Thursday, July 2, 2015

20 emotional stages of leaving an essay to the last minute

This is perhaps the most panic-inducing experience of your uni life. Whether your essay was left until the last minute by choice, or if the decision was out of your hands (laptops breaking, essay question release dates being delayed, getting ill, the list goes on), the result is always pretty much the same for everyone:

1. The initial panic

You work out how many hours you have until your essay is due, and then have a minor break down.

2. The first hurdle

You haven’t even looked at the essay questions yet. Why haven’t you even looked at the essay questions yet? You skim through and find one you think fits with the books you actually had time to read most of.

3. Denial

You write the title. Time for a break. You’ve earned it.

4. Cry

You really hadn’t earned it.

5. Get productive

You skim through the books and start finding quotes that fit with the question. Things are looking up; you might just pull this off.

6. Overload

Your brain is still buzzing from the emotional rollercoaster you just had re-reading the end of that book. You need a break.

7. Cry again

Stop taking breaks. You haven’t earned any breaks!

8. Realising the time

When did it get dark? How many hours do I have left? Oh god.

9. Introduction complete

It’s actually pretty good too. Even threw in a few academic secondary sources. Celebrate with a BeyoncĂ© dance to the kitchen.

10. Disappointment

Why is there no food in the fridge? How are you supposed to be an academic genius on an empty stomach? Sad dance back to your bedroom.

11. First paragraph done

Eyes starting to droop. Wake yourself back up by watching YouTube.

12. Panic again

Why have you been watching cat videos for an hour? Stop taking breaks!

13. Inner turmoil

At this point you’re not even hungry, you’re just so bored. It’s 5am. All of the shops are closed, Domino’s just stopped delivering, there’s no food in the fridge. The only option is the library vending machine. Can you really afford to lose 20 minutes walking to the library and back? Why isn’t there a 24 hour dessert delivery service?

14. Making contact

It’s now 6am, and you’ve miraculously had a productive hour and finished your second paragraph. You’ve earned your vending machine trip. You message your friends who are doing an all-nighter in the library and let them know you’re popping over.

15. Relax

There’s a group of people in the library all from your course collectively panicking and emotionally supporting each other through the night whilst consuming enough chocolate to feed an entire village. You’re not the only one, cool.

16. Realisation

You get back to your room and realise you look like you’ve slept outside for the past month, in the dirt. Sexy. Zero shame.

17. Relief

With a few hours to spare, you somehow scrape together the rest of your essay and write a conclusion.

18. Panic

You’re exhausted, stressed, and haven’t had a chance to edit with fresh eyes. Oh god, oh god, your grades are going to drop. You set an alarm for a 15 minute nap. After panicking too much to actually sleep, you lie to yourself that it’s fine and you can edit and print confidently now with a great quality essay.

19. Handing it in

You arrive to hand in and see your friends. You all look like zombies. But, if you all look like zombies, then the standards drop so you all look totally OK.

20. Sleep

Go home, you survived the night. Swear that you’ll never let yourself go through that again. Crash until it’s time for your celebratory night out.

As bad as having to write last minute essays are for uni, it’s nothing compared to a last minute job application. Our tips on writing last minute job applications are an absolute life-saver in case you ever find yourself in that terrifying position. Good luck! 

Article written by Lizzie Akass, TARGETjobs Editorial Intern. Connect with Lizzie on LinkedIn.

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