This is what it’s actually like staying in the library overnight

Sleep is for the weak

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I’m a second year and I’ve never stayed in the library past tea time. The library all nighter is basically the stuff of legends to me.

There is so much distraction in the day time that I just procrastinate, even by doing housework.

But now, deep in the midst of deadline season and I felt obliged to at least try it. So I donned the most comfortable clothes I could think of which happened to be pyjama bottoms, an ice hockey jumper and jelly shoes and headed out at 10pm.

I had quite literally got dressed in the dark and you could tell. I looked mental.

It’s dark and I’m only just heading out… FML

It was dark when I made my way from the flat to the library, and the empty roads and lack of people was strangely therapeutic.

Pyjama bottoms are the only way

Inside the library late night, you can tell it’s deadline season.

I found my place for the night on the first floor and settled down around the other zombies to crack on with my assignment.

I didn’t realise how busy it would be when I arrived – almost every computer was taken, but by midnight it thinned out and only the brave remained.

There were two types of people there: people still in normal daytime clothes who obviously been there all day in a frenzy of panic, and night owls in their hoodies who have only set off at midnight and obviously are no stranger to the all-nighter. I am neither.

The air is thick with a mixture of concentration, panic and the smell of Red Bull, and I find myself looking round wondering how many people are suffering with horrendous diarrhoea as a result of excessive caffeine consumption.

I settled down with my assignment, Facebook tab open for regular breaks (a tip I discovered from staring at those around me), and cracked on.

No-one speaks, and except for the rustle of snacks being opened, it is silent.

It’s so much more peaceful without that guy sniffling next to you and those irritating high pitched giggles from the girls who have come to the library for a good old catch up.

No place for the faint-hearted

The shoes came off and with so much space there is even room to have a quick power nap.

Over the next couple of hours people gradually started packing away and I’m seriously considering joining them in wearily trudging home. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever wanted my bed more.

By 2am I was seeing double, so with the fear of shitting myself at the forefront of my mind, I had another coffee.

Nap time

There was a rubbish collector that came round every couple of hours with a clear bin bag full of crisp packets and energy drinks, and we silently acknowledged one another with the same look in our eyes – longing for sleep.

A thousand words later we decided it was time to head to the haven that is McDonald’s for a much needed snack as a treat for doing the work we wouldn’t have done in the day. We clearly weren’t the only sleep-deprived students there – the silence in there spoke for itself.

Looking around confirmed that we are indeed all in the same boat and everyone was silently eating their feelings before heading home to bed to sleep through their alarms the next morning.

My saviours

But there’s something satisfying about smashing through a load of work while everyone else is asleep.

It was 4.30am and starting to get light when I eventually climbed into bed and I think I may have had a bedgasm.

I have no regrets, my all-nighter sure as hell worked and I think I’m a convert – although seriously, the library is an odd place at night.