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‘Nesting’ and ‘Blending’: How Gen Z Approaches Study and Work

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Two students sit opposite me, curled up on a sofa, both with headphones on while reading books. A friend joins, excited by her night out and keen to share stories. She squeezes between the two and one of them starts to chat with her. The other occasionally removes her headphones to say something, then puts them back on, returning to her book. After a substantial period of animated discussion, during which Snapchats are scrutinized, the new arrival wanders off to take a phone call, then returns to work, and the three sit in silence. This interaction has become symbolic for me of how Generation Z uses the university library: as a place of study, but also as a place of socializing and relaxation—a blended space.

How does Gen Z study? I approached Lancaster University in the United Kingdom to ask if I could do some research at its recently refurbished library, a popular place for students to work and spend their time. Three main themes emerged from my observations there.

First, students appeared to be “nesting.” They populated their workspace with personal items, like cuddly toys and blankets. Library staff told of discovering workspaces turned into “dens.” I also noticed several students in the same workspace time and again, seemingly seeking out a familiar spot.





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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !