We used up our 15 hours in the library in one sitting, never again

One of us fell asleep and we were asked to leave

There always comes a time in the year when you have an avalanche of essay deadlines threatening to snowball you into yet another emotional breakdown. Instead of running away from your problems, you get onto the 1A and go to the library armoured with blankets and stocked up with snacks to battle through an all-nighter to finally get that essay done.

Well, we did just that. As lockdown has restricted students to only 15 hours in the library per week, we spent all our library allowance on one night. As we set off with naïve optimism that we would remain productive until the sun rose the next morning, we were very much mistaken. Here’s what happened when we spent all night in the library.

Spoiler: We didn’t make it the whole 15 hours.

5pm – Sultans

We didn’t want to embark on our adventure with an empty stomach. While reminiscing about life as a first year on campus, we indulged in our cheesy curly fries and a sweet chilli halloumi wrap. Nothing beats a Sultans takeaway on campus. 

Fed and raring to go, we headed to the library to begin what was going to be the longest night of our lives.

6pm-9pm: B floor reading room

If we are going to be completely honest, it took us a while to find our pre-booked seats. After circling the entire B floor three times in search of the reading room, we finally located it on the map and headed over to the grey enclosed booths. 

Once we arrived, we reached a common drama for the evening: people sitting in seats they hadn’t booked. We gave them the benefit of the doubt at first, but five minutes in and there was no sign of movement. The time had come to brave it all and approach them, asking them to move. Now considering we had booked these seats, and we’re not in the wrong, why were we so nervous? Of course, the nerves were for nothing, the person moved with ease, apologising, and even wiped down the desk themselves. A true hero.

These first three hours flew by and were the most productive of the night. Articles were read, essay plans were made, it was a good time.

9pm-12am: A floor group study room

Progressing into the fourth hour in the library, we had booked a group study room so we could be together and discuss our work. At first this presented itself as a blessing as we didn’t have to communicate through eye contact across the room. The down side? We got distracted. Not just distracted, we were distracted.

Minimal work was achieved here, the most was approximately 700 words to a piece that started on 200. Not ideal, but at least some progress was made, we managed to check off a few other small tasks from our checklists and saw that as a win. Regardless of productivity, we did have good laughs, lots of talk about work, and even saw some people we knew who were genuinely cramming for essays approaching. It was a nice relaxing break from the previous productive hours.

12am: Snack break in Alex Square

As eating in the library is forbidden, we took our mountain of snacks outside and sat on the steps in Alex Square, shivering from the cold. As we ate our white chocolate orange pieces (we love a spontaneous Spar buy), we glanced around the square and took in the nostalgia.

We talked about the good old days when we would spend our evenings running to catch the last bus to Sugar and the walks of shame back to our accommodation the next day. Reminiscing on the early mornings in the cool winter when Alex square would just be starting to gather the populus, and looking at every shop around is, recounting memories of meetups. Neither of us thought that a crazy night out in our second year would consist of staying in the library all night for an article… Expect the unexpected.

12:30am-3am: B floor soft bench seat

This was the beginning of the comfy seats. We knew that we would get progressively more tired throughout the night and pre-booked softer seats for the early hours of the morning. Productivity started to dip as sleep weighted our eyelids.

Work productivity flew out the window here, being replaced with our chosen past times of reading and crocheting. One may say finishing a book and crocheting a full ball of yarn is productive, and to that we would agree… At least, that’s what we tell ourselves to feel better about the lack of academic productivity.

3am-6am: The final hours

We decided C floor had too many stairs to stomach at this point in the night, so we journeyed back to A floor to see if the Grey One Person Study Pods were available, by the power of God, they were. We settled down here and that was the biggest mistake of the evening. Comfy seats like these are perfect for your first few hours, but when your engine is sputtering fumes, this was not the place to be.

Within a few chapters of a book one of us left the land of the living and the other saw this as the time to jump on TikTok, its safe to say security weren’t avid lovers of how we were spending our time. After being caught in the act, we were asked if we could go back to our flats, after explaining the situation, they let us stay until the next bus. 

7:26am was the safe haven of the 1A back into town, and thus concluded our semi productive long haul in the library. Overall, we’d call this evening a partial success. At least half of our to do lists were checked of but after six hours, hope was lost and ultimately six hours sleep would’ve been more beneficial than just being alive like a zombie.

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