5 Stages of Pulling an All-Nighter

5 Stages of Pulling an All-Nighter

You better enjoy that two hour episode of The Bachelor now.  Soon enough, you’ll long for the day that you could say “I have more time.” Unfortunately, that time always runs out and you eventually have to face the pathetic moment when you find yourself scraping for seven and a half minute breaks. But don’t worry- it happens to the best of us! Well actually, it doesn’t. It happens to the worst of us. I’m pretty sure the kid who’s curing cancer right now isn’t procrastinating while scrolling down their Instagram feed for the sixth time today. Kids like that won’t have to come to terms with the inevitable “all-nighter.”


Phase 1: “The Scramble”

Now that you have decided to acknowledge your extremely important assignment that is due tomorrow, there might still be hope for you to finish the work by midnight! The idea of an all-nighter has barely crossed your mind at this point, even though it probably should have. You have failed to show any signs that you are of capable working efficiently for more than a half-hour stretch thus far, but who knows? Maybe this time you’ll be able to sit down and work for four hours straight with only two minute breaks every hour. You can do it…right?


Phase 2: Acceptance

Nope. You can’t. If you weren’t already humiliated that you procrastinated this much, you should probably be just as humiliated that you had this little self-understanding of your work ethic. But now, with the recognition that you will need many more hours to complete your work, you wonder: Where will this time come from? Hmm…

Spoiler Alert: Your sleep. It’s coming from your sleep.

So now that you’ve welcomed the elephant in the room that’s been smacking you in the face with its trunk for the past month, you can relax. You have an additional six hours to finish your assignment! Now you can feel free to scroll down your Instagram feed for the seventh time tonight.


Phase 3: Productivity

After exhausting every single social media app on your phone during your “short” break, it’s time to get out of bed and buckle down at your desk. For about an hour, you have an epic surge of energy during which you actually get work done (work you should’ve done a month ago when the project was assigned, but work nonetheless)! During this hour you’re actually focused and get about twenty-five percent of the assignment done. Obviously you have to reward yourself with a break: maybe a quick trip to the kitchen, a run to the bathroom, a jump off a cliff.

After you take your swift 45 minute break, you drag yourself back into your chair, scatter your new food around your computer and take a shot of a 5-Hour Energy. This is the moment that you realize that break steered you right off track.

Phase 4: Emotional and Physical Breakdown

The breakdown. We’ve all been there. The exhaustion begins to kick in and your head rushes with emotion… the tears are coming. Maybe you even turn to laughing at the absurdity of your situation, but the laughing very quickly turns to back crying anyways. You shout things like, “I’m dropping out of school forever!” and “I hate (insert name of teacher)” but you quickly realize though, it is most definitely not their fault and you are just a terrible student. After about 30 minutes of an emotional breakdown, you lay on your floor staring blankly at the ceiling thinking: “What am I doing?… I don’t have time to waste crying! This thing is due period 2 tomorr… today!”

You enter the final countdown.


Phase 5: “The Final Countdown”
This is the time in which you attempt to compile weeks worth of work into a couple of hours. There are no longer any new posts on Instagram or Facebook and no one is responding to your Snapchats or texts because they are all happily asleep; therefore, your phone is rendered completely useless. You contemplate skipping school the next day, then you remember that your teacher makes you turn it in on Google Classroom anyway, so that’s pointless. You come to the conclusion you have no other option but to just work until the minute this cursed assignment is due. And you do. Even if half the words are spelled wrong, your paragraphs are composed of non-sequitur phrases, and your bibliography is complete b.s. because you practically got all your information from Wikipedia, the deed is done. At this point, you don’t care what your grade is because at least you have a conclusion paragraph. You turn in your assignment only to be rewarded with another essay due in two weeks; and in thirteen days, you are back at Phase 1. Good luck!