An honest opinion on all-nighters
If you have read my previous blogs, you may have come across some posts that downright label all-nighters as useless and others that say that all-nighters are an integral part of a student’s life.
The reason why you find this inconsistency is that, to this date, I have not been able to understand whether they help or not so I’ll write my thoughts and see if we can figure this out.
The main reason that I like all-nighters is that they make me feel good. Even whilst writing this blog, I have deadlines that I can see are fast approaching and sometimes it is not possible to fit the work in the days that you have available so you turn to nights. As students, we all have expectations of ourselves. There are post-labs I am not doing well in or there is a particular module that I really like and therefore I naturally want to do really well in the assignment. In my life, the guilt hits me the very moment it is time for bed when I think about how much I failed to achieve that day. It is at this time that I cannot hold myself back from getting a cup of coffee and sitting down to study.
Memes on social media, I personally think, add to this. Whilst having a good laugh about what a mess you look after an all-nighter or sharing grief over how you are always tired as a student makes the struggle a lot more normal, I do think that sometimes the memes make me feel like I am not being a good student if I am not a mess. It feels as though if I am not tired then I am not doing university right. I don’t know if I am the only messed up student who has this mentality but I do think that social media has had this psychological effect where I have almost tricked myself into thinking that every assignment is going to be bad, I am always tired, sleep is an enemy and it is the hours spent in the library that determine what you get out in the end.
So, let’s discuss how my all-nighters actually turn out. I don’t know about you but I get half the amount of work done than I would in four hours during day time. I have sat reading the same sentence several times not understanding, I have ended up scrolling down social media, I use up more of my coffee than my brain, and somewhat proud to share that I have experienced what it’s like to sleep with eyes open if that’s a thing. It is an agonising process but it feels good that I am pushing myself.
When the night ends, then it’s more coffee and sitting in lectures struggling to keep my eyes open. I absolutely love my experience in lectures and I can confidently say that most of them make sense (until I leave the lecture hall haha). Therefore, all-nighters have an unfortunate impact on the following day when I am not able to enjoy my time in lectures.
Whilst I have shared my advice on organising life several times before through my blogs, I hope this blog has been helpful in showing how much I can struggle with balancing my time and expectations. And I am not sorry. We all have those days when things are just not working out and through this blog I just wanted to highlight that all-nighters are not the solution to student problems, after all. I have spoken to my friends and they have been advising the same. One said that she finds it helpful to say to herself that when it’s sleep time, it’s time to go to bed and tell yourself that you’ll deal with it tomorrow. I think this is a very positive attitude. Since we’re always told to do things now, this is an interesting perspective that says that indeed not everything has to be done now and when you need time out for yourself, you take it. Others have been telling me to make sure that I get my me-time and that has been possible thanks to my journal.
Whether I would entirely give up on all-nighters, I doubt it. Every so often, the guilt wins and I decide to deprive myself of the sleep but have I found all-nighters making a significant change in my life? No! They only help me with feeling like I am pushing myself so must be going in the right direction. In terms of the work, I would argue that they are greatly counterproductive and often result in my days turning a lot less productive. Often, they have an impact on my mood as well but I am still always nice and sweet to mama because I know if she finds out about my all-nighters, that would be a tragedy of an entirely different degree of magnitude.