Ok, so if you haven’t heard yet – seriously, where have you been for past three months – the IC has had a bit of a make-over.

If you’re a first year and are yet to know what this iconic building is, it’s one of the University’s libraries open 24 hours a day. If you’re a third year and are yet to know what the IC is, you should probably, you know, go and do some work in there. Unless you study sociology.

Forge Press is in no way advocating the act of moving into the IC. Don’t do that. It’s definitely illegal and you will be removed by security. If you’re struggling with housing, please contact the Advice Centre.

Much to my disappointment, nobody came to take my coat and bag upon my arrival to the IC. The scanning process to enter the building was one massive inconvenience. For your average third year student having had years of practice, just one swift swipe and you’re gliding through those doors. However, I ended up stuck behind a first year who’d scanned her ID in the wrong place four times in the 30 seconds I’d been standing there.

With help from me and a lovely man behind the front desk, she was in in no time. However, the whole process had clearly left her feeling very confused and me slightly irritated.

The service in the IC was good. The cleaner dropped a hello every time I walked past and I had a lovely chat with the man on the front desk. However, he did seem a bit confused when I asked if he had any rooms available. Besides that, a great conversation.

If you lose your UCard during your stay, you’re basically stuck in there forever.

I can’t say I enjoyed my stay enough to sleep here again. I slept on a sofa located on Level 1 and woke up with a stiff neck. The IC does not provide pillows or quilts, which for me is a required standard for any accommodation. To give the IC another chance, I tried out their alternative sleeping arrangements – rearranging three spinny chairs and lay across them (conveniently, this can be extended to four or five chairs to suit your height). This was very uncomfortable and I couldn’t sleep for the fear of one rolling away and me ending up on the floor. All in all, I’d say I had about three hours worth of decent sleep. Not impressed.

The new booths, however, were perfect for a good nap. I could have probably have had an excellent sleep sat up in one of those. Excellent addition to the IC.

The IC’s refurb also brought with it a new carpet. Which is potentially even more dull than the old one and makes your eyes go a bit funny if you stare at the floor for more than 20 seconds. The new carpet also appears to absorb sound, which is nice if you end up sat next to a loud eater. There’s nothing more annoying than someone eating loudly whilst you’re trying to read the Communist Manifesto. Either that or the IC was just really dead – which is probably true, considering I went there during the first week of uni at 10pm.

My stiff neck and I popped down to the IC’s café to tuck into a nice breakfast before my lecture. There wasn’t a good selection of breakfast food, not even toast was on the menu!

However, the IC’s £3.50 meal deal was available. It was a bit of a struggle to eat at 10 in the morning and was slightly more expensive than a Tesco meal deal, but convenient if you can’t be bothered walking anywhere else to get food.

The IC did have a vast variety of coffees to choose from, which is perfect to counter the shit night’s sleep I had.

Before I left I thought I’d check out the IC’s showering facilities. I was confused at first– why on earth does the library need a shower? Who sweats whilst reading a book? But, I was pleasantly surprised and very impressed. Unfortunately, the IC provided no complimentary shampoo, shower gel or towels. But, I have to say, the shower was spacious, and extremely clean – probably because nobody’s felt the need to use showers in the IC since it was built back in 2007.

Upon leaving the IC, you have to scan your UCard to even get out of the building. So if you lose your UCard during your stay, you’re basically stuck in there forever, which is a slight inconvenience – your neck will never forgive you if you have to sleep on those couches every night.

Words by Ellie Conlon
Image credit: Richard Davies


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