A picture of the Dartmouth Green in the Fall with beautiful fall foliage.
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A picture of my friend and I at Lou's booth as we completed the Lou's Challenge.

The Lou's challenge is a time-old tradition when Dartmouth students pull an all-nighter and show up to the Lou's diner in town right as its doors open at 6:30 am.  It can be done from the joyful wish to check off a bucket list item or the panicked realization that there is too much important work still left to be done when bedtime rolls around. Unfortunately for me, I have to say it was the latter. During my busiest week of the term I had midterm assessments scheduled from all of my classes and spread across two consecutive days. I had a general chemistry midterm exam on Thursday night from 7 pm to 10 pm, then a sociology essay due at midnight which I thankfully received an extension for until noon on Friday as well as a geography essay due at 3 pm on Friday. Yeah…I'm getting winded saying it now after the fact too. 

The decision to complete this challenge was made quite spontaneously when I arrived on one of the quietest library floors, 4th floor Berry, on Tuesday night and found my friend sitting at a table. Anika and I looked at each other and we just knew; tonight was going to be the night. My '25 (junior) friend sympathized with my chem woes since she already took the class along with other pre-med prerequisites and now works as a Teaching Assistant for one of the lab sections. She told me that she was studying for an Italian exam the next day at 10am and had other work pending. We whispered to each other how happy we were that we wouldn't have to endure this ordeal alone and agreed to get up for a snack run at one of the dorm snack bars before it closed at 2 am. When we came back from said snack run we only remained at our study spot for one hour before we had to relocate to the 1902 room and eventually Blobby (Baker lobby) since these are two of the three library spaces open 24/7. 

The term had been so busy for both of us that this was the most time we'd been able to spend with each other for a while so it was so special that we were able to grind together and cheer each other on. The light at the end of the tunnel, Lou's delicious breakfast and brunch menu, loomed closer and closer. The peach energy drink I had tried for the first time was definitely wearing off but our little moments of hysterical laughter when we'd lock eyes above our computer screens kept me awake. I was also motivated by the fact that I was starting to gain a better understanding of some of the Chem units, able to finish the research for my Geography essay, and finished listening to the audiobook that my Sociology essay would be based on. It felt so good to finally pack up our backpacks and walk out of the library into the dark Wednesday morning straight to Lou's. We sat at a booth, ordered warm and filling meals, then proceeded to talk about anything and everything not related to the work we had just spent hours doing.

A happy picture of my friend and I as we were leaving Blobby at 6:25 am.
My friend & I, happy to be leaving Blobby at 6:25 am!

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