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We Spent 36 Hours in Hallward and Survived… Sort of….

Excessive time spent in the library is a fact of life for most students, often leading to all-nighters as deadlines loom. Implode took it all the way and sent two of its writers (Eb and Rose) down to their library to test the absolute limits of prolonged study…

It is 4:50am and a library security guard is standing over me. He mutters something that I can’t make out; I pull down the hood on my bat onesie in order to hear him better.

“I’m afraid you guys can’t sleep in this corridor any longer. The cleaners will be coming in soon.”

Bleary eyed, we yawn, gather our numerous bags and trudge off to another corner of the library. The start of another day of Hallward has begun.

It seemed a fairly innocuous idea, on the surface. 36 hours of studying in Hallward seemed like a perfect way to catch up on all of that work that we should have done throughout the term, redressing that social life/work life balance that so often tilts towards the former. How hard could a day and a half in a library be?

We had prepared meticulously: books, notepads, laptops, energy drinks, sleeping bags – even a Scrabble set. At 5:20pm on Friday night, we set up base camp on the ground floor in Hallward and settled in for the long haul.

Work began promisingly, despite an early break for Dominos. Surprisingly, a large number of students jettisoned Ocean in favour of a Friday night in the library. Come midnight however, the numbers tailed off, as did our workload. The Scrabble was soon broken out and productivity abandoned for the night.

Following our impossibly early rise, work continued at a slower pace than before. The library café doesn’t open until 11:30am and we were operating with the mentality of a four-year-old child by the time it did. Note to any would-be Hallward campers: food management is vital.

Visitors plagued our afternoon, seriously inhibiting our work rate. After so long spent inside, however, they were a welcome relief.

Fortune Boy dinner was an expensive reminder of the cost of library life. Our joint spending had topped £40 by this point. We could have just eaten at home and added a good night’s sleep to the bargain.

The Hallward staff however were wonderful throughout. Once reassured that we weren’t staging a protest, a senior gave us permission to stay as long as we wanted. The security guys were friendly too – one came and had a chat about cricket and Pakistan. He pulls 17-hour shifts at weekends, firmly putting into perspective what we were trying to achieve.

Despite the plans for a caffeine-filled second night, productivity unravelled as we entered the last few hours. Rose adopted the sleeping pattern of a cat, while the dedicated efforts of two visiting editors kept Eb awake with more Scrabble. When our self-imposed shackles were released at 5:20am, it was a blessed relief.

Would we recommend spending 36 hours in a library? Although we did get plenty of work done, an average of 16 hours between us, productivity tailed off dramatically towards the end.

Perhaps when it comes to exams, we’d advise waking up early to trek into campus rather than spending the night shielding your eyes from Hallward’s florescent glow. Epic sessions are really not worth the time or effort. Come exam time, short and sweet will be our modus operandi.

Ebenezer Mack & Rose Le Bourgeois

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