As my mind bounces restlessly from the fifty pounds of notes I just studied to the 4 am moon, a funny thought occurs to me.
What a college kid goes through on those sleep deprived nights filled with work is a little bit like the five stages of grief, right?
Probably not, actually, but I'll take this well-deserved nap till 9 to explore the concept.
As my day progressed into night and I knew the heavy workload was rapidly approaching, I couldn't help but deny the fact. I did a million things to avoid it: played on my phone, chatted with some friends, grabbed a bite to eat. Clearly in denial.
When I finally sat down and dove into my work, I couldn't focus. I was too locked into my emotions, and those emotions were not pleasant ones. How could my professors have assigned me this so much? How could I have let myself get so far behind? Life is so unfair.
My mind finally settled, and I was making deals with myself and the devil. If I just get to the end of this section, I can take a study break. Rewarding myself gives me the motivation to keep moving. I might be guilty of bargaining with God, as well. If you let me do well on this midterm, I promise I'll never mess up again. You know, the usual.
Hours into working and studying, I gave up completely. The words on the page were foreign to me, and my mind couldn't form a coherent thought. There is no more bargaining. I'm falling off the edge of this mountain I've made for myself and there is nothing I can do to stop it.
And then something funny happened in the blackness of the witching hours: I was hit by a new wave of energy. I accepted the fact that I had to get all of my work done. I made peace with not being able to see the insides of my eyelids tonight. I forced myself to focus on the task at hand. And in just a little while, I got it all done. Well...most of it.
As I write this piece, I stand at the precipice of this acceptance stage. I have a million things to do tomorrow night, and I'm okay with that. Maybe I'm overdramatizing this whole concept, but if you don't lose your mind a little when you're pulling an all-nighter, are you even doing it right?