Pulling an all-nighter, or at the very least, working your ass off at odd hours of the night. This is a refrence to the times before electricity, when you had to light oil lamps to see at night. If you burn the midnight oil, you could be considered a night owl. Other weird people who wake up before the sun actually comes up and sleep when it's dark out will call you much less pleasant things, like idiot and bridge-building college student.

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