"Lazy Boy On Campus" is a weekly column on how to embrace laziness while maintaining a jam packed schedule. Easy, right?
I squinted at my computer screen and then looked at my watch. It said 2 o’clock, more specifically 2 a.m. I let out a sigh and looked again at my computer screen, “the history of zero is an…” The words seemed to trail off screen. It was getting late and I would have to make an important decision in the next few minutes.
College is a balance of three major things: academics, social life and you-time, a.k.a. taking care of yourself. Sleep is included in self-care and with sleep comes the saying, “sleep is for the weak.” Let us just get this out of the way right now. Sleep is most definitely not for the weak, and if you want to survive college, then you have to find time to sleep. Which brings me to the nightmare that is the “all-nighter.”
An all-nighter is exactly as its name implies. You wake up at 7 am…– who am I kidding – 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning and come 24 hours later, you are still going, for whatever reason. When the sun rises above the trees at 6:30 a.m., you are still awake and moving (probably).
Now you, like me, are a completely lazy person. If given the choice between doing something stupid and going/staying asleep, you are more than likely going to choose sleep. Sleep is the number one past time of the lazy population. You literally get to lay motionless for hours without having to do anything. Also in most cases, it’s in a warm (with a few perfectly tempered cold spots) and comfy bed. Basically it’s heaven on earth. Yet, what if the decision isn’t between doing something dumb and sleeping but instead between doing something extremely important, say finishing an essay, and sleeping.
A lot of people will tell you to just pull an all-nighter. They’ll argue that it isn’t a big deal if done infrequently and that it’s college, so everyone is up late anyways. Except there is a major downside. The morning after pulling an all-nighter, you will feel like s**t. It’s like waking up hungover without having the great memories from the night before to help nurse you through the morning. Also you probably have to go to class (which is a bummer without any sleep.)
Option 2: Go to sleep and then finish your assignment or your studying in the morning. The benefits you ask? You’ll wake up mostly refreshed and with drive to finish whatever you have to. Sounds like the perfect scenario, right? Wrong. The potential for failure is very high and the results are nightmarish. If you are making the decision between pulling an all-nighter and going to bed, chances are that you have been up for a rather long time. As a result, when your alarm goes off in the morning, you might just sleep through it or unconsciously hit snooze–multiple times. Then your whole plan of waking up early to finish your assignment goes out the window. And woe be on you if whatever you had to finish is for an early morning class. There is a massive chance that you’ll sleep through something important, maybe even through an exam.
So what do you do? The super lazy person will say sleep, but that can come at price. Pulling an all-nighter comes at a separate price. The best advice I can give you is to know yourself. If you are the kind of person who needs tons of sleep to survive, then take the lazy approach and sleep. Your body will thank you. If you have to pull the all-nighter, then make sure you are lazy for the rest of the day, and take the bus or maybe go to bed early. Your body will thank you again.
As for me?
I shut down my laptop and went right to sleep. If sleep is for the weak, then I choose to be weak.
Amar Batra is a senior staff photographer and opinion’s contributor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org.