AHMED: All-nighters define U. experience for many

The all-nighter: I am sure this phrase already brings back some memories for some of you. Maybe it was that one time back in high school when you had procrastinated to the very last minute to get that project done and, of course, had to pull an all-nighter to get it done on time. Or maybe you never had to pull an all-nighter until you came to college and realized how crammed you were and had to get your assignment done before the next morning. 

But maybe you are neither of those two groups of people. Maybe you are like my friend, a junior here at Rutgers who has never pulled an all-nighter (if that is you, I cannot imagine the amount of people that envy you, including myself).

My all-nighter was quite memorable, and so why not talk about the night my insane friends and I, as diligent and hardworking as we usually are, left a research essay to less than 24 hours before its due date. The night first began with my friend, "A" in this story, and me. So, let us begin. 

Hour one was from 10 to 11 p.m. — grind time. "A" and I began writing our essays, helping each other as we go, but trying to stay on task. 

Hour two was from 11 p.m. to midnight. "A" and I were still working. I was working on my in-text citations while "A" was working on their introduction … or so I thought. I suddenly heard a buzzer and a strange squeaking sound. We both looked each other in the eye for a good 3 seconds … I knew "A" was not working on their part of the essay and "A" had just exposed themselves. 

I began scolding them for watching the NBA basketball game, but instead of getting back to work, "A" convinced me that we should watch the rest of the game: New Orleans Pelicans 131, Oklahoma City Thunder 122. We were pretty upset with the outcome. 

Hour three, midnight to 1 a.m. — "A" had four sentences completed. I was still working on that one citation. We decided we worked hard enough to take a break and eat some food. Quite the midnight dinner: Mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets. 

Hour four (1 a.m. to 2 a.m.) — I had been wearing the same jeans and blouse for nearly 14 hours now, so I decided to finally go change. To my surprise, my roommate, "T" in this article, and our “third roommate,” "M," were still awake. Mind you, these two could never stay awake past 10 p.m. and to see them awake at 1 a.m. was quite surprising. They decided that they would come and “work on their essays” with "A" and me, and that only meant we would get even less work done per hour. 

Hour five (2 a.m. to 3 a.m.) — "A" was criticizing my lack of knowledge on Drake’s earlier music until "T" and "M" joined us. They put us back on track, and "A" and I started up again, working hard. I was done with my in-text citation and on page three of my essay, while "A" was on page two. But of course, it was all too good to last. 

Hours six and seven (3 a.m. to 5 a.m.) — "A" and I, in this time-span, progressed 0 percent. "T" and "M," as well as a friend of ours who was also working on their essay, "F," joined us. Hours six and seven were nothing but cracking jokes and learning about each of our high school pursuits and shenanigans. 

Hour eight (5 a.m. to 6 a.m.) — "F" had given up hope on finishing their essay. We wished "F" the best of luck when they claimed they would wake up early to finish (we were informed "F" finished on time). "T" and "M" had grown tired and also decided to go to sleep. It was back to "A" and I, and we realized we really had to grind. 

Hour eight was the final hour (6 a.m. to 7 a.m.). It was the last hour of our all-nighter. "A" and I were both completing the final details of our references page. We closed our laptops and gave each other a sly and exhausted grin. It was 7 a.m., the sun was slowly peering in through the large windows, the sound of the birds chirping was harmonious and our essays were finally completed. We wished each other a good night, or rather, a good morning. Though it was a long and exhausting night, it was one of my most cherished memories of the semester with some of my favorite people, and I truly cannot wait for the next one.

Laila Ahmed is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year majoring in information technology and informatics and English. Her column, “The  Unapologetic Writer,” runs on alternate Thursdays. 

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