Stages of an All-Nighter

I’m not a doctor, but I am knowledgable in the art of the all-nighter. For those of you who have not experienced this finals week strategy, there are seven distinct steps.

1. Commitment

You may plan to pull an all-nighter in advance, or you may become overwhelmed with work and decide it’s necessary after working for a few hours. However it happens, the first step of pulling an all-nighter is admitting and accepting the fact that you’re going to do it.

2. Denial

This step mirrors procrastination. You may begin working on assignments, but not completely focus on the task at hand. You already committed to the all-nighter, but you don’t want to accept it.

3. Realization

After some time, you realize that you chose this path. If you do not pull an all-nighter, it’s unlikely you will be able to catch up on the 10 chapters of biology that you neglected since the midterm. You realize that you must focus and actually get some work done.

4. Procrastination

Ah, so you realize you needed to get work done. Now what? Procrastinate. Is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Buzzfeed your website of choice? When it’s 2 a.m. and you have the whole night ahead of you, googling “funny cat photos” for an hour doesn’t seem like a huge waste of time.

5. Freak-out

An hour of googling “funny cat photos” can quickly turn into three. Commence freak-out. The work seems overwhelming and you’ll need five shots of espresso to get through all of it. It begins to seem impossible that you’ll get all of your work done, even with the extra hours you saved by not sleeping.

6. The Grind

This leads to “The Grind.” Typically between 5-8 a.m., you will be very productive. All distractions are put away (because honestly, who is up anyway?) and efficiency is key.

7. The End

You will leave the library and it will be as bright outside as when you arrived. Now, go destroy your exams and then sleep the day away!


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