I look up from the computer screen, and realize that the sun must have been up for hours. Eight pages of double-spaced perfection are chugging out of my printer, and that's just the start of my day. Today is for Biology and turning in this paper, Tuesday is for Intro to Psychology, Wednesday is a blessed day of preemptive partying, Thursday is for Chemistry, and then my freshman year is gone. Next week at this time, my room, my room is just another empty dorm on the third floor.
I missed too many Biology classes to be doing anything but scribbling down notes in an attempt to cram the last third of the book's contents into my brain. I've missed too many Chemistry classes to do anything, really.
I wanted someone to read over this paper before I turned it in. Spose I should have warned one of my friends about that. Too late now.
I go downstairs for a cigarette break and buy a Mountain Dew at the vending machine. The security guard shakes her head at me. What are you doing out so late again, for the third night in a row? I can feel her smile at the back of my head. Cigarette ashes and cold, dry wind fly in my face. As I pencil-mark all over what I wanted to be my final copy of this paper, I hear whistling. No one around. My first sleep-deprivation hallucination? I don't think so until I get back into the elevator and I still hear it. More Mountain Dew for me.
My fingertips rattle against the keys as I type in the corrections, then send the final final copy (I swear this time) to my printer. One hour until my Biology final. Can't find a number two pencil. There's definitely not time enough for a nap before I head out, and I couldn't sleep if I wanted to anyway. A long night of white sugar, caffeine, and periodic nicotine has given me the permanent jitters.
Goddamnit, where is that pencil? I decide to just read the Bio book instead of actually writing down notes. Hell with it. Of course I can remember that DNA primers on the lagging strand are actually made of RNA. So would that be called a DNA primer, or an RNA primer? I remember that I got it wrong on the last test, but that doesn't mean I remember what the right answer is. I suddenly realize that I'm wearing the same clothes as I was yesterday. Somehow yesterday became today while I wasn't looking, and didn't give me time to put on new clothes.
College has taught me many things, and I think the most important thing is how to take and pass a test on 35 hours of sleep debt.