You close your laptop. A sense of warm satisfaction and contentment spreads through your body; you relish it. You softly exhale and allow a small, wry smile to play across your lips. You relish it, the sense of accomplishment at having completed a well-researched, well-composed essay and having submitted it promptly, several days prior to the actual deadline. You pack your things away and head out, to enjoy the remainder of your evening, contented.
This has never happened. Not once. This scenario is literally unheard of in the entire course of the history of global education. Every single essay that has ever been completed has been frantically submitted about three minutes prior to the deadline by someone who hasn't slept in approximately 36 hours, has torn out roughly half of their hair, and is only remaining semi-conscious due to a heady cocktail of caffeine, adrenaline and sheer molten anxiety. This is how it has always been, how it remains and how it always will be. Remaining awake through the night to finish an essay you've inevitably left until the last minute is as pure a rite of passage as college has to offer. As such, here are a few tips to help you stave off sleep so that you may make it through the night:
As the clock approaches 3am and your eyelids grow heavy, the allure of just giving in and heading to bed rather than continuing to research how an increase in Prussian grain production helped consolidate the German Empire in the 1870s, grows stronger. Don't give in. The only surefire way to ward off sleep's siren-call is to begin to look at your body as if it were little more than a caffeine-sponge. Have a cup of coffee, then another cup, some green tea, a mocha, an entire coffee cake, followed by three more coffee cakes and another mocha. Once the aggressive vibrations that wrack your body have died down to a level that allows you to type again, content yourself with the knowledge that you're away scot-free and won't be bothered by the threat of sleep for the remainder of the night - or the following several nights.
2) Invest In Artificial Lighting:
Your body has a natural, in-built day-night cycle, the more time spent away from natural light the more your body tries to force you to sleep through the release of sleep-inducing chemicals. Evidently, you must do all in your power to disrupt your body's idiotic desire for rest, does it not know there's a low-quality essay on the biology of otters to be written!? Seeing as the pesky sun refuses to stay in the sky through the night to provide you with the natural light needed to remain awake, you, yet again, must pick up the damn thing's slack. I'll give you the same advice that my father gave me, "Invest in artificial light sources!" Absolutely cover your study area in the damn things. Being surrounded by UV light will help trick your body into warding off sleep.
3) Create The Right Atmosphere:
If you're going to be staying awake for a period of time that can at best be described as 'medically inadvisable' you want to create as amenable an environment to this state of affairs as possible. You need to be in a strong state of mind to help you through it as, after all, if you don't write that essay on how pictorial depictions of eggs morphed through the Renaissance, who will? - Literally no-one, it was a staggeringly ill-conceived choice of topic. As such it's imperative you get yourself a strong playlist to help you through the night. As someone who spent their college years writing essays to a 12-hour loop of The XX's 'Intro', in an ill-conceived act of self-motivation/torture, I recommend you choose something more inspiring and perhaps with a bit more variety. Vodafone X's student bundles offer a free Spotify subscription so you can choose your perfect studying playlist.
4) Hire Somebody To Prod You Awake:
What could possibly be more annoying and likely to keep you awake than having someone awkwardly stand over you and prod you in the ribs once every 10 minutes? Why, having someone awkwardly stand over and prod you in the ribs once every 5 minutes, obviously. If ever you start to drift off, then rest-assured your paid-prodder will soon have you jolting back to consciousness, ready to see out the night and ensure that your essay on the mating practices of hawks gets completed in time. There is with this course of action however, a small, but not insignificant problem that, seeing as your paid-prodder is also fallible and may be vulnerable to falling asleep over the course of a long night spent poking someone in the ribs, it may be necessary to hire a separate prodder to prod your prodder awake. There is then of course the possibility that this prodder may fall asleep prompting you to hire yet another, etc. After a certain, this piece of advice becomes financially inadvisable.
5) Be Haunted By The Sins Of Your Past:
What better way to help ward off sleep than to mull over the various past shames that haunt you. Perhaps you called a teacher 'mum' in primary school, maybe the shenanigans of a particularly heinous college night out still torment you. Nothing is going to ensure that you remain awake, ready to plough your full attentions into your essay on the evolution of sewage treatment practices, more than being haunted by the shame of your past.