A constant preoccupation of Oxford students is where the next fix of sleep is coming from. Time-consuming activities such as drama, sport and aggressive hacking are often added voluntarily to the already rigorous demands of academic work.
Compress all this into a meagre eight weeks’ worth of term and a serious time deficit is the inevitable result. Every student fights a personal battle to fit sleep into a crowded schedule. However, extensive research carried out by OxStu reveals that most fall into one of the following categories of sleep pattern:
9-5ers see their degree as a job, and you can’t skive off your job. No matter how late they were up the night before or how much alcohol was consumed, when that alarm goes at 7:30 they roll out of bed like bleary-eyed robots and head to the library. Extraordinarily, these students then manage to spend the following eight hours of the day doggedly beating back the dark forces of distraction in order to have finished everything by dinnertime. After this, their working day is over and they will be found pressuring students with inferior time management skills to come to pre-drinks or Park End.
There’s something very disconcerting about this group of individuals, who seem able to attend all lectures, make every rowing outing, go out several times a week and probably feature on the JCR committee or as the lead in a play on top of it all. What’s suspicious is that they seem to do all this without showing any signs of the severe zombification that by rights ought to accompany such high levels of activity coupled with such low levels of sleep. There is a manic ambition in their eyes that seems to negate the need for rest. An unholy deal with the devil is the only explanation. That, or more coffee than is healthy for anyone.
These time-zone travellers tend to be those students worst plagued by the evil that is procrastination, but who at the same time are unwilling or unable to function on serious sleep debt. So they adapt to the situation, making up for an all-nigher with several naps squeezed in wherever possible in the day. Generally spotted dozing on library desks or emerging from their rooms with bed hair at all times of day, the jet-lagged live a chaotic, disorganised lifestyle which necessitates a very low lecture attendance rate and being late for everything.
These smug individuals are seen looking fresh-faced and chirpy at breakfast and typing away thoughtfully in the library. A bit of bad luck will land you in a tute with one, where they will point out flaws in your sleep-deprived though processes and generally make you look bad. Fortunately, they are rarely seen elsewhere, having opted to forego socialising in favour of handing every piece of work in on time, and more importantly, getting their precious eight hours a night.
You know who are complainers are. They slump theatrically next to you in hall, rest their head on your shoulder, and interrupt whatever conversation you were having with words along the lines of “God I’m so tired, I’ve literally had like no sleep!” It will generally emerge that “like no sleep” in fact equates to a solid five or six hours. What happened to the stiff upper lip? Even after an all-nighter, leave it to your haggard face and laconic responses to tell the tale.