In June, someone wrote a letter to The Straits Times on how students nowadays hogged seats and even “reserved” seats in cafes to study.
It’s a valid point because I’ve a friend working in a café, and it’s a first-world problem that he has to deal with daily.
But someone has to come in and defend these students in public domain, because #strawberry and because #entitlement
In comes a certain Claire Eng, a polytechnic student who wrote a reply to the first letter, stating that the whole seat-hogging thingy is “misunderstood”.
Since The Straits Times might have a paywall for your browser, here’s a concise description of what she says in point form:
- It’s hard to get a seat in a library as it’s too crowded, and studying there isn’t feasible because she can’t eat there. So she skipped lunch for a week while studying in the library
- She cannot study at home because it’s too comfortable, so she would procrastinate
- She can’t study in classrooms because they’re closed after school
- CCs have study rooms but they have fixed days and hours
- Commercial facilities aren’t feasible because students aren’t willing to pay
- Therefore, cafes are good
- Then she closed the argument by suggesting classrooms to open at night or extend CC study rooms opening hours
You know, if I were taking my GP now, I think I can write a ten-thousand-word essay to counter this strawberry’s argument, but let’s be kind for a while and “objectively” counter each point.
Because strawberry juice isn’t tasty.
It’s hard to get a seat in a library as it’s too crowded, and studying there isn’t feasible because she can’t eat there. So she skipped lunch for a week while studying in the library
Okay, Ms Strawberry, isn’t a seat in a café more difficult to find? She mentioned Ang Mo Kio library, which is a big-ass library – there’re like hundreds of seats there compared to the twenty seats in a Starbucks outlet.
Now, to the next argument: you can’t eat there. Have you honestly studied in a library before? I have, and if you have, you can do what many do: leave your bag and grab a quick bite (as short as a toilet break sometimes!) in the nearby eatery. And heck, it’s Ang Mo Kio library, whereby there are good food just beside the library. Even that TRS (The Real Singapore) ramen stall is there, and you’re telling me you skipped lunch for a week? What’s this?
She cannot study at home because it’s too comfortable, so she would procrastinate
If you’ve said that your house doesn’t have a good environment to study (e.g. noise, heat, etc), then it’s a perfect reason. But you mentioned it’s too comfortable. So a café or a library is less comfortable?
Let me show you the correct phrase: you lack self-discipline. Don’t blame your house for being too comfortable.
She can’t study in classrooms because they’re locked up after school
The last I know, polytechnics have study tables for students to study till late at night. Come on, admit it: you need air-con. You want to be comfortable.
CCs have study rooms but they have fixed days and hours
Same logic as the previous point – there are tables in void decks for you to study. Before you go all mosquitoes to me, here’s my suggestion: get a mosquito patch. Problem solved. Or maybe there wasn’t a problem to begin with.
Commercial facilities aren’t feasible because students aren’t willing to pay
Sure. They’re just willing to pay for overpriced coffee and sandwiches, but let’s face it: are you sure you’re there to study, or you’re there to show others that you’re studying?
You know, like hashtagging #mugging in Starbucks?
There, I’ve said my piece. Pretty sure my tone wasn’t harsh because my boss told me not to be harsh, as strawberries bruise easily.
But there needs a disclaimer: she did provide suggestions on how to stop people from studying in cafes, and her tone wasn’t defensive (mine wasn’t as well, right?), so you can’t really say that she’s a self-entitled strawberry.
Instead, let’s just say that I’m pretty sure there’re many real strawberries agreeing with her.
And also, I think it’s apt for me to say this to any strawberry out there: I apologize but I have to break this news to you: the earth is turning due to gravity, not due to you.
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