How to Survive an All-Nighter at the Library

Does this sound familiar? It’s the night before your dreaded histology exam and you have yet to memorize what seems like a thousand slides before the sun comes up. You decide to pull an all-nighter. This will not be the easiest and certainly not the most comfortable of nights. [you will have.] But in medical school [or any other endeavor worth pursuing,] “you gotta do what you gotta do.”

You can’t do it in your apartment because you will end up falling asleep or watching infomercials till you’re broke. Therefore, the only safe and sure place is the medical school library. With some provisions and following these tips, you will be able to survive your camp-out at the library.

Here are some things you will need (feel free to improvise):

1. Hoodie 

Flickr | davharuk

Flickr | davharuk

 

2. Starbucks Double Shot Espresso (Low Sugar)

Flickr | Sammy Zimmermanns

Flickr | Sammy Zimmermanns

 

3. Water Bottle (500mL)

Flickr | Djenan Kozic

Flickr | Djenan Kozic

 

4. 5-Hour Energy 

Flickr | Mike Mozart

Flickr | Mike Mozart

 

5. Some Snacks (Crackers, Cheese, Banana, Apple, etc.)

Flickr | Laurel F

Flickr | Laurel F

 

And for the hard core and gunners:

1. Ground Up Coffee

Flickr | epSos .de

Flickr | epSos .de

 

2. Tabasco Sauce and Hand Sanitizer

Flickr | sacks08

Flickr | sacks08

 

Flickr | Mr.TinDC

Flickr | Mr.TinDC

 

You arrive. It’s 10 pm! You don’t know where your children are but you certainly know where you are: the library. You’re pumped, adrenaline is running and you are going to ace that exam. Three hours pass without any problem. You think, wow, cortisol and catecholamines really… are… amazing…

But then it quickly creeps to be 2am and you are feeling pretty tired. Now is the time to eat that banana and chug the double shot. This should buy you an hour or two. You are plugging away and memorizing the PALS, distinguishing between tissues and recognizing different types of cells. But then 3 o’clock rolls around and you decide that this is the POINT OF NO RETURN. You feel like giving up but the Rocky inside of you somehow musters up the courage and says, “Please, I got into medical school, I can do this.” And you say it’s only a couple of more hours before the sun comes up.  I can do it!

After going back and forth for what seems like 30 minutes, you realize you have just wasted an hour. The angel and devil on your shoulders are fighting. This is the time to drink that 5-hour energy, stop hallucinating and truck on.  This should last you like the bottle advertises: five hours. At 7am, go home and take a cold shower. Make it to your class before 8am. The anxiety of seeing the classroom and your fellow classmates will give you the second wind you need to finish the job and get the heck home.

And for the hard core and gunners; one of these or both will surely give you the extra kick you require. You can either take a wad of ground coffee and stick it in-between your gums (it’s like ‘dipping’ but without the cancer risk as the steady diffusion of caffeine will give you the jolt you need.) or you can go out right crazy by putting a drop of tabasco sauce in each eye.

(Disclaimer: I am not suggesting this nor am I recommending it. But for what it is worth,  I have heard from several of my military friends that especially during battle, this can be a life saver, giving you the aggression you need to stay awake and alert to fight the enemy.)

25099 Total Views 4 Views Today
rasmeet-chhabra

Rasmeet Miller, "Almost" MD

My name is Rasmeet Miller. I am a 4th year medical student at Windsor University SOM.

1 Comment

  1. Rachel Morgan

    or, if you go to a pass/fail school, you just go to sleep 🙂