Students skip out on sleep, hit the books instead

TRU takes on the long night against procrastination

All-nighters may be part of university, but last week they were encouraged. With final deadlines and exams looming, more than 200 students came out to TRU’s first Long Night Against Procrastination, an all-night writing event meant to give students a leg up on projects due at the end of the term.

Writing Centre tutors Annie Slizak and Amber Knight sit waiting to assist students with their writing during the Long Night Against Procrastination. (Jim Elliot/The Omega)

Writing Centre tutors were on hand throughout the night and provided workshops on topics like resume writing, organization and reading scholarly literature. According to tutor Zain Bakhtiar, the tutors were in high demand.

“People were still asking for grammatical corrections at 3 a.m.,” he said.

Tutors Annie Slizak and Amber Knight said the event was rewarding for both volunteers and students since both enjoyed seeing fellow students do well and improve writing skills.

Students came and went throughout the night. There was a notable exodus following the free pizza at midnight, but about 40 students lasted until the event wrapped up at 6:30 a.m. the next morning. For students like Alanah Seaton, who had just begun work on a 40-page research paper she said was due March 9, the late night provided a chance for intensive productivity.

TRU saw over 200 people pass through its library doors March 5 for the Long Night Against Procrastination. (Jim Elliot/The Omega)

According to TRU Student Services manager Sara Wolfe, the event served the TRU community by helping students “avoid procrastination, build community and engage with student services.”

Christine Adam, TRU’s dean of students, added that she supported the event as a way of stopping students from “sacrificing their health at the end of the semester.”

According to a 2012 article by Psychology Today, up to 70 per cent of American college students procrastinate doing papers or

studying. The Canadian University Survey Consortium estimates that 40 per cent of students spend less than 10 hours per week outside classes on their studies, increasing the risk of getting caught with a major project close to the due date.

Since its first appearance in 2010 at the University Viadrina in Germany, the Long Night Against Procrastination has spread internationally, also popping up at other Canadian universities like the University of Alberta.

Bakhtiar said that he was “impressed by the turnout” of the event, adding that he would do it again next year.