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Some compare it to the constant screech of nails on a chalkboard. Others liken it to the thunderous cacophony of a construction worker’s drill. More still equate it to the exploding bombs of nuclear warfare. However, few realize that scientific studies have indeed proven the existence of concrete societal benefits associated with the consumption of noisy snacks in Firestone Library. While the previous statement is entirely false, here are a few points that validate this otherwise inconsiderate habit:
1) Loud snackers are basically a handy alarm clock that goes off every two seconds, lacks a snooze button and attracts hoards of Princeton ants. But hey, you are 100 percent guaranteed to be awake, alert and maybe even productive during your Firestone study session.
Didn’t get enough sleep last night? Experiencing stress-induced hallucinations? On the verge of an apocalyptic, emotional meltdown? TOO BAD — NO NAP FOR YOU. But don’t curse the noisy snackers for keeping you from sweet, sweet slumber. They have simply transformed your four-hour “brain-stimulating siesta of champions” into an elusive phenomenon known as legitimate studying.
To be honest, it’s pretty pathetic to walk into the Trustee Reading Room and stumble upon naptime shantytowns strewn with Pequod blankets and pillow forts. Luckily, thanks to obnoxiously loud snacks, dozing off on a makeshift textbook bed will be only a vestige of the bygone days of SAT prep.
In a sense, you could think of it as a form of containment — the incredibly irritating sound of students gnawing on crunchy munchies limits the proliferation of nap-sites. Noisy snacks coerce Princetonians, via torture à la Spanish Inquisition, to finish their work and then sleep. Like, on an actual mattress. In an actual dorm room. You know, like, normally functioning humans.
2) The best study snacks are crunchy snacks.
Let’s quickly examine the evidence: apples are crunchy, almonds are crunchy, crunchy grapes are crunchy … and the list goes on. And look at that — all the foods I just named also happen to be healthy! Therefore, by logical extrapolation, all crunchy snacks are healthy. If nothing else, we need these nourishing noshes to make Michelle Obama ’85 proud of at least one aspect of her alma mater.
3) Noisy snackers, demanding your furious glare, force you to look up and appreciate the aesthetically pleasing renovations and fine art of Firestone — or, if you’re on the C floor, the many scary reminders of some kind of freaky carcinogen called asbestos.
In the effort to utilize your laser-like vision to mercilessly sear a hole through a cruncher’s head, you will inevitably have to pry your eyes from your math textbook (read: Facebook news feed) and analyze your surroundings. Thus, you’ll finally be able to appreciate Firestone’s, in the words of the library webpage, “bright and cheery” ambiance, laden with light-filled study spaces, masterly works of art and troubling chemical warning signs. Engineers: Considering the University will never lure you into the art museum, this is the next best option. After all, we came to this fine institution to acquire a liberal arts education, and distractingly loud snacks may be exactly what we need to fully embrace all that Mother Princeton has to offer.
4) You will be completely prepared for the inevitable hellscape of exam conditions.
Imagine this: Twenty-three minutes into your econ final, a math major taking the class that has been the bane of your semester as an easy fifth class begins fumbling around his bag. He pulls out a granola bar, but not just any granola bar — a Nature Valley bar.
At this point, you have three options: 1) violently slap said bar out of his hand, 2) leave the room or 3) deal with the distraction. Temporarily setting aside the first option, the optimal choice is clear. The possibility of submitting an incomplete econ exam and exiting the room is unthinkable. If you give up, how will you ever get that cushy finance — err, I mean, eradicate global poverty? Regardless of your career intentions, with your high tolerance for distractions developed at Firestone, you will not surrender.
Taking everything into consideration, is the marginal utility gained by a student munching on an apple at Firestone truly outweighed by the aggravation caused to his peers? If you paid the slightest bit of attention while skimming this article, it’s pretty clear that, in fact, this practice benefits not only the snackers, but also the Firestone, Princeton and global communities at large. So crunch on, Princetonians. Crunch on.