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Pulling an all-nighter, Aussie style

This past weekend, I participated in a 24-hour Rogaine in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. I was thinking about how the spring semester is coming to a close, and people at VLS will be studying for their finals right now. Hopefully no one will actually pull an all-nighter, but I thought I would write about my entirely different kind of all-nighter since it reminded me of late night/early morning studying.

Rogaining is this interesting activity — it stands for Rugged Outdoor Group Activity Involving Navigation and Endurance. Apparently, they didn’t think about the fact that there is also a hair re-growth product with the same name. Anyways, it’s a pretty fun thing to do, and also pretty crazy. It’s essentially like orienteering on steroids because you can go for all 24 hours, and the area some teams cover is really incredible (probably 60+ miles).

It was our first 24 Rogaine, and we got a bit ahead of ourselves. After a few hours, we realized we were really ahead of schedule, so we decided to add on an extra loop. However, that loop ended up taking way longer than we expected, and we ended up making it back to the campground at 5:30am instead of midnight. Our initial plan had been to have 3 or 4 hours of sleep before heading back out at dawn, but that plan was sort of dashed when we arrived at 5:30am. We didn’t end up doing very well, but I think learned a fairly valuable lesson. It’s hard to make good decisions in the thick of it, and when we looked again at the map, we realized that we had not made a very good decision in adding on the extra loop. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to try again at the next Rogaine in August.

Anyways, we had a great weekend — I think I’d rather stay up all night wandering around in the bush looking for controls than studying for a final. Thinking back on last term, I didn’t pull any all-nighters, and was really surprised to see that you are essentially studying all semester long, particularly if you regularly update your class outlines. Although I definitely spent a fair amount of time studying, it didn’t feel like I was cramming for the exams the way I had in undergrad. A good feeling for sure, though I’m happy enough to be writing papers in Australia instead of studying for finals at the moment. Good luck to everyone else studying!

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