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How To Pull an All-Nighter.

By Chelsea on Friday, August 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

It's about that time of year when our youngest readers' summer days are numbered and their minds start to wander toward what the new school year might bring. To help these bright young minds acclimate, we've put together a handy, five-part guide to help them prep for their return to academia -- but in somewhat of a different light. You won't find stories about the importance of extracurriculars or anything like that here; instead, we'll just be providing insight into the real concerns of the typical college student. Hopefully, it'll be helpful -- and not just to the readers enrolled in school. Hey, sometimes we all need a refresher course.

There comes a point in college when you need to pull an all-nighter -- probably because you put off studying for your Swedish Bird Migratory Pattern Test and now you have all of those flight plans to memorize and you only have one night.

Unfortunately for you, staying up all night to study is tricky, because getting no sleep often means that you will be very, very tired when you're taking your test the next day.

And then you'll fail college and everyone will hate you.

So if you're planning on staying up to study for a test, I recommend marking off three hours in the morning where you can get some sleep and possibly retain what you've learned. Sure, it's not technically an "all-nighter" in the literal sense then, but it will be much more beneficial in helping you not be a test zombie.

(Test zombies are notoriously bad test-takers, and are also the smelliest).

Here are some other important things to remember when staying up all night: Remember to get plenty to eat; don't drink soda or energy drinks because that will just make you even more tired in the morning; drink a lot of water; and don't depend on Adderall.

True, for some people, Adderall can really help them stay alert and focused, but, for others, the effects are somewhat minimal, so it's best that popping pills isn't your only plan.

If you have to memorize things, writing them down really helps. It's easier to process facts through repetition, too, so maybe get some note cards.

Also, do not study in a group if you can avoid it. Groups can sometimes be very helpful, but for last-minute cramming sessions, they're more of a distraction than anything.

Speaking of distractions: Try to keep those at a minimum.

If you're going to force yourself to stay up all night, you might as well actually study and not spend the evening staring at the ceiling or using your fingernail clippings to make a Dadaist art sculpture (which is very time-intensive, by the way). Log yourself out of Facebook, Skype and anything else that you don't need at the moment.

Oh, and take breaks every once in a while so you don't burn out and give up. It's only one night, and tomorrow it will be over.

Unless you're pulling two all-nighters in a row, which is a very silly thing to do.

Anyway, good luck!

Tell yourself that you won't wait until last-minute next time, even if we all know you're fooling yourself.

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