It’s the middle of the semester, deadlines are flying in and you suddenly discover that that one module you hate has a deadline tomorrow. You buy all the food you need, all the energy drinks you can get your hands on and settle down for a long night at the library, thinking: “How in the hell am I going to finish this essay in one night?”
1. The Shop
It’s impossible to get through this hell of an essay in one night without some kind of sustenance (preferably chocolate-based). You run to the campus shop, the corner shop down the road or if you really need to stock up the big supermarket might just do the trick. You buy your weight in chocolate, sweets and sugary foods to keep you up all night.
2. The Backup
Let’s be real. You’re not the only one who forgot about this. Chances are at least half a dozen other people are in exactly the same place as you. Cling onto this – these people are your moral support and by the end of the night you will see everyone cry at least once: this is to be expected.
3. The Seating
So you’ve got to the library and now you need to find the perfect position to spend your whole night with your squad. So you find the biggest table with all the charging ports imaginable and settle in for the night. You also try and go as far away from all other students as possible, because who can be bothered for social interaction at 4am?
4. The Plan
You set goals for each hour and start off with a plan of what will happen paragraph by paragraph. This is how you will do your essay in one night. Introduction – paragraphs – citations – conclusion – bibliography: you have it all laid out. You also get all the assessment brief details you can get your hands on and study these religiously: these are your new gospel.
5. The Rewards
“When I finish the next paragraph I can have a bar of chocolate.” “When I reach 1000 words I can drink my milkshake.” You make every deal imaginable with yourself to get yourself through this, but you are incredibly determined.
6. The Tears
There will come a point when the sleep deprivation hits that the tears will come. You question whether you need the degree, whether it’s really worth it, or whether you’re actually writing sense. A few tears and hugs later you will remember that you just don’t have time for this, and then begin writing once more.
7. The Hope
Remain hopeful. You can do this! You tell yourself that you can sleep all day tomorrow and have pizza tomorrow evening. You’re nearly three quarters of the way there now! When the conclusion is within touching distance it’s so, so uplifting.
8. The Conclusion
You’re there. 200 or so more words and this whole, horrible situation is over. You work so, so hard to perfect this. Even if everything else is total rubbish, this must be good. This is the final thing the marker reads, it’s important you make a good final impression.
9. The Final Read-Through
You’re not sure what words are any more. You wonder if the sequence of yours make sense and if you have your grammar on check. Either way, you power through reading yours, if only to say that you did it. No-one can say you didn’t try.
10. The Walk Home
There is no relief like the relief felt when your thousands of words are written, complete and submitted. You walk home with a new appreciation for life, and sunrises really are very beautiful, you realise. Then you collapse onto your bed and sleep your day away, peaceful in the knowledge that you won’t have to do this for a least another few days.
Have you ever pulled an all-nighter in the library? Was it better or worse for you and would you do it again? Let me know what I missed out below!
Featured image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/pile-of-books-159866/
Hi! My name is Ellie and I live in London. Currently in university studying journalism, I love all things writing and theatre and spend a lot of my time seeing shows on the West End.