What an experience college has been. Diplo at Lawlor was unforgettable. Receiving an A in a difficult class was satisfying. Having my own cat made me feel like a mom. But my favorite part of college … the all-nighters.
I don’t mean lying-in-bed-no-sleep-life-sucks kinds of nights. I mean the nights where I made the decision to give up my beloved sleep because I wanted to enjoy the regularly neglected hours in my day.
You’re thinking, “I have a paper due at 9 a.m. and I haven’t done it yet. I don’t want to stay up. I need to stay up.” I’m thinking, “I can’t wait to stay up tomorrow night; this is going to be fun!”
All of my procrastinator friends are waiting until the last second to finish their work and we already know we’re in it together. How fun does being locked in a building on campus with your friends all night sound? The funniest moments happen while the rest of you are slumbering. With lack of sleep and gross amounts of energy drinks flowing through our blood, we all get a little weird in the middle of the night.
When the work is all done, there’s a sense of achievement like “Wow. Who knew I could finish a 10-page paper in one night?” It feels good to finish a project right before the sun is about to come out. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful sunrises that I would have never been able to catch otherwise. It’s even more rewarding when the whole team finishes its work in time to see it together.
If you’re pulling an all-nighter alone, you’re doing it wrong. I promise you’ll never regret the nights spent with the people you love. When you’ve been in the zone for too long and need a break, it’s the perfect time to catch up or get to know someone. We’re all so busy during the day focusing on school, work and extracurricular activities. It’s nice to have a conversation with no distractions around (besides that assignment that’s due in two hours now). But seriously, some of the best conversations I’ve had with friends were during an all-nighter.
Maybe you’re never procrastinated and you finished your project the second you saw it on the syllabus. Good for you! Pull an all-nighter and go out with your friends instead. You can hit the town and go to random places you’ve never been before. Are we too old to toilet paper someone’s house? Or you can hang out at a friend’s house and finish a game of Monopoly. I’m even ok with the idea of staying up the entire night to binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix. It’s more fun when you can watch a character grow up, get married and then get divorced in one sitting.
We’re young and although sleep deprivation is believed to be an unhealthy practice, we can make up the sleep we’ve lost later. I don’t recommend pulling all-nighters weekly. I’d say limit it to maybe once a month at the most. Do it too often and you might go crazy. If you need just a little sanity, try it out. There’s a calmness in the night where problems don’t matter and there’s room to breathe.
As my senior year is coming to a close, all I want is to enjoy a few more late-night adventures with my friends. The thought of having some fun while trying to push through the stress is all I need to finish this semester strong. The best time of the semester is during final exams. The free goodies and fun activities around campus keep spirits alive.
To all of the seniors: think about your friends who are graduating with you. There’s practically no time left. Sleepless nights probably won’t work anymore. We’ll never be in this same place with these same people. Enjoy our beautiful campus. Share stories with your friends. Catch a few of these beautiful Reno sunrises. Be present and appreciate the moments that are left!
Jessica Salsman studies political science. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.