Life @ U of T

The Social Event That Is an All-Nighter

Before I get into things, it’s important to read this poem by Dennis Lee and understand how thoroughly I relate to it: Sometimes my mind is crazy Sometimes my mind is dumb Sometimes it sings like angel wings And beeps like kingdom come. My mother calls me Mary My father calls me Fred My brother calls me Stumblebum And kicks me out of bed. Go tell it on a T-shirt Go tell a TV screen:  My summy's turning tummersaults And I am turning green. Don't come to me in April Don't come to me in Guelph Don't come to me in anything Except your crummy self. I haven't got a dollar I haven't got a dime I haven't got a thing to do But write these goofy rhymes. Sometimes my mind is crazy Sometimes my mind is dumb Sometimes it sings like angel wings And beeps like kingdom come. Is that not relatable? I mean, I don’t even have a brother and yet every word in this poem rings true. Don’t ask me how. I really don’t know. Anyway, there’s a reason for sharing this poem, I swear.A line drawing of a tired person with tangled hair, thinking about studying while yawning at night. I’m currently in fourth year, which, for some reason, means I have only two final exams, but about four grant proposals I need to finish by next week. This sort of evaluation is new for me, and all I can say is I’m glad I’ve gotten over my all-nighter phase from first year. However, since two of my roommates are in first year and are both awake when I go to sleep and when I wake up (they may just be vampires, no judgment here), I’ve been thinking a lot about my experience with all-nighters. In high school, I only pulled all-nighters when it was against my will – I had some really strange sleep issues until I was about sixteen, that fortunately I’ve overcome. Anyway. University. In first year, I noticed there was a real social culture surrounding all-nighters. Two of my classes were through Victoria College and had about twenty people, and the night before an assignment was due, the Facebook group chat would be livelier than a squirrel on caffeine (yes, that was a Hoodwinked reference for those of you who got it). I managed to avoid this, but only to an extent. Every two weeks, before I had a lab report due in chemistry, I would stay up until 6:00 am working on that wretched lab. To this day, chemistry is one of the subjects I refuse to think about. And you know what? I think it may be because of the all-nighters. I was never prepared for chemistry- I mean, yes I had all my work done, but I was never mentally prepared. Every lab I would feel like I wasn’t really there, like my goggles were foggy and I couldn’t wipe them clean. I initially ignored it as sleep deprivation, but after consultations I’ve learned that it’s a symptom of heightened anxiety. So here’s what was happening to me: I was already anxious about chemistry labs, but instead of emotionally readying myself and planning to help lower my anxiety, I was seriously depriving myself of sleep. To this day, I wonder if my relationship with chemistry would be different if I had just gotten the right amount of sleep. When I think back to pulling those all-nighters, and how much I’ve learned since then, I think of the words of Dennis Lee: “Sometimes my mind is crazy, Sometimes my mind is dumb, Sometimes it sings like angel wings And beeps like kingdom come.” This year, I've learned that going to sleep at a regular time is a factor of Sleep Hygiene, which are recommended practices to achieve a good night's rest. What are some things you do to improve the quality of your sleep?

1 comment on “The Social Event That Is an All-Nighter

  1. omg.. chemistry lab 3am-ers are so relatable T.T I think my body has gotten used to staying up once a week biweekly to get it done

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