Friday, October 1, 2010

The recovery cycle

Back when I was working in Texas, I nursed my share of hangovers. For the first few years of my newspaper career, I worked evenings (3 p.m. to midnight or so) alongside other young 20-somethings who appreciated a cold pitcher or two or more after quittin' time. Back then, living alone, with really no responsibilities beyond showing up to work, it was no big deal to sleep in, feel lousy and be unproductive the next morning. Just get a breakfast taco and a Coke, chill in front of the TV, and make it back to work at 3. Those were the days, kinda.

But these days, there's a much higher opportunity cost (ooh, I'm so businessy) to a late night out. Having an unproductive morning in the aftermath of a late night can have pretty major repercussions, ranging from the obvious to the perhaps not-as-obvious:
  • If you're feeling run down, you may not to want to do homework; this may result in being behind.
  • If you decide to proceed with homework anyway, its quality may not be up to par.
  • A late night tends to be an expensive night. And there can't be too many of those on a grad student's budget. (I'm already wondering how I'll make it to early January with the pittance that remains of my fall loan deposit.)
  • A late night tends to be an embarrassing night. And there can't be too many of those, either, especially because your friends at business school are also becoming your professional network. Pretty sure most professional people would advise against dancing on tables between tequila shots, say.
  • A late night in New Haven may very well involve a rather lengthy walk home; given all the muggings (or attempted muggings) that happen around here, that may not be a top-notch scenario.
  • A late night tends to be an opportunity for excessive calorie intake, thereby derailing the, say, 575 calories you burned at the gym that morning ... not that the chocolate malt at lunch didn't already undo that.
  • Oh, and speaking of the gym, forget about that plan the morning after. You may end up with a friend at your door, texting, wondering what's becoming of you.
  • Impaired judgment can result in weak decision-making, including bizarre rants. You know it's bad when your roommate laughs at you so hard she writes down something ridiculous you said and posts it on the fridge, so you'll have a good laugh in the morning.
  • Late nights can create messes that need to be cleaned up the next morning.
  • People who've had late nights may forget to, say, close windows, and that's not good news if wildly heavy rains fall overnight.
I could continue, but I'm so tired ... had a late night, see.

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