While working late into the night to finish a CS33 project recently, I encountered a philosophical dilemma that Computer Science students are constantly grappling with: If I pull an all-nighter but no one is around to hear me complain about it, did I really pull an all-nighter at all?
You might think the answer to this question is obviously yes. But that can’t be farther from the truth. Because if I don’t whine to anyone about how I have so much work to do that I can’t even sleep, how will they know about it?
Imagine what would happen if I didn’t talk to anybody about the fact that I have no choice but to pull an all-nighter to finish a huge project. If that’s the case, then nobody will know just how insane my workload is and how messed up my sleep schedule is. Without that knowledge, how will anyone be able to feel bad for me? How will they know what a hard worker and all-around badass I am? Clearly, if I don’t complain loudly or frequently enough about my all-nighter to get any attention, then it’s as if I got a full night of sleep like any non-STEM student would.
This, of course, is an unacceptable outcome for any CS student pulling an all-nighter. For it to matter that I worked on a project from dusk till dawn, I need to get some recognition for it. That’s why whenever I have to pull an all-nighter, I always make sure to groan about it to everyone I see the day before and the day after. For good measure, sometimes I start mentioning it a few days in advance. I might even call home to bring it up with my parents or knock on my neighbors’ doors to let them know what’s coming up for me. I’ll do whatever it takes to spread the word.
And yes, if you were wondering, I stayed up all night to write this column. I actually haven’t slept in like 28 hours, and I’m not even tired yet.