As we get deeper into the semester, more dreaded essays are assigned. And with more assignments, more nights are spent trying to finish the papers that were procrastinated and saved for last-minute, and before you know it you’re up all night in the Mudbox with a giant thermos of coffee and caffeine pills.
All the problems that are caused by all-nighters could be solved if we could just appropriately budget our time to finish our homework, but in college that doesn’t seem to be the popular way to go about things. Doing a research paper seems to go something more like this:
8:55 am, 24 hours before due.
You have all day. There is so much time available in one day! Granted you haven’t even looked at the assignment, your professor kind of talked about it in class, so you basically understand the gist of what your paper is going to look like. You’re doing just dandy with your morning coffee in hand. You can outline between classes! Heck, you can start writing right after dinner and get it done in a timely manner. Sleep is totally a thing that’s going to happen tonight.
10:10 am, 22 hours and 45 minutes before due.
Wow, that one class took that long? You’ve got nothing to worry about! You could have gotten so much done in that period of time! And you have the whole day in front of you! Yeah, there’s no stress here. You got this.
12:00 pm, 20 hours and 55 mintues before due.
You just ran into Brittany, the girl who sits behind you in class. She was stressing out in the Tavern over her paper! And she said she started it a week ago! She assumed that you had already started yours, so you just go along with it to save yourself any embarrassment that might come with the potential #judgement by Over-Achiever Brittany. You start to stress out a little, and pull up the assignment sheet on Blackboard. But this is way too much to think about at once. You stare at it for an hour while you eat your lunch. You open a word document and write your header.
2:25 pm, 17 hours and 30 minutes before due.
You’ve tried to think of a thesis for your currently thesis-less excuse for a paper. You have yet to even write anything down. Thinking about it in between classes is enough, right?
8:00 pm, 12 hours and 55 minutes before due.
You’re walking out of TDR with your friends after an awesome meal when someone mentions “heading to the library.” That’s when you remember that you have a paper due tomorrow that you haven’t started yet. You rush home and calculate just how much time you have left to procrastinate before it becomes inexcusable.
9:00 pm, 11 hours and 55 minutes before due.
You finally sit down with your paper, after pouring your first cup of coffee for the evening, and return to that mostly-blank word document containing only your header on it. You end up on Facebook for twenty minutes, and Pinterest for about an hour and a half.
11:00 pm, 9 hours and 55 minutes before due.
You get to your third cup of coffee for the night and you finally get cracking on your introduction.
12:30 am, 8 hours and 25 minutes before due.
You may be two pages in to your paper, but you’re starting to get tired, and you’re in desperate need of coffee every five minutes. Your eyes are starting to droop. You’re starting to get a headache. All the Tylenol in the world couldn’t make you feel better.
3:00 am, 5 hours and 55 minutes before due.
Your roommate comes in to the lounge to make sure you’re doing okay, but you’re feeling pretty irritable and you get mad, quick. Doesn’t your roommate understand that your eyes are killing you from staring at a screen for hours? And your headaches are so bad that you can literally feel the blood pumping at your temple?
5:30 am, 3 hours and 25 minutes before due.
You’re mostly finished with your paper, but you just cannot focus. You’ve been Google-ing pictures of Kandinsky’s weirdest art pieces for the past hour, and you’re on your umpteenth game of solitaire.
8:30 am, 25 minutes before due.
You’ve finally finished your paper, but that doesn’t mean you’re pleased with it. You’ve read it over about a thousand times and you realize that none of it makes sense, but you also just can’t find the energy to revise it. You also don’t care as much about your grade anymore. All you want at this point is to have it finished.
8:54 am, 1 minute before due.
You finally submit your paper on Blackboard. You’re only a little late to class.
9:30 am, 35 minutes past due.
Your professor calls on you in class when asking a question about the paper you just wrote. You don’t even know what to say. You don’t even remember anything you actually wrote.
11:30, 2 hours and 35 minutes past due.
You accidentally fell asleep after class and slept right through your next class. You stayed up all night to finish work for one class, only to totally miss all the important stuff from another class.
There’s a reason all-nighters are the absolute worst. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re taking your time to finish your homework and getting enough sleep! Sleep is often the first thing that students give up in order to finish their homework, but it should never be sacrificed. In fact, terrible things happen to your body when you don’t get enough sleep. Now hit the sack!