"The Night Before"


This was my Thursday: 8 hours of class. 12 hours on campus. Missing the bus. Finishing an essay last minute. Getting cut off in line. Showing up to class without my homework/books. Frantically catching up between classes. Feeling woozy from not eating/sleeping enough. Getting a quiz back with a ‘C’. Questioning the meaning of life. Consoling myself with Haagen Dazs’.

It was just one of those days. Nothing went terribly wrong, but nothing went right. By the end of it, all I was thinking was that, “something’s got to change.” Although this day wasn’t entirely of my own making, a lot of it was my fault. I packed my courses into 3 longer days during course selection. I procrastinated a bit on that essay. I let my circumstances control my mood.
We all have our days. Most of the time they like to sneak up on us, so we only realize we’re going to have one just before they happen, like during the night before.
Alas, the night before.
“The night before” is known to every student that has ever walked the face of the earth (that is, with the exception of the ones that “have it all together,” but I’m still not convinced these people exist). “The night before” is usually when you’re burning the midnight oil, working on a manageable amount of last-minute work. But then something happens (in or out of your control):
“Shoot, we had to do that reading too?”
“Shucks, I forgot about that quiz/essay/important thing!”
“…did my computer just crash!?”
All of a sudden, preparing for the day ahead turns into a Herculean task and you roll up into a stress-ball. You feel your bowels liquefy when you think about that-thing-you-wrote-down-but-forgot-about. You start calculating when and how you’re going to do all of this, and wonder if maybe time travel is possible.
Unfortunately, I’ve been in that moment a few too many times, so I am officially making an appeal to myself right now, and I suppose to you as well.
Remember “the night before” of frantic last-minute work and stress. Remember the exhaustion. Remember the unnecessary pain! When? Now. Before it happens, and while you can still try to avoid it. Borrowing from an ancient author of proverbs:
“A little Twitter, a little Tumblr, a little browsing on the internet – and “the night before” will come upon you like a bandit, and the next day like an armed man.” Seriously.
I won’t always be able to avoid these days, but better time management would certainly make them less awful. At the same time, I think I also have to let some things go. I won’t always get to do everything the way I want to, and that’s okay. Patience, young grasshopper. In the meantime, I really need to get off of the internet. It’s destroying my life…

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