While I’m working on a more lengthy blog post that requires more research, I shall leave you with this anecdote from my undergraduate days of all nighters and possible psychotic breaks in reality induced by sleep deprivation.
Beginning my sophomore year, I was taking my statistics for psychology class. I was battling with the gawd-awful program known as SPSS. For those non-psych/human development majors, it is by far the most evil bastardization of an Excel program. Only it does not have an “undo” button, nor is there an ability to move data to different cells.
After spending nearly two hours inputing data, it was then I realized that I was off by one cell. I would have to redo the data. I cried in the computer lab. My eyes were glazed over from staring at a mass of rectangles and numbers. My brain thought it too much to think about re-imputing the data.
A stranger passed by and saw me having my mental break down.
Stranger: “Are you okay?”
me: “I have to re-impute all of the data!” [SOB!]
Stranger: “Oh no! That’s awful. Hold on, stay right here.”
The kind person returned with a cup of coffee and wished me luck. It is during these times that gives me hope for humanity. After regaining cognitive function thanks to the wonderful nectar of coffee, I was able to redo the data. After that I left the library, because fuck interpreting the data after that ordeal.
The next semester I was working on my research methods paper. It was around 2 AM in the 24-hour room at the library. It was a pretty full house as it was crunch time to get all of the papers, projects, and studying done for finals week. I was on my third cup of coffee and 193837102846282nd trip to the bathroom thanks to the abundance of caffeine in my system.
At that point, I was sure I was going to start hallucinating from lack of sleep. Then I hear the most beautiful words anyone could hear at that ungodly hour:
Random guy: “Uhh, anyone want pizza? I have a shit ton of money I need to kill off on my card [school ID card].”
The pizza arrived about 45 minutes later and it was the most delicious slice of pizza I’ve ever tasted. This may be due to the sleep deprivation and the late hour that makes anything taste delicious. I and many others cried tears of joy and declared our undying love to this kind and generous stranger.
I left the library at around 4 AM. Done with my final paper. I was in this surreal point of sleep deprivation when I wasn’t sure what was life. If I was in the Twilight Zone, this was the opportune time for that to happen. Instead of immediately walking back to my dorm room, I walked four laps around the Quad trying to get a sense of what is life in a vain attempt to regain my sanity.
I made sweeping declarations such as:
- WHAT IS LIFE?!
- WHAT THE FUCK?!
- I’m so tired…
I’m sure if University Police were watching, I think I would have concerned them. Or maybe they’re just used to seeing students having temporary psychotic breaks due to finals.