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A student’s guide to surviving Mercury Retrograde

Mercury is in Gatorade!

I have bad news for you all. That’s right: Mercury is in retrograde. Some of you will be quaking in horror and some of you are thinking what the hell is a mercury Gatorade? Well, I’m here to break it down for you.

Basically, due to the way earth’s orbit interacts with the orbits of the other planets, to our little human eyes it looks like certain planets move backwards through the sky. This is illusory as Mercury isn’t actually moving backwards, but this is referred to as retrograde motion in astrology. This is the third time in 2019 that Mercury is in retrograde, and this is occurring from 31st October – 20th November.

Mercury rules communication, travel and technology so with Mercury in retrograde we can expect any underlying tensions to erupt, people misinterpreting us, technological disruptions, and travel delays. While it’s tempting to hole up in your room for three weeks and avoid human contact, Mercury retrograde is actually a great period for clearing up any tensions and showing your resolve in conflict. Here are a few tips to help you survive the period of uncertainty.

Back it up

Seriously. Back that shit up. Click save ten times. Put it on a memory stick. Save it to the cloud. Put it on Google drive, Google docs, whatever. You cannot risk not being cautious with your work during the retrograde period as technology glitches are to be expected. Unfortunately, a lot of assignments are due during the retrograde period so be on the defensive when it comes to your work.

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Yay thank god it saved!! ?

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Oh shit.

All in a day's work

Now I don’t need to tell any Virgos this, but make sure everything is airtight with your assignments before you upload them. Oversights are common in retrograde and tiny slip ups can lead to you losing marks and general confusion that we don’t want.

So, make sure you proof-read, check that you’re within the word count, you upload to the right Turnitin box, and that your title is saved as your candidate number. Also, not sure if the internet is rubbish in Egham and Englefield Green in general or if it’s the retrograde effects but get things done in advance and try not to upload your assignments five minutes before the deadline.

Return to sender

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Always look at who you're sending your message to before you send ?

Communications are frazzled. This is exactly the time when you’ll be sending texts to the person you’re chatting shit about, you’ll send a nude to your mum or (not so) accidentally tell your boss to fuck off. Therefore it’s of the utmost importance that you read your texts twice.

Email blunders are very common so make sure you’re clear and concise and you’ve cc’d the right people and there are not fatal typos that could stand in-between you and a job. Also just steer clear of your phone when drunk. Please. I’m begging you.

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Just avoid emails in general in the retrograde but especially when you've had a few bevs

Hey big spender

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Hide all your money from yourself

It’s getting to that point in term where you’re cold, you’re tired, you’re hungry, its only five weeks in (and you’re somehow six weeks behind?), deadlines are coming in thick and fast and you suddenly feel like spending a lot of money to cheer yourself up. Wait until the retrograde period has passed to do any big spending.

I know you feel the sudden urge to buy some Yeezys and you really want them, but seriously, in three weeks you’ll be over it. Also, it’s likely that if you order things online your packages will get lost, broken or come in bad condition so avoid making any major purchases during this time.

I’d do anything for love, but I won’t do that

This is a bad time to suddenly decide you want to settle down with your friend-with-benefits, tell your best friend you have feelings for them, or reluctantly accept a date with persistent Tinder boy. Anything that starts in Mercury retrograde is often reversed when retrograde ends, so it’s best to take it slow romantically on your end and wait until the smoke clears and see how you feel.

Lost in Japan

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What kind of idiot books their driving test during Mercury retrograde.

Ensure you have safe travels! Make sure you’ve got your spare tyre with you when you drive because this is when you might need it. Travel mishaps are common in Mercury retrograde so don’t go over the speed limit and it’s probably a good idea to check your blind-spots more than you would.

There’s not much you can do in the way of train cancellations or flight delays, except make sure you have a plan B if necessary and dress comfy and have snacks and podcasts downloaded to keep you entertained in periods of delay. Confirm any plans beforehand because people often have booked reservations for the wrong date, travel on the wrong date, turn up late to plans etc. so just check everything in advance to avoid losing out.

Ground control to Major Tom?

When it comes to communicating with people make sure any plans are confirmed beforehand because it’s likely your apps or phone calls won’t work on the day. Most importantly, people are just going to take things the wrong way in this period. If you’re the kind of person who sugar-coats conversations its best to just be clear and direct about what you’re trying to convey to avoid any confusion and people taking advantage of you.

On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who sugar coats absolutely nothing and is big on ‘telling it like it is’ maybe try and be a bit nicer because someone is probably going to start an argument with you.

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If someone comes for you, stay positive 🙂 #hatersgonnahate

We are never, ever getting back together

DO NOT GET BACK WITH YOUR EX. I cannot stress this one enough. Do not be tempted by the sexy vibes of Scorpio season! Mercury retrograde is like opposite day, so don’t take your ex at face value if they try to worm their way back in. If they try to start it up with you again, take a leaf out of Drake’s book and feel no ways, (or more accurately, like Drake put on a façade of not giving a shit while being deeply affected internally).

You can do this boo, just be civil and direct with them and avoid any drama! If you want to reconsider things with your ex, please wait until 20th November when they’ll probably have changed their mind.


Take some time to chill. Your head will be spinning with everything going wrong, people misunderstanding you more than usual and you’ll be more sensitive to people making annoying digs that you’d usually ignore. Just take some time to yourself to relax.

Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio is the last of the year, so once it’s through you’re past the last hurdle. Since Retrograde is in Scorpio, any conflicts that take place are doubly powerful as Scorpio is the sign of death and rebirth, so be happy with any conflict resolution as you will emerge renewed from them. Happily heed any lessons that you survive. Good luck everyone. Stay safe!

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Self care time, ladies! ?? x