Trapped in the UL!

Locked in the UL, alone, cold and scared. Won’t happen to you? That’s what Freya Evison thought…

Books Easter Term Exams Library lock-in marina lindsay-brown Night revision saturday tea tips UL University Library

Saturday, 5pm, University Library. Suddenly you find yourself alone. Alone and locked in. ‘Sh*t, f*ck wank, bollocks’ you may think if caught in such a situation. But not Freya Evison.

One rainy Saturday afternoon, Freya found herself in this nightmare (and retrospectively humorous) situation.  Did she cry for her mother? Did she run around the stacks screaming SOS?

No, she  handled the situation with dignified grace and logic, and here she tells us her story.

Freya’s experience was a surreal enlightenment on patience and panic control, “I felt like a book-ish Bear Grylls” she informs us, and considers herself one of a handful of UL “born survivors”.

Immediately she phoned a friend (what she would have done with no phone she knows not and nor do we), who in turn got onto negotiating the terms of Freya’s release with the UL’s reception.

She remained cool, calm and collected and banged steadily on the door. Sometime later, to Freya’s surprise, the door was unlocked by one very angry cleaner who felt the fault of the traumatic lock-in should fall to the traumatized  historian.

And what she would like to say in response to this treatment? “I probably couldn’t blame him. I’m the last thing you’d want to find – I’d be a nightmare to put in lost property”.

Despite this man’s dubious judgment and patrol skills, Freya escaped unscathed living to tell this juicy tale.


And what happens if you find yourself in a similar predicament? Freya shared her recommendations on how to keep your sanity as you wait to be rescued…

 Create a comfortable nest of books, preferably the paperbacks, in which to cocoon oneself to while away the hours.

 Burn the books. Both culturally and intellectually blasphemous. But an experience all the same. Or a necessity in winter months.

 Be unnaturally nerdalicious and revise.

 If with a partner of your choice, have sex. It would be one tick off the must-dos. Ah-mazing.

 Find the UL’s copy of Karma Sutra and read up.

 Hit up the tea room and scavenge


But above all, she advises  “not to call your so-called friends in your time of crisis. Their response will be something along the lines of’ ‘hahahahaha that is fucking hilarious’, telling everyone you know but doing nothing to try and help you.”

And would she want to be locked in again? “Oh yeah – only if I was locked in the tea room though. Entertaining myself with tea and cake beats books.”