Megan Irving On campus

Megan Irving’s Successful Steps to an All-Nighter

Try not to use laptops as pillows...

How are you today, reader? Good, I hope. How am I? Well, I’m touched you asked because I am exhausted. I assume you know what an all-nighter is. A night, normally spent by a student, working on a large project, paper or study session. Unless you are Martha Stewart-level organized, you will experience an all-nighter in college. So, for you dear reader, I have created Megan Irving’s Successful Steps to an All-Nighter.

Step One: Acceptance

It’s 11:30 p.m. and this paper is not even close to done. You’re not sure what happened. You planned everything out and set aside time. So what happened? Well… there was that all-day marathon of Charles in Charge. Don’t forget about that YouTube clip where the one guy and one girl do that hilarious thing. Oh, and Facebook. Oh the Facebook. You know you’d have time to get everything in the world done, if it wasn’t for Facebook. You let time slip away and now it’s time to pay up. An all-nighter is happening so crack those knuckles and get ready.

Step Two: Energize

Like most medical professionals, I recommend you get your energy from sleep and a balanced diet. But this is no time for secure medical advice — you need energy, and you need it now! Run to a coffeehouse, a store or even a vending machine. If available, I recommend grabbing a hot coffee. If you don’t like the taste or don’t have time to sip at a hot beverage, go for a soda with caffeine and sugar. I recommend an ice cold Diet Coke. For those of you who say Diet Coke will kill me, I say, you’re right. However, if I don’t get this paper done, my mom will kill me. She’s a lot scarier then aspartame.

If soda or coffee won’t do it for you, turn to the energy drink. But, dear reader, tread cautiously. For the energy drink, while able to create a buzz of energy, will cause you to crash like the Titanic into an iceberg. Or, an energy drink will cause you to crash like a golf club into Tiger Woods' windshield. Or, an energy drink will cause you to crash like Robert Pattinson into a vat of glitter. I’m just trying to get you your money’s worth here. Anyhoo, try to pick the one that tastes least like cat pee. Whatever you pick, get seven of them and buckle up. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Step Three: Make Camp

Don’t have an all-nighter in your room. It’s rude to your roommate and the temptation to sleep is just too tempting. Go to the library. We at Wagner are fortunate enough to have a library filled with leather couches and chairs, desks, and tables. Pick one. I recommend a couch. Stretch your legs and surround yourself with books, paper, beverages and your computer. This is your territory, so claim it.

Step Four: Keep Sane

Okay, so it’s around 3 a.m. and your computer is starting to look like a very comfy pillow. It’s not. You are a person. Your computer is technology. Pillows are fluffy rectangles of happiness and if you don’t get this paper done you may never see one again. Keep sane and take a break. Give yourself five minutes to check Facebook. See who broke up. Don’t post about your all-nighter. In your tired, Diet-Coke-fueled state it will turn out something like, “ALL NIGHTER! What? Nightttttime be sleepy. I type on My pillow. Winky FACE! #dieTCoke.” You seem crazy due to your nocturnal state and use of hashtags on Facebook. Instead, look at who is online and know that your friends are also in the midst of an all-nighter (or vacationing in China).

If you have some self-control, treat yourself to a YouTube video. Make a playlist, and allot yourself a certain amount of videos. If you decide to just check the tube for a few minutes, you will find yourself three hours later watching the video of the smoking baby AGAIN! If you have trouble staying focused, watch these five comedy classics.

  1. Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker (find it on Hulu)
  2. Dora the Explorer Movie Trailer (find it on College Humor)
  3. Sassy Gay Friend: Romeo and Juliet (find it on YouTube)
  4. Garfunkel and Oates: 29 and 31 (find it on YouTube)
  5. Bon Qui Qui (find wherever you can)

There, you had a break. Now get back to work and get your stuff done!

Step Five: Stay Awake

I know you’re sleepy. I know, I’ve been there. You have to keep going. Throw some cold water on your face. Go outside and feel the fresh air on your face. Walk from one end of the library to the other. Slap yourself in the face. Worst comes to worst, set a timer and take a twenty minute power nap. You have to get this done, and you will.

Step Six: Completion

Just a few more words. Just a few more words. 1000. 1250. Finally, 1500. 1500 words on Lincoln, Twelfth Night, or Sleep Disorders. It’s done. Send it to your teacher and print out an extra copy for safekeeping. Breathe easy. Clean up your mess and pack up your bag. Walk slowly out of the library and stare up at the sky. Take a minute to watch the sun rise. Take comfort in the rosy glow of the morning. Smile. It’s 7 a.m. and you have a finished paper, the sun and the promise of breakfast food.

Good Morning Readers. Sleep Tight.

I've Got to Use My Imagination