If you leave your submission to the last minute and Study Direct crashes, you’re part of the problem

A deadline is a limit for submitting your work, not a target

Yesterday, as per, Study Direct crashed at around 3.55pm as many students were attempting to submit their Autumn module assessments. This seems to happen on every other deadline day, as it happened multiple times last year. Whilst social media erupts with complaints about how terrible Study Direct is, have you stopped to think that you might actually be part of the problem?

The reason we have deadlines is because there needs to be a cut-off point for your work to be handed in so that tutors can begin the marking process. A deadline is not a target. A deadline is not a sign that three days before it, you should begin to write your essay. As your mother has been telling you all your life, don't leave it to the last minute. Your essays get set weeks before the deadline. Why do you leave the two days worth of essay writing to the two days before the deadline? When all of the information gathered in your seminars has left your mind? You're not in secondary school any more, you'll never get anywhere in life if you leave everything to the last minute.

Yes, Study Direct has it's flaws. It can be slow, hard to navigate at times, and surely our £9000+ fees a year could go into improving the servers to handle the tsunami of last minute submissions, but you've got to do your bit too. There are those with genuine reasons as to why they can't submit their essay until the last minute, and you being lazy and putting yours off until deadline day is an insult to their unforeseen circumstances. You've had so much time to do your essay. Deadline day submissions should be for those who have, for real reasons out of their control, not been able to complete the work beforehand. Don't leave your submission until the last minute and overload the system so that those with legitimate reasons can't submit theirs. How selfish are you?

Don't tell me you've been writing your essay for weeks and want to make the most of the time possible to make sure it's perfect. You're kidding yourself. You've been vaguely contemplating doing your work whilst actually watching Friends on Netflix.

There are ways in which the system for submissions could be improved, I'd be a fool to disagree with that. Deadlines could be on staggered days, rather than just staggered hours on one or two days, which really doesn't make a difference to the huge amount of traffic SD receives from late-submissions. Study Direct, the online portal for students, should really be able to handle the amount of data traffic from submission day, without crashing time and time again. Has the university not learnt by now that students leave everything to the last minute?

As one student put perfectly: 'you can't complain about Sussex Direct always crashing when you are part of the problem. The confusion and stress is what you give to yourselves by submitting as late as you can and crashing the system.

'Be a bit more mature about things, Sussex Direct always crashes around deadlines and it seems no one learns their lesson. Some say that there can be unforeseen circumstances for students, which is totally understandable, but how many students does that really apply for? Just be smart, don't leave it minutes before the deadline, this isn't secondary school'.

It doesn't look like the University will be making any changes to their structure for submissions, or to Study Direct, so you've got to do your bit. Stop your childish excuses about the deadline being the time to submit work at. Grow up, you're a University student now. The deadline is the cut off point, not a bloody target. Try doing your essays as soon as they're set, whilst all of the knowledge is fresh in your mind. I'm sure that will be far more useful than rewriting it again and again and again for the entire two weeks up until five minutes before the deadline.

University of Sussex