By Katrina Tiu
Face it. At one point in your entire college life (or maybe even before that), you were forced to pull all-nighter. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t—just like love. But that’s alright; we’ve got Mareng Adele and her gut-wrenching lyrics for the latter.
I put the ‘pro’ in procrastination and although I’m not proud of it, I brush it off with the rationale that at least it gets the job done. Music helps the ordeal pass by; it helps distract me from external noises and lets me focus on the task at hand.
Adele’s songs, however, are the ones that make you stop for a while and think about what you’re doing (and who you’re not).
So let’s take a break from matters of the heart for a moment and see what Adele has to say about the workings of the infamous all-nighter.
“Hello, it’s me
I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet
To go over everything
They say that time’s supposed to heal ya
But I ain’t done much healing”
You stand at the foot of your study desk with binders and papers in hand, ready to cram five months of lessons in one night. You say hello to your desk, your old friend, who had to bear the weight of all your true frustrations and tears.
Sitting in it almost seems unfamiliar and you start to arrange your things according to relevance. You then slowly realize how much time you have left to salvage the semester and how much time you don’t have to finish everything with the same quality of a semester’s worth.
- “Send My Love”
“I’m giving you up
I’ve forgiven it all
You set me free
Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better”
Time to get down to business. The first thing you do to connect with the lesson is to disconnect with everything else.
You say goodbye to all the people you’re chatting with and log off social media. The best way to get things started is to focus and rid yourself of all distractions. This usually works but doesn’t really last—just like love, but I digress.
So you shove these aside and hope the pull of temptation isn’t as strong.
- “Don’t You Remember”
“When was the last time you thought of me?
Or have you completely erased me from your memory?
I often think about where I went wrong,
The more I do, the less I know”
You flip open your notes and realize you’ve forgotten almost all of the lessons you’ve learned. You then remember the two other papers due tomorrow and the problem sets you still have to work on before your exam in the morning.
And that’s when the weight of all the requirements begins to weigh down on you like a ton of bricks. You momentarily log back in to check if your class beadles have posted Facebook statuses regarding the cancellation or postponing of these deadlines. Nothing.
You stare at the ceiling, wondering how you let it get this far.
- “Turning Tables”
“Close enough to start a war
All that I have is on the floor
God only knows what we’re fighting for
All that I say, you always say more“
You start flipping tables at every wrong answer you’re giving and turn over even more tables to look at where your papers landed after you rage-threw them away.
Your once pristine workplace is now home to piles of scattered readings and coffee cup stains. It’s past midnight and your brain hates you for the stress you’re putting it under. Soon enough, your brain and your body start going into war, fighting to either stay alive or stay awake. Oftentimes, the line between both tends to blur.
At times, you no longer know why you put yourself through so much strain but you keep on going anyway because “sayang tuition.” That, and your looming future scares you to bits.
- “Rolling in the Deep”
“We could have had it all
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)”
You regret ever putting a lot of these off until the end.
You start drowning in all your requirements that you realize you should’ve been doing instead of reading this list. You end up staring at your table for a moment, wondering what you could’ve done if you kept afloat instead.
It’s too late to turn back now, you think to yourself. And slowly, you allow everything to sink in.
- “Make You Feel My Love”
“The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret.
The winds of change are blowing wild and free,
You ain’t seen nothing like me yet.”
The coffee runs out and your printer starts making weird noises. It’s over and you know it. You start thinking of speeches to say to your parents in case this all blows over.
It’s at this point where you take a breather to calm your nerves and go online once again. You see that you’re not alone in your conquest. Your blockmates, friends, and pretty much everyone who’s online at this time, are all struggling as well. You kind of feel more assured that it’s not as bad as you thought it was. At least you’re not alone.
With a deep breath and the click of the lock button on your phone, you proceed.
“Fed up of biding your time
When I don’t get nothing back
And for what, and for what, and for what
When I don’t get nothing back
Boy I’m tired”
#StayStrong becomes your mantra as you tick off another item on your checklist. The hour hand on your watch keeps going lower but you’re not going down without a fight.
You’re exhausted but not giving in to sleep and procrastination. And little by little, the pile of requirements lessens.
- “Best for Last”
“But, despite the truth that I know
I find it hard to let go and give up on you”
And just like Ted Mosby said, nothing good ever happens after 2AM. You’re not entirely sure that everything you’ve done is up to par, but the important part is that you’re almost there. Just that one last killer left and you can go to sleep with the remaining time you have left.
This one is in limbo. It’s either the one you didn’t want to do at all or the one you knew you could do best. Either way, you push. You don’t give up because you realize it’s for your own good and the good of everyone else around you.
You finish, stand up, and all your bones crack. It’s too risky to nap right now and risk not being able to wake up for your early morning class. Naps are a social construct, after all. So you take a shower and pray to the heavens that it was all worth it—that you did enough all night to make it through the day.
Now you’re finally, finally done and so is Adele, for a while at least.
At her closing stage in Antwerp, Belgium, she asked the crowd where they’re from. A portion of the crowd answered with a resounding “Philippines!” It prompted her to ask if anyone would come to her show if she visited Manila. And so the nation of the sawi rejoiced in the possibility of their queen coming to their territory.
But before you get too excited, focus on your exams first. Your heart can wait, but your studies can’t.