Dear 100 Hour Board,
I'm taking an intensive spring term at BYU that require a lot of reading and studying. I don't enjoy studying at the library as I'm far more productive at home. (Plus the library is far away and I'm hungry all the time) I require peace and quiet, and I'm unable to listen to music while I study. I have great ears, which is my downfall.
We have neighbors who have sex every 12 hours, loudly throughout the day. The only place I can't hear them is in the bathroom, but I'm not going to resort studying in the bathroom. I can't use ear plugs or headphones due to having a skin condition in my ears that make them painful to use. I use a fan as white noise, but I still can hear them even if I retreat to my bedroom (the bedrooms aren't stacked upon one another). The place I usually study (and is the best place to study), is closest to their bedroom. When I can listen to music, they still overpower the music. When I turn up the music loud enough, I can't study properly.
I don't know what to do.
That sounds frustrating. It may not be ideal but you could study somewhere other than your home or the library and bring snacks.
You could leave your neighbors a note telling them how distracting it is to hear them have loud sex so frequently. It's possible that they aren't aware that their neighbors can hear them, and would tone it down if they knew. You could even leave it anonymously if you don't want to be super confrontational.
If you want to be confrontational, though, this happened to a girl I visit teach, and she eventually took a recording of them to show them just how loud and distracting they were. Her neighbors were much quieter after that.
If it's every 12 hours like clockwork, you could plan to take a break from studying for that time slot. If it's less predictable, and you've got some flexibility, you could take an unplanned break from studying when it happens. If not...
- Noise-cancelling headphones (especially plus music and fan in the background) may be helpful. I bought myself some to get through crunch grading times when my roommate is practicing her musical instruments, since she has a perfect right to do so in the house we share, and I didn't want to ask her to stop. They're not perfect, but they help.
- You can bite the bullet and study elsewhere (at another library, a quiet park, a friend's house, an empty classroom, whatever Provo's current Starbucks-analogue is, etc).
- You can (kindly, tactfully) request that they be quieter or inform them that they are audible in your apartment. It can be awkward (my friends once left a note for my neighbors on my behalf because I was too embarrassed and they correctly suspected the couple didn't realize their volume), but sex is also a normal part of life, and hopefully anyone who's having it regularly isn't ashamed of it. You can probably just leave a note that says something like "Hi neighbors, you may not be aware, but sound carries pretty well between our apartments, especially around 11pm [or whenever]. Thanks!" Of course, even after being informed of their volume, they may not care to adjust their style, and in that case you'll just have to find a passable way to get through the term.