I first recognized the immense value of earplugs during my initial year at college when my roommate would stay up late playing his electric guitar and I had to get up at 5:00 AM for the Army ROTC. Popping in those foam bits let me sleep through hours of his poorly executed chords. As I began to travel more, I found that, on an airplane, earplugs cut the ambient, rumbling noises of peasant class even better than Bose sound canceling headphones. And then there was studying in the library– even though I’d pick the rarely used map section in the catacombs of the Harold B. Lee library, and I would sit in a study carrel, having a pair of earplugs was still essential to removing all distraction.
If you’ve ever taken a test in the infamous BYU testing center, you’ll agree that four hundred students test-taking (and praying) can be quite cacophonous– sneezing, sniffling, soul-searching, coughing, paper rustling, erasing– all of that is easily blocked with earplugs.
And then we have firearms. The first thing you’ll notice about shooting guns is that they are very, very loud. Ear protection is not only advised, it’s essential to keeping your hearing.
What else? Well, if you happen to enjoy sleeping and if you have awesome roommates who stay up very late blasting World of Warcraft (a game I have grown to despise, BTW), then earplugs and a white noise generator can be your best companions!
Thank you my friend the earplug! Reusable several times (more if you wash them (just drop in washing machine)) and portable — store them in a small plastic bag or container in your pocket for ready access. They’re handy, cheap and amazingly functional. Get some today!