1. Finding a comfortable workspace
Finding a location for your all-nighter is important and should be the first step as you embark on a long, agonizing and much tweeted about journey. You set yourself down in a comfortable chair with your notes, laptop, cellphone, tablet and chargers ahead of you.
2. The procalmation
You’ve been talking about it all day, but now it’s happening for real. This all-nighter is going down! You tweet a brief but telling, “Having an all-nighter, if you need me I’ll be studying.” You’re good to go.
You’ve been working for 20 minutes now. Things are going well. You decide now is a good time to load up on some caffiene. Actually, make that a lot of caffiene, lots and lots of caffeine. Coffee, Red Bull, Kickstarter, whatever it is you need to have it now and you’ll need a lot of it. Better take a quick trip to Dara’s or the vending machines.
4. Doing the math
This is an all-nighter staple.
“If I get done by ‘X’ o’clock, I’ll get ‘Y’ hours of sleep tonight.”
None of it matters though, it’s all an exercise in procrastination.
5. Break time
Twenty minutes of work? Definitely earns yourself a 30-minute break, I mean it’s only 3 a.m., right? Also, better take a quick peek at your phone, you tweeted about it after all – you want to see who favorited it.
6. Second thoughts
At some point in this process, the philosopher comes out in all of us.
“Should I be in college?” “Was this the right class for me?” “Should I watch another episode on Netflix to relax myself?” “Why didn’t I start this three weeks ago when assigned?”
Are all questions that need answers now.
7. The big push
It’s desperation time. You promised yourself the last time this happened that you’ll change. Why didn’t you change?
But one of that matters anymore. You turn off the music or TV and focus on the task ahead. This is the part where you actually get work done. You’re buried beneath the work you are doing. No excuses, no breaks, just you and the fight of your life.
8. Finishing the assignment
It is done. The final sentence is typed and the paragraphs are proofread, albeit poorly. You make the final adjustments to your assignment and happily hit the “save” button. That “ping” is the single, most satisfying noise you have ever heard in your college life.
9. Making love to your bed
Warning: the following content for tired adults only.
You slowly look at your bed from the ground up. You realize what a mistake you made in taking it for granted as you fluff your pillow and slowly hide under your covers. With one arm under the pillow, one leg curls inward as the other sticks straight out of the blanket. No talking, only silence, warmth and comfort. No distractions from your roommate or the devil living inside the alarm clock. Just you and your lovely bed, like it used to be … like it always should be.
10. The final grade
The most or least satisfying feeling off the all-nighter comes much later when the grade is posted. Some happily dance in front of the computer, claiming victory over the all-nighter. Others, however, will cry in a fetal position while their friends and roommates all stare. But in the end, nothing else matters because you can now return to your home in the land of sleep.
Ahmad Alnajjar is a sophomore in political science.