All-Nighters: Necessary Evil or Avoidable Nuisance?
Our Student Contributors
Are all-nighters an unavoidable aspect of life as a University of Toronto student? That really depends on who you ask.
If you go by the Facebook statuses of a number of my friends, it would seem the answer is a resounding “YES”. They seem to be simultaneously cramming for exams and procrastinating on Facebook —but you don’t have to be that person. Cramming for an exam is horrible, I have done it and I have seen other students suffer through it, but it is AVOIDABLE. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, cramming occurs when you take a first-ever look at your exam material a mere 2 or 3 days before the test date. Everyone knows that it is not possible to understand a months-worth of lecture material in 36 hours, yet so many students put themselves in this position.
I’m not trying to sound like a parent, but the truth is, if you had looked at the material just a week earlier, or even studied a small amount during (some or maybe even all of) your commutes, you would never have to cram for an exam. I know for myself, I used to listening to music, text or just catch-up on emails during my commute – it was pretty much my default activity the minute I got on the GO Train. I commute into the city every day and my commute is about 40 minutes each way. I realized that if I used that time to study instead of mindlessly flipping through emails, I could accomplish an hour and 20 minutes of studying every day. This has really been a life saver for me. When I begin a major studying session I already understand the main concepts of the material and I can dedicate more time toward learning the finer details of my lecture notes (these details are the difference between achieving an A grade and an A+ grade). Being efficient with my time has made a tremendous difference on both my grades and my sanity. Take a critical look at your own schedule, if you can carry your notes with you during your day and study during ‘dead’ time, do it! In doing so, I am confident that you will never have to resort to cramming again!