The trials of pulling an all-nighter as a college student: A poem

Illustration of somebody stretching in their bed after waking up.
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2 a.m.

Lights still on

I see my reflection in the blank white Google doc

That fills my computer screen

I watch myself rub my tired eyes and let out a yawn

Yet I still start one more episode before writing my essay


3 a.m. 

When I jolt awake, my computer falls off my bed

No more sleep

Must write essay

I turn into essay zombie

Typing loudly, slowly

Using almost none of my brain

Until my so-called essay turns into word mush

Strings of phrases that don’t make sense together

OK, maybe one more nap

Just to clear my head


3:30 a.m.

Time to grind 

This time I’ll write an outline

And my ideas will make sense



4 a.m.

Now that I’ve actually begun writing this essay, I’ve become


With random items scattered across my room

Maybe I should take this opportunity to clean

Or organize my closet

Or do anything other than writing 

This stupid essay


5 a.m.

OK, fine, I’ll do it

I’ve caught my second wind, and I

Suddenly feel awake

Like I could run a marathon

OK, not really


My word count is finally at 1,000 

And I’m at least 50% sure my ideas make sense


6 a.m.

When I look up from the glare of my computer screen

I notice the sky is a little brighter beyond my window

I take a little time to say 

“Good morning” 

To the horrible (I mean, cheerful) 

Bird that is chirping outside


7 a.m.

Finally done writing

I submit my assignment

And throw my computer out the window

OK, I don’t do that

My roommate comments it’s nice to see me up so early

As I promptly get back into bed 

To take a nap before my 9 a.m. class


7:30 a.m.

As I fall asleep dreaming of 

Blank Google docs and deadlines

I tell myself that I’ll at least 

Be able to get a full night’s sleep

Before I do it all again

Next week

Contact Elysa Dombro at [email protected].