Staying awake

GVL / Sara Carte
Callie Spytman (left) and Lee Hewson (right) study for their exams in the Mary Idema Pew Library on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016.

Sara Carte

GVL / Sara Carte Callie Spytman (left) and Lee Hewson (right) study for their exams in the Mary Idema Pew Library on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016.

Destiny Jones

Most college students struggle with procrastination at some point or another during their academic careers. Many have even pulled an “all-nighter” to complete a paper or study for a test.

The staff at the Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors at Grand Valley State University will try to turn this typically stressful experience into a fun one during their annual Night Against Procrastination (NAP). For this 12-hour event, students can come to Lake Ontario Hall (LOH) to study, eat free food and participate in various activities.

The NAP will take place from 8 p.m. Thursday, March 16, to 8 a.m. Friday, March 17, throughout the entire LOH building. Students are welcome to come with no prior registration but should make sure to check in at the Writing Center in LOH 120.

During this event, students will be able to write, study and work while surrounded by like-minded students in a laid-back atmosphere. There will also be activities and games, like desk yoga, to help students focus and stay awake. Food and beverages will be served, as well, and writing consultants will be available to provide feedback on work.

This event was first popularized in Germany and throughout Europe. Some German college writing centers take part in programs they call the “Long Night Against Procrastination.” These programs consist of a long night of studying aimed to combat procrastination. The concept was later introduced in the United States.

“Five, six years ago, we said, ‘Well, let’s give it a try,’” said Patrick Johnson, director of the Writing Center. “We sort of launched it as, ‘Let’s see if there’s interest at Grand Valley,’ and we were really impressed.”

He noted that about 200 people were at the first launch, and since then, they have maintained roughly 100 to 200 participants every year.

“Basically, the idea is to provide a venue for students who want to get started on their end-of-the-semester projects in an environment that is surrounded by productivity and fellow students,” Johnson said.

Aside from the studying, various other activities and events have taken place during the NAP in the past. Last year, a writing consultant debuted a student film she had created for a final project. She would later submit the film to Disney and be offered a job there.

The year before that, another consultant wrote a play and held a table read for anyone who wanted to observe. In addition, when the “Harlem Shake” videos went viral, students created the “Laker Shake” video at 1 a.m. during this event.

A building full of students pulling an all-nighter can have an almost circus-like atmosphere at times. People can get a little loopy trying to stay up all night, so that can create a memorable, not simply academic, experience.

“This is a fun event where we can invite people in to learn a little more about our service, again get work done and have a great time doing it,” Johnson said.

There will be free overnight parking available in Lot M for this event. For more information, visit