Don’t romanticize catching sunrises at the library!

Deadlines and exams are approaching as the second term will soon come to an end. With all your dissertations, essays and group projects, how do you manage to find time for everything? Most students cram everything up on a few hours before the deadline meaning they have to stay up all night (or several nights) to finish their assignments on time. As someone who used to do all-nighters, I can assure you there are ways in which you can avoid it!…

Two years ago, I was a confused fresher who had a chaotic work-life balance. The beginning of university meant new friends, new crushes, new places to visit, new parties to go to and a lot of books and articles to read for my assignments. However, even if I wasn’t neglecting my studies and would always do my readings and I had this flawed impression that I had more time than I actually did to finish my essays. So naturally, I had to pull some all-nighters in the Library. And I had never been just by myself – the Library is always full the nights before deadlines. I still regret all the junk food I used to order at 3 am but the sunrises were pretty nice. Anyway, I have learnt my lesson and I’m glad I’m wiser now.

It’s a well-known fact that losing sleep has some consequences on both your mind and body. While some of you might say that doing an all-nighter is not that bad since you only have to catch up on sleep for a few days after it, I have to disagree. Playing around with your body clock (also known as circadian rhythm) leaves you feeling unwell and having more difficulty thinking and concentrating on your tasks. So, while, in theory, you might gain an extra few hours to work on your assignments, in practice, you will not be able to work at your full potential.

We have contacted a member of the Library staff to see their take on all-nighters and here’s what they told us:

“In an ideal world, we’d recommend that everyone gets their assignments done with masses of time to spare, gets their 8 hours sleep a night and eats their five a day. However, we’re in the real world, so if you do find yourself having to do an all-nighter there are a few things you can do to be kind to yourself. Bring along some healthy snacks (because although delicious, a bag of Haribo will just result in an almighty sugar crash), keep hydrated and give yourself regular breaks.  Think about how you’re going to get home safely as well – the buses don’t start running until after 06.00.”

There are still a few weeks left until deadlines and exam season so you still have time to organize your time and manage to finish your assignments on time. So start now! Buy a planner or use your digital calendar and make a schedule. Try to keep it real and don’t squeeze everything into a short period of time! The best way of dealing with a large number of deadlines is to choose a working strategy. You can start working on all your assignments if you’re the type of person who gets bored easily. This way, whenever you don’t feel like working on a particular essay or project anymore, you can deal with a different assignment. This way, you’re not losing time and can easily avoid procrastinating. However, many of you can’t focus on different assignments at the same time since you might need time to think of arguments and research your ideas. If you think you sympathize with this description, try to reserve weeks or consecutive days for each assignment and then stick to the plan!

However, if you are reading is when is already too late (you need to check our study blog more often!), don’t worry! Fortunately, our Library is open 24/7 so you can always count on their services. Find a comfy spot on whichever floor you prefer and start working! Before getting into it, make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks and a lot of water to get you through the night! Avoid drinking coffee or energy drinks. Try to finish everything as soon as you can so you don’t lose too much sleep!

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