Things I Learned in College: All-Nighters (40-D Challenge, Day 38)

Hello, there!

Before I begin, just wanted to tell you all that I will be categorizing my “Things I Learned in College” series under the tag #countdowntograduation. Under there, you will find all of my “Things I Learned in College” posts, for easier reference.

Now on to today’s topic!

Ah, sleep…more specifically, sleep deprivation. We college students have it hard, with back-to-back classes all day, every day, then club and work and internships and the list goes on and on…and because of this, sometimes our sleep gets sacrificed.

A show of hands: who has ever pulled an all-nighter in college? Okay, two? Three? Or did you lose count after second year?

Ah, the consequences from staying awake all night long: the burning sensation, the irritating crusty eyes, headaches the size of mountains…trust me, I know that feeling.

Things for me start to get fuzzy starting around 1:30, maybe 2 am: the computer screen begins to warp, the words start swimming between my eyes and eyelids, and pretty soon, I find my face smashed on top of the keyboard, the right cheek forever imprinted with small square keys and drool over the mouse pad. Disgusting…

And I curse these moments. I curse the fact that the paper just has to be due tomorrow morning. I curse the fact that my professor didn’t give us the prompt sooner, so that I could have enough time to consolidate my thoughts, formulate my thesis, and churn it out. I curse the fact that I didn’t “follow” the instructions the first time, and so now, I have to completely started from scratch. Curse this!

At a certain point in the night, I just can’t take it anymore. Those caffeine kicks just aren’t working anymore, and now, I’m considering singeing my fingers just to stay awake. The headache comes a blinding migraine, and I put my head in my hands and *silently* scream in frustration (I don’t want to wake up my roommates who are sleeping, who don’t have to deal with this nightmarish situation.

But then, suddenly…a shift. Change. Around 4 am, things start to become clear. Clarity in the world, in this blasted paper that is due in five hours.

I start again, this time focused. Driven by the deadline, and also by the fact that I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours.

My finger hits the last sentence period on the paper. My other finger hits “Print.” The whirring of the printer brings me back to life.

The staple clicks the pages shut, and I’m on my way to class. Outside feels ten times brighter, and everything is so clear. I never appreciated the beauty of the trees, the grass, the buildings until now.

Class begins, and I hand it my finished product. Probably the worst piece of crap that I’ve written in my entire life, but I don’t give a damn.

I need a nap. Good night.

– The Finicky Cynic


3 thoughts on “Things I Learned in College: All-Nighters (40-D Challenge, Day 38)

  1. Pingback: Things I Learned in College: Waking Up (Is Hard to Do) | The Finicky Cynic

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