I spent 24 hours in Hallward Library and here’s what happened

Why would anyone do this voluntarily?

You might be wondering why anyone would possibly want to spend 24 hours in a library. Well, the answer is, I didn’t really have a choice. I hadn’t worked through reading week, instead treating it like a week off, chilling out at home with my parents.

Now back at uni, I realised I had far too much to catch up on. Heading to Monny P and being distracted by someone every five minutes could no longer cut it. With deadlines pending and one which was already overdue, I felt like I have no choice but to spend a ridiculous number of hours in Hallward Library. So off I went – and here’s what happened:

Bit grimy isn’t it


I have a fear of falling asleep in the library and having my picture ending up on UoN Dreamstream. So, naturally, I headed off to the big Tesco in Beeston the day before to buy an eight pack of Lucozades and snacks.

Plus, since I had challenged myself to spend 24 hours in the library, I figured I needed to get some fresh air before I got locked up, and Tesco’s is basically a fun day out.

What a view

9am – 12pm

I arrived at Hallward at 9:07am. My first challenge: deciding where to sit.

As a humanities student, my first choice was naturally the third floor. Once sat, I then proceeded to take out my phone. As a queen of procrastination, it took me about three hours to do reading that should have taken me 45.

12pm – 4pm

After spending three hours glued to the academic book I was attempting to read, I decided it was time for a break. I was starting to get hungry so I phoned a friend, Matthew, and got them to bring me some bubble tea and buns from Portland.

Downstairs, we bumped into another course friend, who you may recognise. Zara Owen is somewhat of a BNOC.

After another two or so hours chatting, as is apparently acceptable on the bottom floor, I felt like I had to get on with some work so I began working on one of the essays I had due.


These hours started off well but progress started to go down hill pretty fast. One 50 per cent UberEats voucher code later, myself and my course mates were eating Buns while fending off the stares from other students.

Shortly after, my friends left. Matthew had only come for the bubble tea and Zara needed to set off home for Crisis preparations. So I set back to work. These were my most productive hours of the day. I was on fire.


Following their departure and hours of work, I was starting to get really restless and bored. I hadn’t done nearly enough steps today, having driven to Hallward this morning from Beeston to avoid walking home alone at 2am.

So I thought what better way to entertain myself than to do some exercise and roam the halls of deserted Hallward and find myself a new spot for the remaining hours in this dreaded place?

After walking all the way up to the fourth floor, I still hadn’t found my spot for the rest of the night. So I was forced back down to the basement to have a wonder around, where I finally found my spot in a quiet corner with really comfy sofas. The only issue was there were no plug sockets. I had to create an interesting set up that involved a chair in order to charge my laptop.

Tragically, I couldn’t really use my computer to do work in its position on the said and so I decided it was time for a break to watch Euphoria. Did I deserve a break? No, but I couldn’t really do much about the fact that my laptop wasn’t charged.

By 11pm I was feeling really tired and gross. It was time to get myself ready for ‘bed’. I was well prepared and bought all the essentials and headed to the bathrooms where I washed my face and brushed my teeth. Luckily no one walked in.

For the remaining 3 hours I sat, drank Lucozade and did a mixture of work and watching Euphoria. Fair to say it was mainly Euphoria.

At 1:50pm there was a message on the loud speaker informing all who were still in the library that it would be shutting soon. I took my chance and decided to start packing my things to leave. As I went up onto the main floor, there was no one around and I was genuinely questioning whether or not I was the last one left in Hallward.

Next Morning thoughts

Safe to say I overslept for my 9am. I probably should have done this challenge when I had no lectures the next day but it’s all part of the fun of an all-nighter. Whilst this challenge was fun and I enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to see the miserable English weather for almost 24 hours, I think I would have been a lot more productive if I had structured my day before hand or even just took actual breaks as opposed to telling myself I was working. Realistically I was sitting on my phone for half the day and my screen time ended up being almost ten hours.

So would I recommend spending the whole day in Hallward? No absolutely not. Your brain definitely can’t function effectively with so little fresh air and exercise.

Related articles recommended by this author:

A guide to the best nap spots on Uni of Notts’ campus

• All the ways you can spot a Nottingham first year student

• What your favourite place to buy food on campus says about you