No, this is not a joke. So we've all heard from multiple sources that the typical first-year analyst's day goes from 6AM through 3AM, leaving about 3 hours of sleep in-between. Many of you still even had chances to work out.
So I tried to emulate the exact mental and physical strain to see what it felt like (and if I could take it). Don't worry -- this is my winter break.
Background: I'm 21 YRO, around the age of most first-year analysts. I'm a pretty healthy guy.
I started 3 days ago:
Saturday 6AM - Wake up
Saturday 11PM - Not tired at all yet. Dig up next semester's "Intro to Stochastic Models" textbook and start cramming the first 3 chapters.
Saturday 3AM - Starting to feel drowsy, not to mention incredibly BORED and exhausted from doing textbook review questions non-stop for 4 hours. I grab some redbull, took a shower.
Saturday 7AM - First 24 hours awake. In order to emulate the physical strain as well, I grab my coat and walked (not drive) 20 minutes to McDonalds for breakfast then walked 20 minutes back.
Saturday 12PM - Ate lunch. That did it. The extra load of food must've knocked me out because I don't even remember falling asleep.
Saturday 3PM - Woke up (my stereo was still blasting). Got 3 hours of sleep. Back to "work."
Saturday 11PM - Had some drinks with friends. (to emulate drinking and partying on no-sleep)
Sunday 2AM - left the bar early. I was about to pass out, not from alcohol, but I was so godammn tired!!
- Went home. Set alarm for 5AM. Passed out asleep -
Sunday 5AM - Took cold shower. Took out stochastic models textbook again.
Sunday 10PM - Sat at desk all day and I've worked through 50% of the book by now. (completely new material). ENORMOUS headache. Drank 2 cans of Rockstar energy. By now it took me 10 minutes just to read a new paragraph. My eyes could barely open and I couldn't even multiply 346x17 by hand without getting it wrong! I could barely comprehend what I was reading, even after switching over to my USA Today paper.
Monday 2AM - My entire body is now FREEZING despite my thermostat set at 82F. I'm getting bad chest pains. My left hand felt numb. I set my alarm for 6AM and passed out.
Monday 6AM - Took me 40 minutes of hitting snooze to finally get up. I have a MASSIVE HEADACHE the size of texas, mild chest pains, and am about to throw up. I took a shower, ate breakfast, and came onto WSO to let you guys know that this is IMPOSSIBLE!
By the time I hit 36 hours of no sleep, either I passed out without me knowing it, or my comprehension and mental abilities shrunk to the size of an acorn. There is no way in hell a first-year analyst won't be making 100000000 errors on his excel spreadsheets at this comprehension level. Also, I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets bad chest pains doing this. I'm a really healthy/athletic guy too.
Also, wasn't there some research done a while back that continuous sleep-loss can lead to sudden death? I don't see any analysts collapsing.
So in conclusion, I DO NOT believe that the typical analyst works from 6AM to 3AM day after day, and STILL have time and energy to hit the gym and go clubbing. It's biologically INFEASIBLE unless you want an irregular heartbeat somewhere along the way.
Prove me wrong, please. ps: I just got notes for half the textbook already for NEXT SEMESTER. So some good came out of this :D
Mod Note (Andy): Throwback Thursday - this originally went up January 2010.