With all of the requirements needed to meet the standard definition of "success" these days, college students are forced to bite more than they can chew, meaning they sometimes have too many tasks to complete in one day.
This leads to students staying up all night (hence the term "all-nighter") and sometimes barely squeezing in an hour of sleep the following day. In some cases, students pull all-nighters several times a week. What makes this distinctly problematic is that not only does this affect the physical body, particularly the functioning of the brain, but also causes an incredible amount of stress and mood swings worsening mental health.
The fact of the matter is that we live in a society that glorifies work and sleep deprivation. Americans are known for their lack of vacation days and our obsession with the "hustle" lifestyle. This points to a mentality that does not value sleep, but rather boasts about never having to sleep. The effects of living in such a society seriously harm mental health, and it's beginning with the youngest members of the workforce: college students. Whether it be an undergraduate student, a medical student, an engineering student, etcetera, college students are entering a future of work burnt out.
It is also important to take note that classes and academic workload are not only the cause of sleep deprivation on campuses. Clubs, organizations, sports teams, fraternities (both social and professional), and any extracurricular activities add on to the pile and are forced into meeting late at night when all classes are over. Once meetings or practices finish at ungodly hours, students are then expected to drive back home or to their dorms half awake. Mental health affects your safety, your relationships, and much more.
The next time you look at your schedule and think about pulling an all-nighter, put your sleep first. College students have been known to be at the forefront of fighting for change. Yet sleep deprivation has been on the sideline for far too long. What we need is a better quality of life that we can enjoy. Who cares if I can one day own a Mercedes if I don't have any good memories to look back on, if all of my relationships faded because I was too worn out to give my best to everyone I loved? The consequences of work glorification leave us dry as a society and are taking away the concept of leisure, or at least leisure without guilt.
Fight for your sleep, you deserve it. Your body and mind deserve it. It's your right.