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...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out:

14. Some activities on my bucket list are...

This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...

What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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If He Says 'You Make Me Want To Be A Better Person,' Remember It's NOT A Compliment

No one should be relying on another person to make them better people.


A lot of us have been there; he smiles at you sweetly, gives you a look that could melt your heart, and you let yourself fall into the kindness.

He tells you, "you're such a good person; you make me want to be better."

Your heart is a flutter, you're drowning in the sickly sweetness of what you take as one of the nicest things someone has ever told you. It's so easy to read it as though it's an admirable thing for anyone to say, but the reality is, no one should be held liable for making you want to be a decent human being except yourself.

It's one thing for people to bring out the best in each other.

When you find your happy place in the company of the people you love most in life, that's one of the greatest things in the world. That example of the "bettering" of one another comes organically. But to only find a desire to be kinder, more selfless, more decent because another person is kind, selfless, and decent is putting way too much liability on the other person, and it means not taking responsibility for yourself.

By telling me that I'm the reason he wants to be a better person, he's putting me on a pedestal that I cannot possibly live up to all the time.

He's holding me liable for his desire to stop his negative behaviors rather than it coming from a true desire to be better. If being with me or around me is the only reason he's decided he needs to get his act together and start being a decent human being, I'm here to tell him that he should really reevaluate.

Because what happens when we break up?

What happens if we have a falling out for some reason or another, and I'm not longer in his life to "inspire" him to be better? His desire to be better disappears alongside me, because his desire never really came from his heart anyway. He go back to the same negative behavior that he had in the first place unless he came come to the realization that being a good person has to come from a real desire within.

I don't have the time to pander to people who can't take responsibility for their actions.

It shouldn't have to be my job to show anyone what being a decent human being looks like. His parents should have instilled that in him when they were raising him, and if not that, he should have been able to recognize elsewhere what kindness and decency looked like in other people so that he could emulate it himself. If he's a grown adult who says he didn't recognize what being good meant until he met you, that says more about him than it does about you.

The point of all of this is simple; it is an extremely important life lesson to learn that you are not responsible for anyone's actions and feelings except for your own.

You are not accountable for the decisions someone else makes, and that's the truth. No one is dating someone with the intent on raising him and teaching him how to behave or exist as a functionally member of society, and no one should have to.

I'm not saying it's a red flag to hear it. Often times it is said with good intentions and sometimes it is meant in the organic sort of way I mentioned before. But my advice if you're ever told this; think about it. Consider it a pink flag, one that makes you do some evaluating before you smile bigly and accept the comment as though it is a badge of honor.

Above all, hold people responsible for their own actions and don't let them make you feel responsible instead.


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