Academic Anecdotes: Friday Fatigue

Graphic+by+Grace+Lee+%2810%29

Graphic by Grace Lee (10)

Joseph Chun, Reporter

After yet another long school week of summatives and assignments, the week’s highlight was awaiting me––Friday night. After a few more hagwons, I rushed back home and turned on my PC game where my friends were already online, ready to cherish my small reward for the week––gaming all night.

Before I began, I performed my crucial gaming ritual: arranging my ideal gaming setup. I carefully positioned my keyboard, mouse, and mousepad at their respective places and orientations, adjusted my chair’s height so that the chair arms matched the table’s height without a centimeter of error, and placed two bottles of water on my left side and a bag of chips on my right. To top off the formality, I opened Discord and joined the chaotic voice call my friends were already in. My pre-game preparation was all set, just in time as we queued up for our first match.

My sessions are not always fun and games; in fact, most of the time, my team is losing miserably and I have to tortuously wait until the game finally ends. But that day was different: I played insanely well every single match, emerging as the key player in our victories. I was fully immersed into the pixels on my screen, without even realizing the time.

2 a.m. Unlike half of my friends who had gone to sleep, I had absolutely no plans of stopping my Friday gaming grind––I couldn’t waste this precious opportunity on sleep. My brain was shouting for rest and my eyes were barely open, but I ignored my body’s signals and continued my all-nighter with my remaining friends.

As the night wore on, I had to be careful to not make noise; one loud click, and I would encounter the final boss in real life––my just-awaken mom, who would undoubtedly yell at me for being up so late. To complete my all-night gaming mission without dying to the final boss, I covered up the PC with a blanket to mute the fan noise, checked that the door to my parents’ room was closed shut, and made sure my types and clicks were as gentle as could be.

5 a.m. My eyes were screaming in agony after staring at a screen for another three hours, and my body was sending a warning that I was on the verge of fainting. Completely exhausted, I turned off the lights with my trembling hands and dived into bed, falling fast asleep.

The sun was already up high when I finally regained consciousness. I was severely hit by Friday fatigue: my head was spinning, my back was aching, and every other part of my body was also suffering from a stabbing pain. Fighting against my urge to stay pinned down on bed, I got up and opened my phone, already bombarded with Google Classroom notifications about assignments due. Sadly, it was slowly coming to realization that my brief, golden departure from reality was coming to an end. Another day of work was approaching. 

Though I only had six hours to do it, I had played with such passion that my body was drained of everything come morning. Sure, my entire body was aching and I was out of energy to study—but I had also released the built-up stress from the previous week and refilled my motivation to start the next week with a fresh, new mind.