It is hard to find peace and quiet both on and off campus. There are thousands of us attending UOW and there are certain spots where you will not find peace and quiet (building 11, the UniBar and any outdoor area). However the library is a good place for peace and quiet on campus.
Off campus, peace and quiet is not so easy to achieve, especially if you live on accommodation. When I lived at Campus East in my first two years, I basically had to live with over 600 people, so there was always noise. While Marketview has less people with 144 residents, it is also in the middle of the CBD so there are car horns /alarms, partiers and construction work to deal with.
The hardest part of dealing with noise when living on accommodation is Wednesday nights, being uni night nearly every resident wants to party. Because most uni students live on limited funds, they like to buy cheap alcohol and pre-drink as well as play loud music in their units/rooms. I’ve never understood the need to play loud music as it doesn’t enhance the ability to consume alcohol, but I’ll also never understand it because I am neither a partier nor drinker.
I’m not afraid to ask people to turn their music down, in fact I’m known for it, I don’t like to do it and I do feel bad because I don’t want to spoil other students’ fun. However sometimes due to the acceptance of partying and drinking in the uni culture, I sometimes believe that I am made to feel like the “bad guy” or a party pooper for asking people to turn their music down. I generally explain to people that everyone has the right to do what they want in their own unit/room—whether its having music on and people over to pre-drink or to watch TV. However the right for them to do what they want in their room shouldn’t infringe on the right for me to do what I want in my room. Me sitting in my room studying/working, watching TV or trying to sleep doesn’t stop them from being able to party or drink. However their partying or drinking, depending on how loud it is, can stop me from being able to study/work, watch TV or sleep and that’s not fair. All of this experience is a great practice run for when you eventually get your own place.
When exams are on there is generally a noise ban for the two to three weeks that they are on. I take great joy in the noise ban as I constantly get peace and quiet, that being said I don’t take joy in the stress that most students feel during this time (I don’t have exams for assessments in my degree).
If you are having trouble sleeping or need peace and quiet but can’t ask every single person to keep it down, I’ve found that white noise music can help. I bought a white noise album, Natural White Noise for Babies off iTunes, I sync the album onto my iPod when I’m studying and sometimes sleeping. I’ve found that I can turn it up as loud as I need to and because it’s soothing and there are no lyrics, it doesn’t hurt my ears and can block out almost any noise.
Uni life consists of many things—quietness is not one of them. This is not necessarily a bad thing–noise is a sign of community, friendship, determination and fun. However we all need our peace and quiet from time to time.