A common topic of conversation around the arts block is what you do during those rare breaks when, despite the constant hustle and bustle of human traffic in the arts block, somehow no one you know is around. Many play it safe and ensure they always have some reading material at hand to while away the time, even if often it’s for show rather than because they are actually taking it in. There are those of us who often forget to bring a book and have to awkwardly mess around on our phones pretending to be doing something vaguely constructive or perhaps giving the impression of a late friend.
Often he best thing to do is to hit up the library; a place where staring into space and doing very little is considered a legitimate task. It’s also a particularly agreeable location for a casual nap. Its key flaw however is that one is forbidden to eat within the hallowed confines of the library.
Eating alone in the arts block is an exceptionally awkward activity. Even if you succeed in getting a fairly inconspicuous couch spot it is still hard not to look like the quintessential lonely soul. Again one must attempt to appear occupied; this is how my Russian book came to be full of crumbs sadly.
On a good day, lurking at college is great fun, plenty of people pass by, stop and chat, you feel energised by all the interaction and when you eventually head home or to a lecture you feel like you’ve spent all day with friends. On a lonely day you wonder if there’s been some sort of wild party the night before or an outbreak of the flu!
I guess waiting in a place full of people you will encounter and reencounter is the key issue here. We rarely feel awkward waiting in a dart station or at a bus, or even being alone on public transport because no matter how weird we may look or whatever stupid activity we may somehow publicly get up to we will not be recognised or remembered. It’s as though we strive to avoid appearing socially awkward in front of our peers even in a technically non-social setting. An odd instinct I suppose, but true nonetheless!