If you're doing the math, I would stay up for over 2 days, take a nap, and do it all again. No, I don't know how I pulled it off. No, I would not recommend it to anyone.
When you're up that long, you kind of learn to do things at really odd hours. Food was only open during the day, so at night I drank soda and coffee for calories, or the security guard at the library would share his pizza with me. What, you didn't date the library security guard in college, because he was the only dude you regularly saw??? I guess that's what happens when you spend that many nights in the library.
Another thing I learned to love was running at 3am.
Yes, I just heard all of your sharp intakes of breath. I know all of you are tsking at me about safety. And again, 27 year old Kristen doesn't condone this behavior. However, she is really sad that she can't condone it. Those runs were some of the best, most freeing runs of my life. Those were the silent runs when I had my thoughts and the sounds of my feet on the pavement to listen to. Those were the runs where I renewed my faith in all things good and positive. Those were the runs where I took the time to figure out who I was, and where I wanted to be. They weren't fast, and I will never know how far I ran most of those nights. I had people join me a few times, but for the most part, I was on my own. I never felt unsafe. Not one time.
I went to a school that had never had a confirmed blitz rape. That is a staggering statistic when you consider IU Bloomington had 40,000 students at the time, and is one of the biggest party schools in the country. That is not to say that bad things didn't happen, it's more to say that a girl could walk/run by herself anytime and feel relatively safe. Much safer than at a party, or on a date, or at a bar, or any number of other places. The streets were safe for women, and there were call boxes all over the place. For a girl who grew up learning about the dangers of blitz rape on the news, it was so wonderful to feel that safe.
I don't regularly see 3am anymore. I hardly ever see midnight anymore. But if I did, I would still yearn for those runs. Sometimes I want to stay up extra late, just to go and clear my head. Except that I no longer live in a world where that is even remotely acceptable. Even having a GPS enabled phone, I feel intense fear about running alone unless it is broad daylight. I live in a world where the police tell everyone in my neighborhood to not go certain places after dark. Where people hurt random strangers for seemingly no reason. I live in a world where people get seriously injured while reaching for their dreams. It's unbelievable, and it's utterly devastating.
Yet I hope and I pray that someday, somehow, we can go back to a world like the one I lived in during college, a world where my daughter can go for a soul renewing run at anytime, and always feel safe.