When I tell my classmates or friends that I work from midnight to eight in the morning, The reaction is generally the same, disbelief. The same questions are always asked."Are you tired?" "How do you live?" " When do you sleep?" And I always ensure them that it really isn't that bad, in fact, there are quite a few benefits. Honestly, working the night shift couldn't possibly have been a better fit for my life than it is.
1. We get to sleep all day.
Unlike the rest of the world, we do what every college student dreams about, sleep all day. We have a free pass to avoid the sun and most social interactions. While it can be tough to fit both a social life and adequate sleep into our backwards schedule, somehow it manages to work.
2. We all know each other.
Due to the small population that operates on the same hours, you really get to know your people. Chances are that on the nights you aren't working, you're having to stay awake to keep any resemblance to a sleep schedule. This is a key time to get to know the other night shift workers. Coming from someone that sits in silence for several hours a shift, the company is very appreciated. So to my fellow night workers, if you aren't making those connections, you should.
3. We have all the coffee.
Every night around four in the morning, you can always tell whether you had enough sleep the day before. If you didn't, you need no other reason to begin downing coffee without any shame. Anything to make it those last few hours until the sun comes up.
4. We have ultimate bragging rights.
Every time we sit in a social situation and someone mentions being tired, we sit and chuckle, counting the hours we had already been awake. This number can range from ten hours to twenty, with my personal longest of thirty. I don't view it as a negative aspect of the job, I like to view it as a mystery challenge. How long will I make it today? Will it be a new record?
5. We see all the sunrises.
One of the most satisfying parts of my day is to watch the whole earth light up after sitting in darkness for so many hours. There is more truth than we often credit to the power of a new day. I can be nearly dead tired at the end of the shift, but the minute the sun peeks over the horizon, it's like a rush of life floods over the surface and into my heart.
6. We have a normal social life.
One of my favorite questions is centered around whether or not I have actual friends, and if I ever leave my home to go somewhere besides work. The answer to both questions is a resounding yes. Really we only need eight to ten hours of sleep every night anyway, so if you hypothetically get off at eight in the morning, and go to sleep about eight hours, by the time four o'clock rolls around, everyone gets off work or out of classes, we are ready to face the world.
7. We are basically superstars
No matter where you happen to be working on the night shift, you do a job that only a fraction of society will even consider. Just like you were told growing up, by stepping out and doing what everyone else is unwilling to do, you become a superstar. Sure it isn't always the most proclaimed sacrifice, but it's one that we willingly make so the rest of the world can sleep.
8. Being a vampire for Halloween is easy.
Really, we already fit most of the bill to qualify as a vampire anyway. Bring me a cape and my transformation will be complete, no blood needed, coffee readily accepted.
With all the bonuses to working the night shift, there are a lot of factors that make it a challenge, and adding aspects like classes or family can complicate the situation. But in the end, someone must be there, and I couldn't be more proud to call myself your peer. Thank you to my fellow night shift workers!