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The pressure is on. Not only must you enter the library before 9am to avoid being desk-less (or risking the wrath of the librarians), but now thanks to copious pop-up 'Spotted' social media accounts dedicated to scrutinising your every move, you also have to ensure you look damn good with it.
When I first arrived at York, I was 100% convinced it was acceptable to rock up to the library looking like you've given about 10% effort to the 'just rolled out of bed' look and the other 90% into actually getting out of the front door. However, after being told to "get back inside and change" by a housemate, who will remain anonymous, I realised I was way off the mark.
Since then I've learned the extra hour in bed I sacrifice to make myself 'look pretty' is worth it. You might think that it's sad, or that I'm a total victim to the pressures of looking good, but you certainly won't have seen anyone criticising my outfit choices online.
In a utopian world, we would all be proud of the achievements of our fellow library-goers and not judge them on their outfit choices, even if it should have been destroyed along with all of our Bliss magazines. However, being subjected to the library, with its dodgy temperature control and superficial lighting, is far from enjoyable and, realistically, the entertainment we draw from the observance of others is never going to stop. Whether it be the guy wearing flip flops and a life jacket (sorry, 'gilet')' the girl wearing the clothes she definitely wore to Revs the night before or - worse - the people wearing Crocs, you will be caught out and cause a reaction.
Plus, it's not all about the criticism. As someone who gets a huge amount of enjoyment out of fashion (or, according to my bank balance probably too much enjoyment) I revel in the chance to show off my latest purchases or interpretations of the latest trends. Furthermore, if I think I look good, I feel good and I manage to create a stack of notes that Freud himself would be proud of. It's not just those committing acts of fashion treason that cause a reaction; there are those who evoke a sense of harmless envy in us. Those whose outfits we wish we'd thought of first, or outfits we dream of owning and pulling off just as well.
Tips for looking good at the library for those lazy days: brush your hair and dress appropriately for the weather. Nothing causes a reaction like the girl wearing a mini-dress and wellies when the snow arrives. A pair of leggings and a comfy sweater/top (that covers your bum, ladies) or a pair of jeans and a t-shirt (without flip flops in the winter, lads) is a sure way to look and feel good without causing a reaction. Unless you want the reaction...in that case we'll be seeing you at JB Morrell.