Summer term. It should be stirring up feelings of freedom and an insatiable desire for ice-cream, but instead it means one thing and one thing only for us hard-working students. It’s exam period, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Glum trips to the library every day; merciless hunts for a computer in the Harry Fairhurst building; a nagging feeling of neglecting your degree every time you choose a night out or an episode of The Voice over committing your flashcards to memory. Even if you don’t have any exams, or are a first year that couldn’t care less about your altogether formative round of essays, you’ll be pretty much alone- the entire university migrates in summer term to the depths of JB Morrell, and doesn’t resurface until Summer Ball.
Given this less than romantic setting, you would be forgiven for assuming that finding love lurking in the library is just as likely as finding it in Reflex on local’s night. Well you’d be wrong. Maybe it’s the smell of stress and freshly renewed books, or the general sense of desperation and panic that hovers around Key Texts, but whatever it is, make the most of it now. You have exams to be revising for; there simply isn’t time to be off galavanting on actual dates.
Nab yourself a decent spot. If you’re picky about the type of soulmate you want to stumble across, choose your location wisely. You want a creative partner? Head off to the Literature or History of Art sections. Fancy a macho sports player? First find out if we offer a sports science degree, and then patiently wait in that area. You get the gist.
Make yourself desirable. You need to get attention after all! The most successful way of getting people to notice you in the library is to be as much of a nuisance as possible. Take up two or more seats; check out every book (even if unnecessary to your revision session) and pile them up around you; and have your sexiest soundtrack blasting through your iPod speakers. That way, while people are throwing you dirty looks, you can catch their eyes and throw them a disarming smile that just screams “let’s go make out behind the journal articles”.
Now you’ve found yourself a suitable and prime location, and gained sufficient attention from all your new potential partners, it’s time to make your move. This is all down to personal preference. If you’re the confident type, a simple wink and nod towards the nearest private spot for a getting-to-know-you session should do the trick. If you’re more subtle, try “accidentally” spilling your water bottle all over their freshly finished essay, and offering to get them a coffee from the £1 vending machine to make up for it. Whichever path you choose, they’ll love you either way. Who said romance was dead?
And if that doesn’t work, then maybe focussing on your upcoming exams and due dates will serve you better. Who knows, perhaps the time you spend revising and writing essays will cultivate you into a more desirable person? And failing that, there’s always Reflex on local’s night.
(originally published here: http://theyorker.co.uk/lifestyle/themojo/11265)