The stages every student goes through when writing an essay
I wrote this article just to avoid writing an essay.
It's that time of year again. The pavements are 90 per cent leaves, it's basically midnight at 5pm, and you've got a list of deadlines longer than your student overdraft. Yup, it's essay season. Everyone faces this dark time in their own way, but here'a step by step guide on how you just might tackle it.
Stage one – New essay, new you
It's three weeks before the imminent due date and you tell yourself you're gonna start early and do all of the reading on the list. You have good intentions; maybe you've turned a corner. You've started drinking loads of water lately and even eaten the odd vegetable now and again. You've even been to the David Wilson library to find extra books. There's a productive student inside of you waiting to smash that essay. This is new, this is weird, but this is beautiful.
Stage two– New essay, same you.
It didn't last. You read approximately seven words of the article: "A Brief Introduction Into The History of Global Economics, Part 1, Issue 4 of Volume 12" or whatever, before you realise that you have better things to do. Anyway it's not due for ages, so what's the rush? Relax, take it easy.
Stage three – Ummmmmm
Lol it's due in a week.
Stage four – Second time lucky?
Ok, it's time to try again and this you're going to smash it. You manage one whole chapter on the most boring topic you've ever read and you just about have your sanity in tact. You should definitely reward yourself with a cup of tea, a shot of vodka or a messy night at the SU, whatever takes your fancy. But don't feel guilty, you've earnt it.
Stage five – Feel guilty
Wow ok, when you said take a break, you didn't mean the whole day. But now its 8:03pm, so now you can't officially start writing again until 9pm. You don't make the rules, it's just the way it is.
Stage six – The model student
Suddenly you get a burst of inspiration and are using sophisticated words like "thus", "henceforth" and "subsequently". You are a modern day Jane Austin and you know it. You've even started the second paragraph without realising, nothing is going to stop you now.
Stage seven – You stop
Feel that? That was the metaphorical wall you just hit.
Stage eight – Procrastination 101
Right now there's a million things you'd rather do than write that damn essay. Maybe you'll pick up a new hobby like crochet or yodelling. You might even book a spontaneous trip to somewhere exotic: Greece? The Bahamas? Blackpool? More than likely, you'll probably just spend an hour on Youtube watching bad X Factor auditions from 2008 or taking a Tab quiz to find out what character from Friends you are based on your taste in Pizza. Whatever it takes to make you forgot about that essay's existence.
Stage nine – Allllll Niiiiight Looooong
It's time to face the harsh realisation that this essay just isn't going to write itself. Get a pint of coffee ready, because sleep is for the weak (and also for people who are able to manage their time effectively). It's time to pull an all-nighter.
Stage ten – It's over
It's done. Is it good? Who cares? What matters now is that you're alive and well; ok you're alive at least. Keep telling yourself that next time you'll plan it better, whatever helps you sleep at night. Maybe this time you will change, or maybe you'll just go full circle. Who knows?