We spent 24 hours in the ASSL, this is what went down

We did it so you don’t have to


Ever wondered what might be going on in the Cardiff University Libraries at 3am? Well, you’re in luck as we spent 24 hours in the Arts and Social Sciences Library to see exactly what happens when you make the library home for a day. If you answered no to these questions, we’re sorry for you.

It begins!

The two of us had different approaches to the start of this challenge arriving to the ASSL at midnight, with James cramming in a power nap before the midnight start, and Henry deciding to power through after waking up at 9:00am that morning. Unsurprisingly, Henry started snoring first. Upon entering the ASSL, having had our bags thoroughly checked for any hot food by security, so no cheeky Maccies for us, we headed down to the e-lounge, fully stocked up on snacks. Originally, we decided to sleep in shifts, but as you will see, this didn’t quite go to plan.

Having made ourselves quite comfy we noticed the lack of people in the library and tried to pass the time playing online games, and watching YouTube.

The YOLO-ers start to arrive

We were greeted with our first visitor, a friend from halls coming back from YOLO. With him he brought gifts of much appreciated cookies and a recount of the night’s events, your best friend would never. After half an hour of this, Henry lay down and instantly fell asleep with constant snoring to keep the ground floor awake. James tried to hold the fort to look after our stuff but also fell asleep shortly after, (did I mention he went for a nap before the challenge began?)

An unwelcome surprise

Henry wakes up to several jabs in the ribs assuming it was James being a dick, to his horror, he awoke to see a security guard inches away from his face. Safe to say he didn’t try that again. We had around two to three hours sleep before librarians and early-bird students started trickling in around 6am to ruin it. Struggling to keep our eyes open, we gratefully received our breakfast from a friend who arrived with much needed meal deals.

The pain starts to kick in

Thinking that our pre-booked booth would be a place to have a quick nap, we were surprised to find that by this point we were both fully awake, who knew students could be awake at 10am? Though being so awake, we struggled to fill the two-hour pre-booked time slot with anything productive. Our day hit a real low resorting to playing noughts and crosses for half an hour. After this we decided a change of scenery was seriously overdue and so ventured upstairs.

The lack of sleeps really starts to kick in

The lack of sleep started to hit hard around midday, leading to us muttering all sorts of rubbish before falling into fits of laughter. The phrase: “why the hell are we doing this?” became our catchphrase, particularly as we could see the glorious weather outside, being sunnier than any day in the last month. We began to let the inner child in us out and decided that the most appropriate action to take was to play a game of ‘Bogeys!’,  if you are too young to get that reference then society has failed this generation.

Sugar, sugar, and more sugar

Around 14 hours in we decided that a sugar rush was in order if we were going to stay conscious. So several friends turned up to laugh at us and bring gifts of energy drinks and snacks. We quickly started to get a good feel of all the different types of people who come to the ASSL, firstly we have the early birds arriving before their lectures to print off last minute essays and more importantly, to secure a spot with a plug socket.

The second kind of person seemingly came to the library with the intention of working, but soon realised their mistake, resorting to looking at non-study related things on their laptop or swiping through Tinder (those first date drinks don’t organise themselves). The third kind are the ones who have no choice but to pull an all-nighter to bang out their dissertation. We shared our sleeping area with one such student who only left for home at 6am (due to Henry’s snoring.)

Desperation kicks in – we do some work

After six hours of camping out in the social study area, we once again descended to the e-lounge for the sofas for a much-needed lie down. Joined by a couple of friends who, after they finished laughing at us, kept us company in an attempt to keep our sanity intact, or at least film us if not. We spent the next few hours being as productive as possible in a bid to push to the finish line.

10:00pm: two hours left; supplies are running low and the serious lack of sleep is taking its toll.

Finishing in style

Leaving the ASSL in our onesies after 24 hours straight, with just three hours sleep in 36 hours. We have given a breakdown of the day. Three hours asleep, two hours eating meal deals, eight hours on YouTube, four hours complaining, five hours working, and of course two hours crying. It’s like a shit twelve days of Christmas. Having finally left the doors of the ASSL it was time for a well-earned Maccies, a warm shower, and a fat nap. We don’t advise anyone to replicate this stunt; it’s really not worth it especially when James organised it during Reading Week.

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