraft in Northern England, pop into the library. It’s free.
*I’m not gonna tell you what this is, Go To The Library.
Check out the K-Marx beard – it’s a sight to behold.