Q&A with sleeplessness supporter Andres Caneva

Allison Lasher

There is a condition plaguing students throughout the country and it’s running rampant across Northwestern – procrastination. Weinberg junior Andres Caneva has not yet found a cure, but he has created a way to cope. The Northwestern Nocturnal Club was started on Facebook three years ago and has grown into a forum for Wildcats turned night owls. Caneva pushed his homework aside to talk to The Current about all-nighters, common complaints and procrastinating online. Excerpts: The Current: What is the Northwestern Nocturnal Club? Andres Caneva: Well, simply put, I would say it’s a support group. I started [it] during my freshman year when I was sleeping, or not sleeping, avoiding sleep more likely. I big assignment due and I thought, “Why not start a little group and then add some friends who I also knew were going to be up late?” And it’s grown since then, to include way more people than I know. And pretty much just if people are up late, they’ll post what they’re working on or what they’re struggling with late at night and then other people can comment on it for support. The Current: Why start the group at Northwestern and not in high school? AC: One of the big things that was really different for me was in high school, I wasn’t pulling all-nighters. Maybe I had stayed up once to do an assignment, but once I got to college, the workload was more intense so I found all-nighters to be more common. The Current: How big has the group gotten and why do you think it has grown so quickly? AC: It’s almost pushing 200. Last time I checked, there [were] maybe like 180 [members]. At least in my case, you get to college and it’s a lot tougher, more rigorous workload, and I think lots of other students also shared that. Facebook is cool, too. You see other friends posting … and I think it really spreads from there. The Current: Answer the age-old question, do students lose sleep because there really is too much work or are they just procrastinating? AC: I think it’s a combination of the two. There are going to be those students who are procrastinating, [and] you are going to have the students who do have huge workloads. But, I would say the majority is a combination of the two. The Current: What is the best thing to do while avoiding homework? Do you have any favorite procrastination websites? AC: Probably watch TV [and] definitely YouTube. That’s the place to go because you can always watch one video and then they have all the related ones on the side. So you can end up being on there for longer than you intended. The Current: What is the most common complaint you see posted on the site? AC: The most common is just people staying up writing essays. There’s a thing about essay writing, it’s really tough to start, but once you get going you can push through. So people occasionally will be like, “Oh, I have this five-pager to write. I’m only one page in and now I’m stuck. I can’t get going again.” So just taking a little break to comment on it. The Current: Do you see that there’s an exchange, do people respond or is it mostly just solo posts? AC: People definitely respond, and the other thing that has amazed me is it’s not friends [responding to] friends. Usually it’s just random people will comment on other posts that other people put up. I feel like this nocturnal club is Like A Little … culture in itself because we all have a common background and people are staying up late. If someone is struggling … someone else will comment and be like, “Man I’m feelin’ that, too, I’m in the same boat.” The Current: What is the funniest or most ridiculous post you’ve seen? AC: There’s been several. One in particular though during my freshman year was my roommate and he was writing … “All right I’ve got this big essay due in three hours, but I’m staying up to eat some pizza and finish watching this movie with this girl I like instead. Hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite me.” I found it really funny. -Allison Lasher