A word of caution before we begin — no all-nighters are created equal. Tears will be shed and destinies cursed, but you will come out on the other side stronger than you’ve ever felt. Whether you’re hoping to work well under pressure, or choosing to maximize a night out, here’s an expert’s guide to coping with the notorious all-nighter.
1. Diamonds are Produced under Pressure
So your Word Doc only contains your name, and there’s a social tomorrow that you simply must attend. Or you’ve got an exam and three essays due the next day. Its fine, you’ve got time. That time may be overnight, but through the miracle of last-minute desperation, there are ways to smash out a top grade!
First things first: get those snacks sorted. No student ever stayed at their desk overnight without a high dose of caffeine and sugar. Tim Tams, a flat white, and a Red Bull should do the trick. Staying focused with nothing in your system isn’t going to happen. Plus, fruit and veg is hardly a motivator. Instead, run it off tomorrow, and reward yourself after every completed paragraph.
Other top tips: have the readings printed in front of you (it is possible to prep for an all-nighter). Flicking across Google is only going to prompt a Facebook stalking session. Alternatively, if it’s last minute revision, banish your laptop and phone to another desk. Figuring out whom your ex is dating can wait. Trust us.Thirdly, comfy clothes. Who cares if fit-library-guy sees you in sweats? He’s got to admire the dedication!
Finally, read back your work some other time, even if it’s only after a shower break. Your brain won’t notice mistakes if you’re on your fifteenth consecutive read. Grab bonus points if you can get your more organised pal to spell-check instead.
2. Dark Circles are a Badge of Honour
Alternatively, you might be that student who favours a session of socialising over hard-core studying. We won’t criticise the beverage(s) of your choosing, but we do have some key advice to keep you dancing the night away!
- Pile on the Carbs: Don’t be that person on the bathroom floor. You’ll need a slow release of energy before you can refuel later. Our vote goes to pasta, just in case you were wondering.
- Power Nap: Put the reading down, forget the looming assignment, and snuggle up. If you’re feeling guilty about skipping an afternoon of work, think of it instead as necessary prep for a productive day tomorrow. Maybe.
Some students see all-nighters as standard practice: it’s up to you to decide what works for you!
Written by Sophie Donovan