Students work through sleepless nights to finish semester
- Dec. 11, 2012
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In the dark of night, the University of Kansas sits still, with only the routine rip of the stiff Kansas wind or the occasional car bristling down Jayhawk Boulevard disturbing the peace.
But while the grounds remain tranquil, in the recesses of the libraries or the underground labs of the buildings, students are churning out work, pulling all-nighters as finals approach.
Lauren Bowles, a Leawood senior majoring in graphic design and psychology frequently spends her evenings in the computer lab of the Art and Design building as opposed to her bed.
“Some days you’ll be on and doing stuff and you’re great and you can go hours on hours doing it,” Bowles said. “And others you can work for however long you want; you’re not going to produce anything.”
Bowles averages only three to four hours of sleep a night during the school week as opposed to the seven to nine hours the Mayo Clinic recommends for adults.
And if her all-nighter happens in the beginning of the week, she usually won’t have time to recover until the weekend.
Bryce Fritz, a Garnett junior studying pharmacy frequently pulls all-nighters in order to accomplish his work.
Last year, Fritz had a chemistry lab every Saturday morning, but wouldn’t get home from work until 1 a.m. In order to get his lab reports done, Fritz fell into the habit of staying up and doing them in the time between when he gets off work and before he had to leave for his lab.
“I don’t drink coffee like most people, Fritz said. “I don’t like coffee. I don’t take Adderall; I never have.”
Bowles on the other hand, relies on coffee to get her through the nights. She also takes breaks to watch a movie or starts blasting her music to psych her up if she begins to slow down.
Fritz blames his all-nighters on his propensity to procrastinate until the last second on his schoolwork.
“It’s pretty rough,” Fritz said. “I really feel tired or winded or just disgusting and fatigued the next day, after it’s over. There’s really no reason for them.”
Not all students find that puling an all-nighter is an effective way to finish their work.
Tori Harrell, a senior from Chicago majoring in occupational therapy, never finds herself staying up until dawn finishing assignments.
Instead, she plans out her week ahead of time, spreading out her work so she is never caught with too much to do in a given night.
Harrell said she needs eight to nine hours of sleep in order to function at her highest level.
“I’m pretty angry when I don’t get a lot of sleep, and then I get frustrated really easily,” Harrell said.
But when students have a lot of work to get done, it can end up being a necessary evil.
For Bowles, it doesn’t effect her as much as it did as when she first started working through the night her sophomore year. It’s simply become a regular part of her life.
“I really don’t regret anything so far,” Bowles said. “I know all the all-nighters that I’ve pulled have worked towards something and I’ve achieved something out of it. As hard as it is and however many days that I’m kicking myself for it, I know that I’m really proud of everything I’ve achieved”