All Nighters

D1331CoffeePosterspLast week, for the first time in my life I pulled an all nighter. It was somewhat intentional however. I’ve always been used to doing things on time and being organized, so I thought I should see what its like and what works better. I figured that doing things on time is ultimately better, but all nighters do have some advantages too.

It all started when my friend told me he’s huge on procrastinating, but that it works for him. So I thought, why not give it a go. I decided to do this with a 20 page paper I had due last week. It was a pretty bad idea. I spent one day in the library all the way from 4pm until 6:30 the next day, had about one hour of sleep, then went to my classes. I missed one of my classes and took a 2 hour nap. Then, I went back to the library and almost spent 24 hours there: from 3:30 pm until 4:00 am the next day. No sleep.

This was already chaotic. Both those days, I felt like dying. I lost the day the essay was due because right after I handed it in, I took a 6 hour “nap” which lasted until 12am. Then, I had to catch up on lectures and readings I missed. The decision to leave this paper last minute had the craziest snowball effect where I became behind in almost all my courses.

The key is to be organized from the very start of the semester. Have a daily agenda, and have a calendar where you can see what important exams/assignments are coming soon and plan ahead and write which days before the due date you will be revising/writing and specifically how much. And stick to it – make it a point to do what you said you would on a specific day. If you don’t do this from the start of the semester, its very hard to catch up.

Yet, all nighters do have some positive aspects… but positive in the short run and not the long. The thing with being organized is that you have all the time in the world to perfect essays or study very hard, which is great! But it may lead to overspending time in the library. For example, it took me a whole day to write barely two paragraphs of an essay that I was starting two weeks in advance. This is because I wanted it to be perfect, and I had all the time in the world! However, for the procrastinator, they could spend that whole day doing something they enjoy, like going out with friends and then write out those two paragraphs and the whole essay in two days or a night. This might be a positive aspect, because its fun in the moment. But this probably leads to a worse grade because you don’t have the time to thoroughly research and edit as you would if you had started in advance. I realized this, but I also enjoyed doing things that procrastinating on that paper allowed me to do, like cooking a proper meal or going out with friends. But does that matter in the long run? For some it might, for some it might not. Everyone says “its important to have a balance” but its hard to do that. It difficult not to get caught up in one more than the other. But its not impossible. I’m still trying to figure out ways to make the most of my time, scholarly and socially, and have the best results. And pulling off the all nighter for this paper was just a part of this experiment.

If you didn’t get my main point though, ultimately: do not pull off all-nighters. You feel horrible while doing it, you lose your next day, you end up becoming behind in other subjects, and you don’t produce the best results. I’m definitely going back to my old habits next semester. Manage your time, because it will be worth it in the long run.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.