Blissful Belle

Be Happy, Feel Beautiful

How To: Pull An Effective All-Nighter


I’ve never heard college life summed up so accurately. Picture a triangular diagram with sleep, social life and academics at each of the points. The idea is, you can pick two but college students in today’s society can’t have all three. I tried to fight this ideology and prove it wrong but so far, between the newspaper, jobs, classes, interning and “nostalgia night” on the hall, I’m ready to throw in the towel. For me, if one thing’s got to go, it’s going to be sleep. I’ve given up trying to get the prescribed amount of sleep every night, and now I’m learning how to function properly without it.

If you’re ready to join me in giving into the wisdom of the diagram and forgo sleep in order to ace that test and go on the late night run to Waffle House, I’ve got some tips that will help ease the transition.

Engage your senses. You’ve got 362 pages of Julius Caesar to read in approximately ten hours. I can guarantee that, after hours of forcing your eyes to move across the page in a zombie-like fashion, that information is not going to stick with you when test time rolls around. Read out loud, write down the main information, or sing the chapter titles. Whatever tickles your fancy, just as long as you’re using more than sight to try and process your assignment.

Eat! Fruits and veggies, that is. Eating naturally stimulates your brain and requires the use of all sorts of muscles and senses, plus it’s a nice pick-me-up at three in the morning. Pluck some apples and oranges from the cafeteria when you know you’ll be up all night and break them out when you feel yourself nodding off.

Keep that motor running. If you can, work in a room with other people who are still awake. Laying in a soft bed in a dark room with your laptop propped up beside you isn’t really conducive to finishing that essay due at 8 a.m. Take breaks to talk to people, it’ll keep your brain active and your eyes open.

Delinquent students, unite! Yeah, you waited far too long to start that assignment, but you’re probably not the only one. If it’s an enormous task and just thinking about working on it makes you want to gag, there is a way to alleviate the pain. Band together with others who are in the same boat and break up the work. If it’s a book you have to read, divvy up the chapters and have each person write up a summary for their assigned parts. Once the summaries are assembled together, you’ll have a much less daunting amount of information to process and you don’t even have to lie about using SparkNotes.    

Warning: Even these tips can’t save you from crashing if pulling all-nighters becomes too regular of a habit. Find unexpected pockets of time to get small chunks of the work done instead of repeatedly waiting until the last second. You’ll thank yourself for it later!

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This entry was posted on September 16, 2011 by in How-to, Savvy Belle and tagged , , , , .
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