Why isn’t everyone getting smashed while writing their dissertation?
Anyone for a Dissertation Daiquiri?
There are certain things they don’t tell you about your final year of university; spend a little more time in the library, do more independent reading, maybe even write a dissertation – can’t be too hard, can it?
At least until you encounter your own stunning incompetence and complacency, something you don’t fully contemplate until a lonely April evening as you frantically crib notes on the real cause of the Byzantine Empire’s collapse (fyi, it was defo those pesky Ottomans).
Not to take stab at Historians – those nerds have it all sorted by this time of year – but there are thousands of students out there who are currently struggling their way towards the marathon-marker of 10,000 words. But, alas, we can always turn to our familiar friend alcohol for those dissertation woes.
It always seems a silly proposition to be worried about your diss in September, and only the geeky kids with their firsts have any actual words on paper by December.
So, with the spring sunshine freshening your mood you think it’s an appropriate time to crack on with your final-year project. By day two, however, you’ve already necked a four-pack of Carling and at the end of the week that pack has become a crate, two bottles of Lambrini and a box of chocolate liqueurs. “How did it go this wrong?”, you cry into your library copy of Love and War.
Tackling a literature review is the first stone the diss will use to crush your morale. You’re sent off into a world of academia, ill-equipped and clashing with the heavyweights, and apparently there’s 2500 words to be had in this unfamiliar realm.
No one really knows what a lit. review is, but your closest judgement will come as a drunken epiphany at 3am, slouching over your desk the shapes of the keyboard impress into your cheek – but whatever you type in this drunken stupor will be enough. With each paragraph spewed onto your laptop’s screen, a swig from the can of ideas keeps the juices flowing.
The whole point of writing your diss while smashed is the good stuff keeps your mind away from the bad thoughts of deadlines and missed opportunities, while simultaneously rewarding you for the ideas it generates.
For every sentence of analysis achieved there is absinthe, for each reference recorded there be rum, drink and the dissertation will get done.
Drinking away your dissertation will ease the pain as you realise you should have started in October and it can make collating data, re-writing the introduction again, and evaluating whatever the fuck you were doing yesterday slightly more bearable.
It makes sense and you know it.
Besides, what have you got to lose? Of course there is the odd side-effect: emailing your tutor at 3.45am like a drunken partner can be embarrassing, but it’s weeks until graduation and then it’ll all be over anyway.
They say certain times are too early in the day to drink, such as when you wake up. Well, it’s the evening now, and even though I’ve just woken up at 4.30pm, I’m allowed a drink. Because, as much as I hate to admit it, so-called “professionals” have already been working for eight hours today and here I am feeling proud to have opened my notebook with 8,000 words on the to-do list.
Screw you, world. I’ve earned this drink.