It’s inevitable in college: you will pull an all-nighter. Or at least an “until-the-sun-comes-up-er."
And despite the detrimental effects it will have on the rest of your week, sometimes there is not much of a choice. Starting from the moment you realize you will need the rest of the dark nocturnal hours to finish your work, until that moment of either “starting your day” or finally making it into bed for a quick nap, here are the different stages of an all-nighter laid out by the hour.
11 p.m. - 12 a.m.
This is about the point in the night when it all comes crashing down on you in a giant tidal wave of how much work you have to get done - and how little you have accomplished so far. It is a make or break decision at this point. Either grab the double shot dirty chai, or take the L and get into bed and pretend that tomorrow won’t actually come.
12 a.m. - 1 a.m.
Hype hour (and spooking hour) is here. Usually there is still a decent group surrounding you in your homework endeavors, but it is called hype hour for a reason - this is the break hour. People are beginning to wind down, or simply need a quick hype break before the rest of their soul-crushing sleepless night. Pump up the music, do some short sprints, eat some ice cream, and try and get a last moment of relaxation in
1 a.m. - 2 a.m.
As the chairs and tables around you begin to clear out, the false hope kicks in during hour 3. It becomes a race against yourself as the mind games tell you “hey maybe if I really focus I actually can finish this within the hour! I just totally miscalculated how many textbook pages I actually have to read!” It is the self-motivational “you can do this” period. Nothing and no one can interfere with your laser focus and work-ethic.
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.
This is the “Why am I like this? How could I let this happen? I want out, I regret everything” hour. It is one of the hardest. Push through. Morale will be low, and you will realize that you are the only one left and all of your friends, along with 90% of your peers, are tucked snuggly into their soft, warm beds in dreamland.
3 a.m. - 4 a.m.
Hour 5 is when you officially go numb. Nothing phases you anymore. The creak of the door opening totally could be a ghost, but at this point seeing a ghost would actually be a nice change of pace from the lonesome quietness of your thoughts and your economics study guide. The coffee shop is no longer open, but it is all you can think about.
4 a.m. - 5 a.m.
The hallucinations begin. Although you are wide awake, your senses are all jumbled and at this point you are pretty sure you are hearing colors. If there was some type of “sleep-consciousness” it would be during hour 6.
5 a.m. - 6 a.m.
“Here comes the sun, doo doo doo doo! Good morning sunshine, nice to see you! How am I the only person in the world awake to see such a lovely sight?” You are not the only one awake in the world, by any standard of the imagination. However, it continues to feel that way. Yet at this point, the loneliness is something beautiful and inspiring. Hour 7 is when you begin feeling proud of all the work you have accomplished, and the strength you had to make it through the dark hours.
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.
The rustling of early risers begins as bathroom doors slam and alarm rings echo through the hallway. During hour 8 you finally realize you are not alone and the whole building actually houses about 400 kids. There is not a chance that you were the only 1/400 who just pulled an all-nighter.
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.
Congratulations! The “night” has officially ended. Whether you choose now to shower and start your day with a cup of coffee (since the coffee shop just opened!), go for a quick morning run (because honestly at this point, you could run a marathon and not feel it), or hop into bed and sleep through all of your classes, you deserve to do whatever you think is right. You worked hard, and earned the right to have a chill day. Treat yo self!