As many dissertation deadlines have been and gone and coursework assignment deadlines are just around the corner, it has reached what is typically a very busy and hectic time for students across the country: the exam period. Stress levels are high and the Hartley Library has recently introduced, as highlighted at the recent and controversial SUSU AGM, its late night 2:00 a.m closing time.
Many students prefer to stay up late, revising into the early hours of the morning, contradicting the advice of research, such as that of ‘Science Daily’, which claims that ‘getting more high quality sleep is associated with better academic performance’. I spoke to several students, some of whom favour studying late into the night and relying on energy drinks for a boost, over claims suggesting that deep, regular sleep and studying during the day offers better concentration levels and more efficient studying.
One Southampton student claims the extended opening hours are necessary, as it is ‘very frustrating and near impossble to find a seat’. She has studied previously in libraries of LSE and Queen Mary’s preferring their late night study spaces.
A student of law also added that it reduces the problem of eager students hiding books, to make sure that they are not taken out of the library by others. This draws attention to the fact that the debate concerning library opening hours goes beyond whether people can concentrate sufficiently if studying late.
Speaking out against the late opening hours, however, one student has added that ‘it’s unhealthy, as some students over-do it, and the university should remain responsible for the welfare of their students, by ensuring that they live a healthy lifestyle and get enough sleep’.
So is there really, as one student put it, ‘no more wonderful a sight than over-looking the Sun rise whilst revising for your exam’? It certainly seems so, raising the question of whether late night studying is all it’s really cracked up to be.