My inspiration for this post comes solely from the mess that was my backpack when I travelled out to the library the other night! I was throwing things in, not particularly thinking of an order… snacks, toiletries, makeup etc. And in the end I got to the library and found a huge mess.
After this incident – and the fact I’ve accepted that I’m now in third year and have lost all concept of a social life and now live in the library – I’ve decided to create an All-Nighter (or long-period library) Survival Kit.
This kit is full of everything you could possibly need – realistically – for a late night study session away from your room. Try to keep this kit down to your essentials and have it stay relatively fully packed throughout the term, restock anything as soon as you might need it! You never know when you need to run to the library…and how long you might be!
Picking A Bag
My kit is in a particularly flat looking bag. I really love flat toiletry bags as opposed to boxy ones… but that’s just my personal preference! This is similar to an emergency kit that you may already keep in your room/bag/car. Something small enough that it’s portable, but big enough to fit everything in. You might have a few items separate – i.e. your water bottle – but try and keep most of it tucked away in this bag.
What goes in the bag?
This may vary depending on your situation, what type of person you are and what your all-nighters look like! But here’s my basic kit to get you started:
- Make up wipes – I keep a small travel sized pack that I bought in bulk over the summer. I don’t tend to like wipes, but who has time for a full cleansing routine in the library? These are just in case it gets to 1am and you need to go to the bathroom and just take it all off
- Vaseline – obviously just for the dry lips etc. Also….when it starts getting to the morning, you can always use it to tame your eyebrows and lashes! (#lookingawake)
- Pads/Tampons etc. – Because as organised as we ladies might be… our bodies don’t always stick to the schedules we like. Stay prepared!
- Plasters and a few antiseptic wipes – Because you never know when you might get a huge papercut that refuses to stop bleeding on a book (has happened!) or you get a blister!
- Pills! – paracetamol, asprin… whatever you usually take, pop a few in there! I cut mine up into “portion sizes”. So I’ll separate paracetamol into pieces of two and just stick some in the bag. That way I can take two out or give them to someone else in need!
- Loose Change – I like to keep a few pounds to hand so if I need a coffee or a snack I can grab one, then I never have to worry about it!
- Tissues – for any late-night panic sessions, colds or whatever may arise!
- Deodorant – because when you’re in panic mode, it might be a good idea to top up… And it’s just nice to feel fresher…
- Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash and Mints – always keep hold of travel sizes. This is the trick to mini-kits! I always have a travel toothbrush handy, if you decide to have a coffee or a smelly snack… or better yet, have a nap in the library! You might like this. I feel so much better after I brush my teeth, and so I keep a tiny brush and paste in my backpack
This is just a basic list, if you had more space or you were planning on going to a lecture or something after your all-nighter – if so, well done! Then I might stick in a spare t-shirt, underwear, socks and some very basic makeup (and maybe a mini dry shampoo). That way you can still feel fresh!
Other Things That Might Not Fit…
I put these things either loose in my bag, or in a small zip lock bag inside just because these will get changed out quicker and used up!
- Basic snacks – cereal bars, small chocolate bars etc. I try to avoid crisps and snacks that aren’t particularly filling
- Water bottle – I just use a basic one, but I am thinking of buying a filter bottle! So recommendations would be great, I’m going towards the Bobble Bottle at the moment!
- Napkins & Rubbish Bag- something to put your rubbish in so you can drop it in the bin later, avoids constant trips to the bin or a huge pile of rubbish around you. I only really do this if I’m taking a full meal with me!
If you’re staying overnight, either bring enough money with you to buy food, or bring food with you! Please don’t go without eating properly, especially because you won’t function well without food anyway!
I really like having my noodle pot which cooks noodles inside the pot, you just have to pour in water! (Homemade instant noodles) If you don’t have a Tupperware pot which can be a noodle pot… just use a glass jar, if you use one with a seal on it (I found some great ones in Ikea) they do exactly the same job (and look cuter!)
Please remember to eat properly, sleep very well after your deadline and relax! Any extra tension is only going to add to it. Remember to take sufficient breaks and try and avoid all-nighters where possible.
I’ll try not to lecture you 😉 Because we all need to do it at some points, but when you do… just be prepared!
Stay tuned and I’ll be posting more study tips hopefully very soon to help!
Have a great day everyone and good luck to anyone needing this for an actual all-nighter! xoxo