There's A Strange Peace In Staying Up When No One Else Is Awake

There's A Strange Peace In Staying Up When No One Else Is Awake

I feel like Fireflies should be playing aggressively in the background.

Strange. I used to be a morning person. I used to get up at seven before sunrise because I couldn't fall back asleep. I used to yell at my friends for staying up past 12 a.m when we would have sleepovers together.

It's all pretty funny to me now that I'm writing this at 2:27 a.m.

I don't know exactly when I transitioned from a normal human being into a nocturnal mole rat, but I know it happened sometime around eighth grade. On one fateful day, my literature teacher assigned us a project that would change my sleep schedule forever. I must have procrastinated too hard on it because I ended up having to stay up late so I could finish the project the night before it was due.

My language arts teacher was a sweet lady with a slight, Southern accent, but you would've thought she was a super villain, judging by how she graded everyone's essays. In retrospect, she was what inspired me to work hard and try my best at school. However, she was also the one partially responsible for making me a perfectionist when it came to my work. While this was usually a good thing, it became an obstacle when there was an entire project that had to be finished before class the next day.

I envied those who could be happy with what they had and say, "Screw it, it's good enough." It became a habit of mine to make sure my work was perfect, even down to unnecessary details, all to the detriment of my sleep. And that was the start of the sleep deprivation cycle.

The first time I stayed up late working on that project, I glanced at my clock which read 1:30 a.m. I remember thinking, "Wow, that's really late."

1:30 a.m. is relatively early for me now.

It got worse when I got to high school and started taking AP Government. My workload started getting higher and higher along with my fear of getting a bad grade. This meant staying up even later to study for tests and quizzes. I would put effort into things the teacher barely even checked and study for hours until I couldn't remember anything. I've yet to pull an all-nighter, but I'm pretty dang close. I stayed up until 6 a.m. studying for finals last semester.

However, after countless nights of staying awake, I've made an observation: it's strangely peaceful to be awake when everyone else is asleep. It feels like I’m the only person in the world at that moment. And while some people are scared of solitude, I like it sometimes. When we're surrounded by others, life passes by so fast. It's nice to sit down with myself once in a while.

Whether it's deep reflecting or drowning in a rabbit hole of YouTube videos, there's a certain tranquility that comes with being alone. The business of everyday life can make time seem fast or slow. But being alone on a Monday morning at 3 a.m. can make time seem still.

The second thing I've noticed is that yesterday and tomorrow are so far away. The events that happened a few hours ago seems like an eternity away. The events that will take place in a few hours seem like they'll never happen. This goes with the fact that time seems to stop in the early morning.

I know that I'm going to feel like crap during the school day when I function on three hours of sleep. I know I'm going to have to take countless tests and turn in countless projects. But in my strange time bubble, it just doesn't seem to resonate with me. It feels too distant to worry about. I can laugh at how screwed I am without feeling screwed. It's amazing.

Now, I think it's physically impossible for me to sleep early. Even if I don't have anything to do that night, I'll still stay awake for the sake of being awake. I'll come home every day after school, crash on my bed and nap for around two or three hours because I get so tired during the school day. So, do I regret doing this? Yes and no. I would never have experienced the calm that comes with staying awake if I hadn’t tried. However, I’m trying to change the factors that lead me to do this. Though it’s so hard to find the motivation to change, I’ve been trying to stop myself from procrastinating so much.

I’m OK with my grades right now, but it would be a shame to not try for something better. I always wonder how I would do if I didn’t leave everything to the last minute. I’m trying to stop being so satisfied with the status quo and see where change takes me. Hopefully, the next time I stay up until three, it’ll be because I want to and not because I’m cramming for my next test.

I’m also trying to work on efficiency. Some things are not worth spending hours worrying over. I want to study the right things instead of studying everything. Hopefully, I can figure out how to prioritize, so I can have more time to do what I want to do. Managing my time has always been a struggle for me. I always spend no time on something or invest all my time in it. I’m trying to change so I can be a more consistent person.

While I don’t regret all the nights I spent staying awake, I know I will regret not trying harder to improve my study habits and health in the future. Sleep deprivation is cool and all, but it’s pretty tiring when it becomes part of a daily routine. However, what’s funny is that it took countless nights of reflecting at 3 a.m. to realize this. Strange.

Cover Image Credit: Pxhere

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!

After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

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Photoshop, Filters And #WokeUpLikeThis Proves That Instagram’s Platform Advocates Deception Without Even Meaning To

Is your life on instagram depicted the same way it is in reality?


Do you ever scroll through your Instagram and get aggravated by how amazing the pictures are? Or get aggravated by how perfect the people are….. Or how joyful the people seem to be in the pictures displayed? All these questions build up and make you wonder why your life isn't as cheerful as those figures seen on social media. Well, every time I view Instagram on my devices, all I see are perfect images and perfect moments captured. I often wonder why MY life isn't as impeccable and why I'm am not having as terrific of a time as the pictures seem to portray.

Thoughts bubble up in me, and I find myself asking: is this how everyone really feels, or is it just me?

I've come to the conclusion that people who post cheerful and seemingly admirable pictures on social media are the ones who are deceiving themselves and fooling me along with. If the moment was so tremendous, why was there a phone out? If the moment was so wonderful, why did they choose to take a picture of it instead of immersing themselves at the moment? Was it certainly a perfect time? No. Then it genuinely wasn't the time of your life.

The picture seeks to depict the time as perfect, but that wasn't what actually occurred. In reality, the people would have been crying or just sitting around the whole time, but in that exact split second of the picture, they were able to display a flawless image that people who scroll through Instagram desire to experience with their friends.

After experiencing moments that people capture on a mobile device at parties and casual hangouts, I have come to a realization that not only do people deceive others by faking happiness on social media, but they also deceive others into thinking their life is outstanding. In that picture perfect moment, it wasn't as joyful and valuable as it seemed to be.

The only thing they did was take pictures to depict a favorable time, but was it REALLY a breathtaking occasion or did you just take pictures to make it seem as if you did? The picture was taken to allow others to view it as the best time ever and have others believe you had fun. You would definitely say it was fun, but in reality, all you did was take pictures to make it seem fun.

It is insane to think about the countless times a person goes through their feed feeling upset about their life by simply viewing someone's picture and assuming they are having "the time of their life." They don't even think about how the amazing picture is, but the moment wasn't.

This must come to an end. Though some people would argue and say they want to share aesthetic and pretty pictures on their social media, Instagram isn't for this. The purpose for Instagram is to post pictures with friends and family along with funny memes to keep Instagram lively, though Instagram isn't being used in this context. People need to essentially begin living in the moment instead of worrying about getting an Instagram picture. It isn't worth the hassle.

If you aren't truly having fun in life then what do you have to show off? Why not genuinely enjoy the moment, and worry about capturing a picture or two later? It is crazy to think about how people only care about how others view them. They don't care about how they view themselves or whether they are fulfilling their happiness. This society is definitely based on a sense of belonging, of being accepted into the community.

At the same time, people viewing these images begin to lose self-esteem because of the flawless group of friends they see on their Instagram feed. The thought of making yourself happy and enjoying the moment is diminishing as people begin to deceive their happiness. So, let me ask again: is the fun shown on Instagram reality, or is it just a deceptive fantasy?

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