The eight stages of pulling an all-nighter

Those feelings you go through when pulling an all-nighter. Now in listicle form!

1) The Unknown Unknown


Fancy clothes for fancy people

So it’s 8pm on a Saturday night and you find yourself in the library. There’s this 1,500 word essay that you’ve known about since January, and you’re going to write it all now, in about 10 hours straight. You walk into the still-buzzing library feeling a little confident. Although you’re being a bit of a prick complaining to all of your friends about how you can’t come to that houseparty tonight, you secretly feel a little proud of yourself. After all, an all-nighter is a rite of passage for a student, right?

Word Count: 0

2) The Caffeine Trip


I love a good cup o’ joe

It’s been a productive hour. You’ve managed to actually scope out the perfect spot in the library, and made an impressive tower out of your giant stack of books. your first few cups of coffee from the vending machine tasted terrible, but you are wide awake and now a bit jittery. You spend about half an hour reading the same sentence: “civic culture is a participant political culture in which political culture and political structure are contingent”…. um, what?

Word Count: 0, still…

3) The Known Unknown


Tab debut for your main man Bishop Cosin (left of frame, red garms)

The library is now practically empty, and the patheticness that is your life right now has fully set in. Looks like it’s just you, a really creepy post-grad, and some keen Asians. There’s no turning back now. You start writing – something, anything, just to get the words flowing. There is absolute silence as you tap away at your keyboard, and you realise you actually have a chance at leaving before sunrise.

Word count: 561. Three quarters of the way to half finished!

4) Xtreme Procrastination



Your newsfeed is spammed with photos of everyone having such a good time, but you can’t bear to look away. It’s almost sadistic how you keep feeding that massive sense of FOMO. You’ve checked your emails, cleaning your inbox of 200 spam messages – that’s productive right? All of your house bills are up to date, and you’ve discovered parts of the library you never knew existed before. There’s been some pretty extensive research on Buzzfeed – you have found out 17 reasons why you should’ve gone vegan, 26 stages of the alphabet, and 22 reasons why your perpetual procrastination stems from relentless familial pressure resorting in self-destructive studying habits. plus, you just beat your candy crush high score.

Word count: 565

5) Withdrawal


Two girls taking a photo of themselves pulling funny faces, presumably to send to a friend.

Time to break out the emergency junk food you snuck into the library! You eat everything – pizza, crisps, vending-machine chocolate, leaving a pile of wrappers in your wake. You are so ridiculously tired that everything seems hilarious for you and your equally stressed friends. The creepy post-grad is glaring at you but it just makes you laugh even harder because you know you can’t stop!

Word Count: 700. Only 800 words to go!

6) Desperation


Sleeping with jeans and shoes on – not Tab-advised!

Right. It’s been five hours and you’ve got hardly anything to show for it. Pathetic. Pull yourself together! You ruthlessly throw your phone into the bottom of your bag and tear away from the cute videos of kittens, and crack on with it. You’re at the desperate stage where everything around you ceases to exist and this essay is your one true reality. Ryan Gosling himself could walk in and bend down on one knee in front of you, but that’s not going to distract you from your essay about communist political systems.

Word Count: 2,000

7) The Edit


Give us a kiss

Wait a second. 2,000 words? thats 500 too many! the agony of cutting back on the words you put your blood, sweat and tears into perfectly crafting. Now the whole structure needs to be re-jigged, damnit!

Word Count :1, 567

8) ~~Le Essay c’est Fin~~


Red sky at night, sailor’s delight

Adrenaline high! The sun is rising and you feel like an actual legend as you pack up your stuff, head out the door, and into the real world again. You look like hell, but you feel great. Suddenly you are energised and wide awake! You can do anything! But what you’d love to do is go home and sleep for an entire year. Or wait until the SU bar opens…