It's all go in university libraries' across the country as exams tighten their grip over the time and sanity of the UK's student population. Seats can be hard to come by, even for the early risers amongst us. Silence reins throughout computer clusters and study areas, save for the patter of tired keyboards and the scratching of pen on paper. Candles are burnt at both ends, and ends found to burn some didn't know they had.
Sleep can be troublesome for those like myself who's mind does not have an off switch. The content from 14 hours at a desk evaporates upon climbing into bed, to be replaced by anything distracting and worrying. Anything that would be otherwise utterly unintersting on any other night suddenly presents itself as novel and stimulating hotbed of exciting prospects, ultimately leading to hours spent staring at the ceiling and the next days increased coffee consumption.
Stress effects everyone differently. Some deal with it better than others, and some not at all. Standing in a library at 9:45pm on a Monday evening in January paints a picture of the experience, but cannot convey the almost tangible sense of unease and weariness. The smell of books, sugary treats, red bull tins, body odour and flasks of strong black coffee an assault on the senses if unaccustomed, and is unique to these snapshots in time. Truly the eye of a storm. All this unhappiness, these tears and fears, trials, tribulations... for a scroll of crested paper.
I hope its worth it.
Within days these rows will be virtually uninhabited, with no evidence of what has gone before save for coffee stain rings and worn library steps.