All-nighters during finals week are also disturbing, yet it's kind of fun to binge caffeine and sit in the same place until the sun comes up. These enlightening experiences are great because…
Your Campus Becomes Unfamiliar and Bizarre
It’s 4:47 a.m. and you’ve just finished writing that 12-page research paper on belly button fuzz. You pack up your notes, books, and computer charger and kick down the library doors like an absolute boss. As you rejoin the outside world a free man, you can’t help but feel a sense of eeriness around you. The only people you see are maintenance guys mowing lawns and a random kid sitting on a bench, eating a sandwich like Keanu Reeves.
After being at college for a year, you’ve become accustomed to the weird shit you see during the day. From the liberal hipsters making hammocks on the quad to the goobers choppily playing acoustic guitar outside the art building, you’ve witnessed all the diversity big universities love to showcase on campus tours. But nothing compares to being on campus at a time you’re not particularly used to. It's kind of like the Twilight Zone but without Rod Serling’s hypnotic narration.
Friendships Are Strengthened
We all have many idiosyncratic types of friends in college. We have normal people we go to house parties with on Friday nights. We have demented souls we go to the bar with on a Tuesday afternoon. We have the cordial acquaintances we go to Chipotle with once a week but never party with because being seen with that person would be social suicide.
There’s a special spot reserved in the cockles of your heart for friends that will pull all-nighters with you. Most people will do anything to avoid slaving away in a cubicle for hours on end, but there are a few soldiers among us who understand that feverish elation rewarded to those who make it til morning. Don’t worry though, you’ll be sick as shit of each other by the end of it.
You Feel So “College”
While there are thousands of meanings associated with the word “college,” only one is actually related to institutions of higher learning. It can mean drinking until you can’t feel feelings anymore. It can mean regrettable sexcapades. It can even mean working at a diligent pace in order to secure a bachelor’s degree and graduate on time.
In a general sense, “college” means doing things you can’t do anywhere else because they’re either (a) frowned upon, (b) illegal, or (c) make you look like a shithead. These three are pretty much the same thing.
So while eating Schedule II study buddies and smoking cigarettes in between hours of reading textbooks is considered deviant to some degree, it makes you feel super-duper college. And don’t kid yourself; being college is definitely super duper.
You Are Not You
We all have a basic understanding of who we are. A small portion of us are truly proud of who we’ve become as human beings. The majority of us absolutely despise ourselves for the destructive actions we perform on our bodies. But despite hating ourselves, we’ve mastered hiding in plain sight by doing normal things like showering once in a while, chewing with our mouths closed, and being able to carry on a conversation. Futile exercise or genuine art? I like to think the latter.
When we’re deprived of sleep for over 24 hours, we don’t know who the hell we are. We don’t do things we normally do or say things we normally say. We’re grumpy, melancholy, frustrated, anxious assholes that don’t care about anything.
Our bodies can do some pretty wild things when they’re under pressure from finals alone. Throw sleep deprivation and copious amounts of stimulants into the mix and you might come out a psych ward patient.
Nothing is Real
I have a final at 8 a.m. tomorrow and I’m way too exhausted to finish writing this. I’ll let Edward Norton explain this last one for me.
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[Image via the seminal early 2000s sitcom, Undeclared]