Up All Night: A Procrastinator’s Guide to Pulling an Unsuccessful All-Nighter

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You’ve probably known about the test for several weeks, but chose to wait until the final day to study as usual. You may have even procrastinated until the final hours of the day to begin studying, and now the reality of an all-nighter seems very likely. You realize that you’re out of time and can no longer avoid the challenges that lie ahead in the upcoming night. Check out a few habits that will ensure that your all-nighter is a disaster when you finally whip out those notecards.

 Organizing your workspace

Take out all necessary supplies and put away anything that could be distracting, including phones and tablets. Make sure you have a clear space around you so you can focus in an organized environment. As you’re organizing, you’ll get the sudden urge to clean your whole room and desk. You might feel like you can’t work until everything is in the right place, and that’s OK. You may also come across old mementos or trinkets you forgot you owned. Go ahead and linger on those keepsakes for a good half an hour.

Preparing yourself mentally

Scroll through Facebook as you get your brain ready for a long night of hard work. When you reach the end of your newsfeed, just refresh the page and start over. Don’t be afraid to stalk former best friends who betrayed you in high school by asking someone else to twin with them during Spirit Week.

Getting down to business

Open to the necessary page of the textbook and begin reading. Read the first line at least three times, attempting to comprehend it, but not fully absorbing what you read each time. After reading a couple pages (or what you determine is a good amount), decide that you need a break and check on Facebook again. Don’t forget to update yourself on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat as well because it’s so important to know what your friends are eating for dinner.

Getting down to business [Part II]

Realize that three hours have already ticked away and try to focus on the assignment again. For real this time. Utilize studying tricks such as mnemonics, color-coding, and especially doodling to help you retain information. You may also take advantage of your younger sister and make her read the textbook to you as you sit back and paint your nails.

Keeping yourself awake

If you start getting sleepy, try reading out loud in different accents. I find that a nice Southern drawl is the most entertaining, especially if your mom walks into the room wondering what in the world happened to her daughter.

Eating a Midnight Snack

Ask your mom to make you three layered lasagna if you get hungry. When she says no, settle for Goldfish, Cheetos, or whatever food you find in your secret stash of snacks.

Taking Breaks

Exercise self-control by pacing yourself and taking breaks to relax your eyes and brain. Break activities to keep you awake may include, but are not limited to, attempting a handstand, jamming to loud heavy metal, or sending ugly double chin selfies to friends. Do this throughout the night between periods of “diligent” work to keep your mind active and alert.

Regretting Procrastinating

As the first rays of the sun peek through your window, realize that you only have an hour left before class and still a lot of material to review. Quickly skim through the remaining pages of notes while wishing that you hadn’t procrastinated and promise yourself that you won’t wait until the last minute next time.

Repeating the cycle

Even though you suffered from exhaustion the next day after pulling an all-nighter, you know you’ll procrastinate again the next time a test or paper comes around. Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator.

Major foodie, believes that there's no such thing as too many puns, and aspires to have a giant slide in her house one day. Freshman journalism major at the University of Florida.

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