What it’s like at Bates on a Wednesday at 3:00 a.m.

What does 3:00 a.m. at Bates College look like during the weekdays? You may wonder if people are walking back to their dorms from parties or hanging out near the Puddle. However, things are the opposite on campus: it’s quiet.  

I am not trying to resemble the Harvard 4:30 a.m. publication, a book that intends to inspire young college students to do well. I wish to reflect what the reality is in the middle of the night here at Bates. 

Students at Bates are busy these weeks since they are working to complete midterm papers, exams and reports. Students want to do well in order to prove their knowledge and capability of “killing the game.” 

This is why it is so hard to find an available classroom to study in. One Wednesday evening, I walked from Pettingill to Hedge Hall, and then to Dana Chemistry Hall where I, fortunately, found a quiet and available space to study in. I was, indeed, shocked by how many people were awake studying all over the campus. 

Once I settled down, I dove straight into my philosophy readings and my rhetoric assignment. It was raining, so I heard the pitter-patter of raindrops that was like a harmonic thrumming. People were running from the rain and exhaling heavily; it was late at night—so I heard the door closing frequently, signaling people’s exits; the weekend was approaching—so I heard people talking about how they would spend their time during the weekend. 

I didn’t look at the time that often, since I enjoyed the reading and assignment so much, until I realized it was already 3:00 a.m.  

I started to be concerned about my performance in my 9:30 a.m. class, which motivated me to search on the internet for “How to wake up for a 9 am class and not feel like a zombie.” But it was obvious that the only real way to make it easier to wake up in the morning is to get more sleep.

I tend to believe in the power of the sleep cycle. A multiple of 90 minutes (one and a half hours) will change our lives and make us more awake. 

I packed my stuff up and walked from Dana to Adams. It was not far away though, but I felt like it was, especially on a 34°F windy morning. The trees were swooshing and rustling, which made me feel like someone was chasing or following behind me, just like how scary it was when Joe followed Beck in the first season of the netflix series, You

The campus wasn’t covered by strong lights, but it was clear enough to see on the way back. No one was outside, and the only sounds that I heard were the sound from the wind, the trees and an engine that backfired outside of Pettengill.  

The moment that I stepped into my dorm, I felt relieved, because it was warm enough to feel liberated from all the work and the weather.  

Certainly, such a quiet atmosphere during a typical weekday night is hard to find, especially when our world is moving so rapidly. The campus at 3:00 a.m. is just different from the campus during daytime, with its human voices from classes, music from Garcelon Field and the noises from the skateboards. It’s so quiet. 

I love being around my friends, but I also enjoy being alone. This quiet seems valuable to me since it allows me to meditate, contemplate and think deeply about the value of life, and more precisely, the meaning of life and self.