How to survive a day in the library as a UoB student

Fresher to third year, post-grad to mature, here’s how to survive that revision hangover

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Exam season is almost over but for those of you who still have exams, the library is both your best friend and your worst enemy. You’re basically the Serena and Blair of University Campus. So, here are some top tips to surviving your 15 hour library day.

Rise and shine, it’s prime time

Let’s be honest, getting in the library past 9am is you saying that you hate yourself and want to fail. You need to get your ass out of bed at a time so God-forsaken that your eyes are still crusted over; but hey, at least your got that seat between a sweaty science kid and an arts student drowning under the weight of the reading their failed to do throughout the year.


This is possibly the most important area to consider. How will you deal with extortionate library café prices as a poor and helpless student? My go-to is a) whatever I have in the house (something unperishable with little nutritional value) as well as b) the trusty Tesco meal deal (try and pick a fruit bag with your main – trust me) combined with c) a maximum two cake breaks spread through the day to give yourself something to work towards.


Okay, we need a serious discussion about this. Assuming our goals are to be cheap yet effective, nothing can beat bringing your own flask of poison. Pick up an energy boost with your meal for when you’re feeling that hour 10 low. Choose your coffee break times carefully, don’t commit to them too early in the sesh or you’ll drop like a fresher at fab.  Maybe, and I mean maybe, bring some water too.

What’s life without a little caffeine?

Clothing choices

Real talk – we all know you won’t be comfortable in that dress and sandals you’ve been wanting to wear now the sun’s out. How are you planning on crossing your legs on your chair? Equally, hoodie and trackies guy, when every seat is filled and it’s the middle of May, how comfy will you be in those sweat-soaked confines of yours?

Go with something lightweight and stretchy with layers. I’m talking, zip-up hoodie, top, yoga pants, shorts. Who cares if you look like one of those gym twats? Revision is a work-out sweetie, don’t let anyone tell you different.

Take regular breaks

It’s nice to say that you’ll work for three hours straight but we know you’re kidding yourself. You do that, and I’ll be over here on my well-timed, perfectly sanctioned 15 minute break – completely stress free.

Move around

Did you know sitting for an extended period of time slows your metabolism to a rate slower than when you’re asleep? Not only will it make you sleepy but it stops you from burning that fat you need for your beach body.

Top tip – take the lift to the top floor in the library and hurry down the stairs like you have somewhere to be. Not only does it get you moving but it’s great fun to watch people jump out the way for fear of being barrelled down by an over-wrought final year.

Stop using social media

This is for all of us who are kidding ourselves saying that we’re just using Facebook for a 5 minute break that somehow turns into 30 minutes. Download an app like Self-Control (which is free) where you can pick and choose which websites to block for a certain period of time. So, if you are physically unable to stop yourself from procrastinating, get something else to do it for you.

The right playlist

This is crucial. Your revision playlist says a lot about you, are you a classic R ’n’ B kind of person? Maybe white noise is your thing? Me? I like to alternate between vintage classics and girl bands – the mixture of Meat Loaf and Britney Speaks is weirdly satisfying.

Know when to leave

We know the library is open 24/7 but that doesn’t mean you should be there at all hours. Know when your best working times are and stick to them. When do you work best? Are you struggling to concentrate and falling asleep at your desk? Are you spending more time on YouTube than looking at the textbook you’ve had open the whole time? Go home. Start again tomorrow.