The biggest pain in any student’s life is realizing that you’re not just here for a good time and, god forbid, will eventually have to do some work. It’s a struggle, to say the least, but one with which we are all well accustomed. Writing essays is like entering a black abyss of anxiety, loathing and existential crises. It’s ok though, hun, we’re in this together. Here’s a list of every stage you will go through in the dreaded process that is the ‘university assignment’:
Living in denial
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that if you don’t check your timetable, the essay doesn’t exist. Welcome to the first stage of essay writing- denial. You know it’s coming soon because it’s November and everyone around you is starting to panic. However, you keep strolling through life, blissfully ignoring the impending doom that is fast approaching in a 3,000-word format.
This free-spirited, uncaring attitude can only last so long. Eventually, you’ll make your way to the course guide and realise that, low and behold, you have an essay due. Not just due, in fact, but due in five days. Oh shit.
Despite this recent discovery, you will continue to breeze through life, convincing yourself that Stranger Things 2 and rearranging the layout of your room because #fengshui are more important. However, the essay will always lurk in the back of your mind like a panther ready to pounce or a tightly coiled spring. Winter is coming, but you just turn up the heating and turn the other way. Ignorance is bliss, after all.
So you’ve legit got three days now and currently have a better grasp of Gemma Collins’ beauty regime than the academic task at hand. In a surge of panic/sudden realization that you are actually paying £9,000 per year, you mentally commit to a full weekend in the library and promise yourself that this time you’ll do better than a 2:2.
Disappointment and self-hatred
Of course you didn’t actually spend the weekend in the library (unless you count the library of Netflix) and have left everything to the night before your deadline. Now you feel disappointed in yourself and the life that you’ve chosen, but this essay isn’t gunna write itself. You purchase approx. 60 cans of red bull; every inch of Cadbury’s Tesco has to offer and say a little prayer that it’ll all be over soon.
Writing the title
You will write this, and rewrite this, underline it and highlight it in bold. Anything to prevent actually starting your essay. You’ll check your phone for at least 15 minutes before realizing it’s almost 8pm and you have nothing more to show for your day than a collection of Philip Schofield memes.
You’re 500 words in and have consumed 3 red bulls. This is enough caffeine to last a lifetime, but your energy levels are dropping and you’re desperate. Is drinking two cans through straws at the same time acceptable? You are beyond the stage of caring and continue on in the hope that you’ll either be blessed with inspiration or be sent into fatal cardiac arrest.
Nervous breakdown (The wall).
A thousand words into a three-thousand-word essay and you begin the slow and painful realization that you have nothing else to say. Nada. Zilch. You have reached the wall. Your mind has turned to mush and your hopes of a 2:1 are a distant memory. It’s start with a small sob, escalating into a full-blown breakdown in front on all your library peers. The first years look startled, the final years empathetic. The only thing pulling you through is the thought that somehow, someday, this will all be over.
The home stretch
Post-breakdown you decide that’s it’s now or never. Even if what you’re writing is utter wank, it’s better than nothing so you power through and pray for your lecturer’s leniency.
It’s 8:57am and your essay is due at 9am. You’ve just about reached the word count (having absolutely taken advantage of the -10% leeway). Your referencing is as clear as a foggy day in the Peaks, but you bite the bullet and press submit. It’s gone. It’s done. You are free.
You contact everyone and anyone you know to explain that you’ve finished a deadline and want to party. 99% of them will reject your invite as they are still in the throws of the essay-writing crisis. One legend, (usually a geographer) will take you up on the sesh, and you’ll embark on a dirty night of VKs followed by that all-important kebab.
Realization that you have another deadline
You wake up the next day hanging out your arse, reminiscing on the banter of the night before. You check your phone and go onto your course mates’ group chat. ROOKY ERROR. Eyes darting from message to message in a whirlwind of terror, you quickly ascertain that, despite your best efforts to believe otherwise, you have another deadline due in two days. You cry, defeated, and so the cycle repeats.