Stages of an All-nighter

SabineC.Studying3Going to college comes with tons of awesome experiences: your first football game, your 21st birthday bar crawl, killer internships and (for Penn Staters) THON. But with the mad perks college gives you, come the cons along with it. The dreaded right of passage we all experience? The all-nighter. It’s unavoidable, and we can all connect through our shared suffering. No all-nighter is complete without the stages below – it’s a rough life, obviously. Don’t worry ya’ll – Valley is here for you. Stay strong. 


To start with, it’s all about the brain food. It’s an unspoken rule that you won’t get far without the appropriate sustenance to get you through. Sure, we try and keep it healthy with bananas or something (potassium is good for you, right?), but you don’t need to hide your habits from us. We all know you binge on Cheetos.

“My all-nighter diet usually varies from grapes to BBQ chips, frozen yogurt to vanilla pudding and Monsters to sweet tea,” says freshman Haley Britzky. “Although sweet tea hasn’t been scientifically proven to make someone more focused, I’d swear on my sweet grandmother’s soul that it does.”

We believe you.

Going off the Deep End

This stage is bound to happen. Countless coffee crashes, hours of Pinterest and little academic progress – your brain starts to melt. It’s like fate’s way of telling how much of a slacker you are.

“I usually am really gone around 5 a.m.,” says freshman Chris Farhat. “At that point I’ve been up for around 20 hours and I start to feel high and drunk. And very uncomfortable and nauseous.”

 Picture the ultimate hangover, but instead of a party, insert a terribly boring calculus textbook or ridiculously long essay.

 On a Roll

This is the homestretch. It’s 7:30 a.m. and you have half an hour until your 15-page paper is due. A sudden wave of motivation hits you before your computer can even run out of battery. Suddenly the phrase, “Run, Forrest, run!” comes to mind as you try and beat everyone else to the library printers. And then it hits you. You made it. You accomplished the impossible. You are king. You are on top of the world. You are completely exhausted. And probably ready to kill. 


It’s a grueling process trying to get back to normal. In all honesty, there should be some sort of waiver from going to classes after your library anti-hibernation.

 “I recover from all-nighters by taking a shower in the morning, drinking Gatorade and skipping any classes before 12,” says freshman Marissa Robertson.

 God bless you if you scheduled an 8 a.m. with required attendance.

Photo by Sabine Clermont


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