Time to face reality. It’s due tomorrow, isn’t it? Actually, make that later today. Not to get all technical, but it’s 2:15 a.m.
First things first: Dispense with the guilt. It’s just another form of procrastination, and you’ve already exhausted every tool of avoidance in your vast time-wasting arsenal. Besides, it’s (very) late, and I don’t think any of your friends are going to update their Facebook until morning anyway. They’re all up writing the same paper you’ve put off for weeks.
This is not your first—and trust me it will not be your last—all-nighter.
So put the coffee on. Take a sip. That’s it. Feel it stunt your growth ever so slightly? Good. That means it’s working.
Next, shut off your iPhone. I’m sorry, but you are searching in vain for the “Ulysses as Homeric Parody” app. And no twittering either. I’m looking at you, @tweet4evah.
Last and most important thing: You’ll need the right soundtrack to help you power through the wee hours. We recommend a mix of late night ambiance and study break freakout material.
“Homesick,” the entire Riot on an Empty Street LP
Kings of Convenience
Are all things Norwegian this soothing? Mellow like the Scandinavian sun, this Oslo-based band can’t help but mollify your scholarly panic. Granted, it might take a few listens. Start off with the ice-floe-chill harmonies of “Homesick” (a particularly apt tune if your all-nighter is taking place in the library), but be prepared to listen to this whole album—on repeat if necessary.
Your goal is to stay (relatively) sane, productive, and awake throughout the night. If Kings of Convenience start to make you doze off (yeah, they’ll do that), crank this bouncy dance track from electropop duo Chromeo. Fun fact: The singer is a part-time professor at Columbia. You want to get into Columbia don’t you? Then finish the paper!
Formerly of The Smiths, this Brit-lit-inspired singer is always a good studying or paper-writing companion. After all, this is a man who once name-checked Keats, Yeats, and Wilde in a song, and who unironically crooned in the 80s: “There’s more to life than books you know/but not much more.” On this composition he asks: “Tomorrow/Will it really come?/And if it does come/Will I still be human?” Which is what you may be wondering yourself around 5 a.m.
“It’s Oh So Quiet”
This is split-personality music-making at its finest. Beginning in the softest whisper (ideal for, say, 6 a.m., before your parents are even awake), “It’s Oh So Quiet” slowly builds to a massive, big-band chorus full of screaming horn hits and Bjork’s cathartic yelps: “YOU BLOW A FUSE! ZING! BOOM!” This is four minutes of study break bliss. Take it.
“Looks Just Like The Sun”
Broken Social Scene
That’s because it is the sun. Pencils down. You’re alive. Good work!
What’s on your late-night study session playlist?