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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

It’s peaceful at night. The air feels calmer somehow when the artificial lights are switched off, and I’m left with just the shadowy outlines of the furniture in my bedroom as my eyes adjust to the darkness. 

The rustling of sheets fills the lulled silence in my cozy bed, with the extra-soft sheets I paid extra for in the beginning of the year, the frayed stuffed animal I’ve had since childhood, the pink comforter I almost didn’t purchase. I’ve never had such a brightly colored blanket. 

I hear the wind sweeping through the streets past my apartment building, cars driving by only reaching their destination when the clock turns to the a.m., the occasional muffled sounds of voices walking by on the way to their own beds. The blinds let in streaks of gold from the city that never seems to sleep. Well, it seems like I don’t either. 

My life is defined by the night. 

There’s no expectations at 2 a.m. The world does not ask me to focus and function and work and work and work. There’s no consequences, no pressure, no deadline. It’s how I’m writing this at exactly 12:12 pm and how I know I’ll appreciate the stillness for at least the next two hours before closing my eyes. It’s a feeling I spend every night chasing. 

The life of a college student is busy. We wake up. We go to class. We work part time jobs. We spend time with friends. We FaceTime with family. We cook. We clean. The little time left is committed to hobbies, but it never seems like there actually is an extra hour left. 

I welcome the sunset because I know, as Beau Taplin once wrote, that “the hours between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. have a funny habit of making you feel like you’re…on top of the world.” 

The other side though is feeling like you’re under it. 

Some nights are tough, overwhelmed by the silence I once considered company.

It’s 12 a.m., and my mind seems to saunter proudly into the chasms of my head better left untouched. It’s the outcome of conscious procrastination only hours before. It’s an overt awareness of the hours passing and the sun shifting as the hours do. It’s the refusal to be productive, the refusal to be proactive. It’s the fear of the days passing by with nothing to show for it. I ponder things that happened two years ago, something that happened two hours ago or something that could happen 20 years from now. 

It’s 3 a.m., and my head keeps its doors wide open. Because as long as the moon shines in the ebony sky, my mind will greet it as an old friend.

Commonly referred to as “revenge bedtime procrastination,” purposely delaying bedtime is the decision to sacrifice sleep for leisure time motivated by a busy daily schedule. It is a way of finding time for relaxation in the midst of a busy, busy life. There’s an absence of a truly valid reason to stay up later than is necessary and an awareness that delaying sleep could lead to negative consequences, but still, over 50% of young adults report engaging in the practice. I am one of them.

Emily Niedermeyer

Northeastern '25

Emily is the Senior Editor at Her Campus Northeastern. In the role she is responsible for second round edits of all articles, sets expectations for editors regarding responsibilities and is the point of contact for editorial troubleshooting. She also hosts occasional pitch sessions with members during general meetings and writing workshops. Emily joined Her Campus in Sept. 2022 and enjoys writing personal essays and articles about media and culture. She was an Associate Editor from Jan. 2023 to Dec. 2023 and took up her most recent role in Jan. 2024. Emily is a third year journalism major at Northeastern University with a minor in political science. She has experience writing for a number of publications. She also recently completed a six month, full-time internship at Boston City Hall within the Community Engagement Cabinet. Emily enjoys reading and journaling in her free time. She has also played ultimate frisbee on the club team at school for two years. Connect with Emily on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/emily-niedermeyer