We spent 24 hours in Warwick Uni’s library and here’s how it went
We nearly went insane
Have you ever looked at Warwick’s library and thought to yourself: “I wonder what it would be like to live here for 24 hours?” No, us neither. Yet, we here we are. This might be one of the most ambitious adventures pulled off at the University of Warwick, let alone at The Warwick Tab.
Now, this isn’t some cheap clickbait title. I promise you: We genuinely spent 24 hours in this place, and nearly lost our minds in the process. Anything for a good story right? This infamous tale of ours better be passed down for generations, with this article becoming a uni relic. Because otherwise, it would not have been worth the insanity that unfolded. So, here’s how it went.
Prepping for 24 hours in this prison
The realisation of what we were signing up for dawned on us as we boarded the bus to campus – with no return. To prepare for battle – which is genuinely what it felt like – we first of all made a banging brunch (the last supper) and packed up all our stuff, including games, many many books, snacks and blankets. We got the bus with about five bags of stuff, looking like we were about to leave home for a month, and arrived at the library at 3pm.
TV, snacks and hide and seek
To keep ourselves entertained, we prepped a lot of TV shows. Our favourites included Friends, Derry Girls and Freaky Friday with lots and lots of snacks. To make sure we weren’t just staring at a screen for 24 hours, we ended up finding out which Mr Men characters we were (Izzy was Little Miss Naughty and Jas was Mr Nosy – makes a lot of sense and probably the reason we were spending our weekend causing chaos in the library). At 1am we thought it would be a great idea to play hide and seek on the top floors. However, we seemed to forget that we’re both very easily scared and only ended up doing two rounds as we convinced ourselves someone was going to grab us from the shelves. Seriously, look at the library late at night. It’s terrifying.
3am playfighting and hearing meows in the booths
Some strange highlights included witnessing the most Warwick conversation known to man about the trials and tribulations of Hello Fresh. At 5:57pm, we also heard a girl in the booth behind us yell rather aggressively to her friend “why would you want to sleep on this side?!”. But hey, what you get up to in the library booths is between you and the booth. At around 3am though, two people started enthusiastically play fighting. Again, we’re not here to judge – the library is a lawless place. The strangest thing, however, was when we had reached complete delirium and someone started literally meowing. In the library. In the middle of the night. Repeatedly.
Rationing our food
Food was our main concern on our trip so, as you can see in our preparation, we had to take a bag full to the brim with snacks and treats to keep us going. We also managed to convince our flatmates to bring us meal deals for our first dinner. Then for our second dinner, we realised how grateful we were for our meal deals as we tried an unbranded pot noodle that was tasteless. Luckily though, the new eating area provided us with boiling water – which did save our plan to have at least one hot meal. Packing all things breakfast (pain au chocolates, brioches and brunch bars) certainly helped when we got woken up at the crack of dawn.
This was a low point. After thinking that the first few hours had been easy, we thought we had the full 24 hours in the bag. This, of course, was not true. We had reached a slump and were very tempted to pack it in and go home (nearly on the verge on tears). Not only was it freezing, after hunting down for a book on floors three to five we realised there were very, very few people left in the library with us, and the lights were automatic – meaning it was very dark and scary. But we persevered and thought we needed to at least try and get some Zzz.
Get unready with us
This truly was another low point – not just in the 24 hours – but on a personal level for us. We didn’t think that after getting scared like literal children, it could get any worse. We were very wrong. It’s truly upsetting that we can say we have brushed our teeth in the library toilets. We still did a full skincare routine and nighttime routine though, because we’re not sacrificing our glow for anyone, #selfcarequeens.
Izzy getting cosy with the eyemask
We decided to get some sleep at around 4am and made up temporary beds in a big booth. To be fair, we did a decent job and had blankets and pillows at the ready. Izzy also had her trusty eye mask which she literally refuses to sleep without – yes, it’s a bright green frog face with massive eyes. Jas had to resort to sleeping in her hoodie and winter coat complete with fur hood as it was so cold. It was decently comfy but the incredibly bright and harsh artificial lights made it not all that easy to sleep. Plus, it’s pretty exposing and embarrassing trying to sleep in the library, would not recommend to a friend. That being said we did actually get to sleep, but not for long…
The part where we lost our minds
This was genuinely the most humbling experience ever. So after making our cute little bed setup and finally getting some sleep after going completely insane, we came to the harsh realisation that this was short-lived. At 5.30am in the morning (no one should ever be woken up at such a ghastly time), a member of staff banged on our booth. Izzy had to remove her eye mask to be met with the disapproving eyes of said worker, whilst Jas was still in her sweet, sweet slumber. After questioning over and over again if we were okay, Izzy assured him that we were absolutely fine. But, he banned us from sleeping in the library after 6am. So, Izzy woke Jas up (who was not impressed) and we honestly went to the toilet in complete silence and the mood was not great. Clearly, we are not morning people. Again, we really thought this was our time to call it a day and return to our warm beds at home.
To heal from our traumatic experience, we thought it would be a great opportunity to take a breather for the a couple of hours in none other than The Breathing Space. Surrounded by a TV playing lake footage, green walls and a couple of plants, we felt we had truly reconnected with nature (it was the closest thing we had to it for the past 21 hours). This was an important step in retaining our sanity before stepping back into the real world.
Back from war
When the 24 hours was up we could’ve cried. Now, this may sound dramatic, but we were genuinely so excited to see the outside world. Izzy claimed “it really makes you appreciate the small things in life”, so if you want some perspective on life, spend 24 hours in the library. We celebrated with a Rootes meal deal and a little stroll around The Piazza. Then we got on the bus, feeling like we were returning from an intrepid adventure, not just the library. But honestly, why can’t it be both?
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