We’ve all been there. Your professor has droned on and on for months about that paper that makes up an ungodly percentage of your final grade. It’s due tomorrow. And you haven’t started yet. After the initial panic attack wears off, you load up your bookbag, grab some Skittles and a Five Hour Energy, and head over to T-Coop for a stressful night of BS’ing. Looking for some tips for turning your marathon pity party into a productive all-nighter? Garnet Report has got you covered.
Make sure to bring the right materials the first time. Like the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to walk all the way to the library and settle down before realizing you don’t even have a pencil or pen. So go ahead and pack your bag for the long haul, and make sure to bring all the materials and/or writing utensils you could possibly want or need, even if your bag does get a little heavy.
Technology wise, I would suggest bringing your laptop. Depending on the type of work you need to get done, you’ll probably need it anyway. Remember, even if you just have to read a book, it could be useful for getting some more insight or just taking a break from the seemingly endless amount of pages you have to swim through. You’ll also need your charger. If you’re doing serious work, it’s going to die, so be prepared to go outlet-searching. Lastly, you might want to reconsider bringing your cellphone. There’s no rules against using it, but understand that you won’t receive any messages on the first or second floors, and your precious iPhone will likely become a casualty while searching for service.
Also, it could be useful to bring snacks (or money to buy them from a vending machine). It’s only a matter of time before you get hungry or thirsty. You should probably bring gum too, if only to subdue the smell of Doritos in your breath.
On a related note: if you’re one of those OCD kids (put your hand down, we know who you are), bring something with you to keep yourself occupied. These objects could include stress balls, bits of string, or really anything else that will keep your hands busy. Believe me, this will help you concentrate better, and it’ll keep your neighbors from having to deal with the sound of your endless finger-tapping.
Choose the Right Setting:
If you are planning on getting some serious work done or trying to cram for your exam tomorrow, it’s probably best for you to head down to the first or second quiet floors. You won’t get cell service, but you’ll be able to study in a quiet area mostly free of distractions.
However, if you need to work with a group, or you’re one of “those guys” who goes to the library just to socialize, you probably belong on the upper floors, or in one of the group study rooms located on all of the underground levels.
Use Your Resources:
In case you haven’t noticed, the library is full of books. Shocker, I know. These can actually help you in your research, and they are sometimes more useful than the omniscient Google in writing term papers. Apparently these books things can be pretty useful in impressing that one professor who hates your guts, so it might be a good idea to try this out. Don’t be afraid to ask the people working at the resource desk for help.
If you’re like me, you probably can’t sit still for very long. (This article was written in 4 different places). Therefore, it’s always a good idea to bring something along to get your mind off studying, writing that paper, or reading the book that’s due for your 8:00 a.m. English class tomorrow.
Take a long look at the scenery around you. Chances are, someone has written a note on a wall or part of your desk either to motivate you or express their own thoughts or feelings while they once sat at the desk you now occupy. For example, scribbled on the wall beside me is the axiom, “You can’t be free without first being enslaved.” Deep stuff.
Another cool thing to do is to “people watch.” While this may seem a little weird, we’ve all done it. So just sit back, relax, and admire the concentrated, confused, and anxious expressions (or blank stares) on the faces of your colleagues. It’s possible that they are going through tougher challenges than you. If not, sometimes it is still reassuring to convince yourself that they are.
Lastly, it is sometimes helpful to move around. Changing your setting every hour or so can help to keep you awake and focused. If you look up at your computer screen and notice that you’ve written the same sentence 14 times on your term paper, it’s probably time to take a break, go up or down a couple floors, and settle back down. Even taking a walk outside could prove helpful.
Pulling an All-Nighter
While this seems like a daunting challenge, it is possible and even necessary in dire circumstances. I had a friend who stayed up all night every night during exam week before taking his 9:00 a.m. It worked fine for him, and it can work for you as well. The main thing is to make sure you time your sleep perfectly. Most importantly, make sure you don’t oversleep for your exam or leave yourself physically exhausted and unable to concentrate.
And lastly, don’t forget to save your work. It’s the oldest trick in the book.