Musings About Night at Night... Nightception?
When I tell people that I stay up all night for fun, I get mostly concerned looks and motherly admonitions, and for good reasons. I’m well aware of the detrimental effects sleep deprivation has on my health, but I’ve loved the night for as long as I can remember. My mother and I joke that it’s because I was born at night and that was when my first day started, but I’ve come to grow fond of it for other reasons as well. Show more
It’s quiet. Except for the occasional car driving down the road outside my apartment, there is nothing else. Nothing to distract me from whatever train of thought is in my mind, nothing to pull me out of what I call my low-battery mode. Whether I’m contemplating a social controversy or giggling at pictures of pandas, my mind has the freedom to do whatever it wants without interruption.
It’s peaceful. Sitting in bed with my headphones on, I have no expectations of myself or the world. I am completely and utterly content: a rare feeling in the frantic life of a busy undergraduate student. My coding project and statistics homework no longer tug at my every move, my phone is face down somewhere on the floor. There is nothing I have to do “right now” and nothing I need to look at “as soon as I sit down.” Just for a few hours, everything slows down a little bit.
It’s dark. Normally, I’m scared of the dark. I walk home at night alert with every passing shadow, anxious with every little sound. But in my room at night, the darkness is comforting. I am truly in my personal space, and the darkness feels like my own little bubble in which I can’t see the rest of the world and the rest of the world can’t see me.
Don’t get me wrong, I stay up all night doing homework and studying too. Every can of coffee on my desk is tied to a night of me banging my head on my laptop trying to absorb information (I do not recommend this tactic, it does not work). But there are times when I don’t need a pile of deadlines to stay up — all I need is a desire to get away from all the people and all the rush. I don’t do it every night, only when I need time to stand still.
And yes, I wrote this at night.