Lectures & Seminars: Thirsty Work


When I went to lectures and seminars, there’s one thing I missed out on doing that I really wish I’d done now:

Taken a bottle of water.

That’s it. Nothing else.

One or two people in my classes would always have a bottle of water with them. Sometimes they would leave it next to them and not take one sip. Other times they might have glugged away the entire contents within 45 minutes. Either way, they always took the water with them.

It might not sound like much, but having a drink next to you means you have one less thing to care about when you’re meant to be busy working or listening to complex academic arguments. There were times when I’d be thirsty and I’d look over to another person’s bottle of water and try to use my mind to make it walk over to me and let me take a sip. Like an idiot, I only started taking water to seminars in my final year. And even then it was sporadically, when I remembered.

And that bottle of water could have even saved me money…

You see, if you feel thirsty, then it’s already too late. So when I was feeling thirsty it just made things worse and I couldn’t do anything about it, because I was busy taking notes, or discussing aesthetic values in everyday objects, or letting my mind wander to thoughts of a cold, refreshing drink…mmm, drink!

So the very moment I left the room, I would make a beeline for the student shop or the refectory or the student union. Anywhere that I could buy a drink from. And it wasn’t just me. Seems like a lot of students miss this trick. That’s why I thought it was worthy of writing an entire post about it.

If you’re not keen on filling up a bottle with tap water each time you have a lecture/seminar, why not:

– buy a water filter jug? They fit in the fridge, so the water would be freshly filtered and cold. It would be very affordable if you shared the purchase with all your housemates at the beginning of the year. MUCH cheaper than buying drinks as and when you get thirsty (which will probably be quite often if I’m anything to go by). Or ask for a filter jug as a Christmas prezzie.

– buy a cheap bottle of squash to add a bit of flavour to what you’re drinking? But do remember if it’s apple flavoured squash, or very weak orange squash, you might get people asking you why you’re carrying a urine sample around with you…

I used to think the few people who carried around a bottle of water were:

  • Naturally thirstier people than the rest of us;
  • rebels deep down, trying to tempt the tutors into moaning that they shouldn’t drink in lectures;
  • evil spirits, who put their water on show just to make me feel even more thirsty;
  • trying to look cool, using their water as a prop to show how comfortable they were with their being.

This is probably one thing that I’ve thought way too much about. Maybe I’ll only rest if I find out that tutors really did hate people drinking in their classes.

The element of life

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