We know how you really spend your time in the library

It’s not revising


We all know the dreaded feeling of being set a 5,000 word essay only four days before your heavy weekend of drinking and parties, or if it’s a weekend off, Netflix and Ben and Jerry’s.

Your stomach turns and your brain is evacuated of every good essay idea like standards evacuate from Willow after 2am.

So here’s a list of all the things you’re undoubtedly doing right now instead of writing your assignment.


Procrastination, the main stumbling block for any student hit with a beefy essay. Getting your head down to it and really putting in serious hours into research and putting it down in digitial-ink is extrememly difficult when your favourite program has just been released onto Netflix.

Or you really need to look for a present for your Mum’s birthday or google extremely random things that pop into your crazily pre-occupied brain. In my humble opinion Snapchatting your word count and the mess on your desk that is surrounding your over-heating laptop is the key to success.

If Google judged us, we would be screwed

Food binging

To get through this essay you are definitely going to need a trip to Morrisons for a basketful of scran*.

Four pepperoni pizzas, three garlic breads, five packs of discounted biscuits, seven cans of your preferred energy drink and a thirty-six bags of Wotsits are the only things that will keep you at your desk and fuelled for the essay.

*In the Royal navy, Liverpool or Newcastle this means snacks or cheap food.

The only thing that keeps you going at 4am


“A few glasses of wine or a bottle of cider will loosen my brain up a bit and make this a lot more enjoyable”, one of the more rational of thoughts on this list. The trouble with this technique is, if you end up drinking too much, this will leave you with an essay that is almost unusable.

The word “the” 4 times in a row, swear words to add emphasis and maybe even song lyrics to whatever you are jamming to at the time dotted about your essay will be a real pain to correct.

Also the very tempting; “Come on, you’ve already started drinking, do the essay tomorrow and come out tonight!” is far too often excepted after a glass of wine or a Carling or three and every Fresher’s thought of “I’m only gonna live this year once”.

I’m glad this essay doesn’t require passing a breathalyzer test too


“Hey man, have you started on this stupid essay yet? You have? Can I just see how you concluded it?” If you are in a massive subject and you are maybe sharing a few ideas with a few close friends, this hack is often unnoticeable but if you are in a small seminar group or share all your ideas to a large group, this could get you in some very hot water.

And anyway the class clever-clogs you want to copy off is more likely to go out clubbing this weekend, than giving their 100 hour essay away to some randomer classmate they have never talked to and randomly pops up on Facebook 2 days before the deadline.

What is the line between copying and teamwork?


You know you have always been a poet or a runner and now that you have the deadline looming over your head, the smart idea is definitely to put the essay on the back-burner and turn into the Shakespeare or Paula Radcliffe you know you have always been.

You will run copious miles and write enough poems to keep a hormonal GCSE class occupied for more than 2 years, whilst your essay remains as stagnant as Salvation on a Sunday night.

‘You were always born to be a runner’


You’ve put in enough effort into the essay and now you need to read through it, double check that you haven’t just re-worded your previous paragraph in half as many words.

But, your flatmate doing Creative Writing or Photography who has nothing on their plate currently, offers to do it for you. Well if you at least buy them a few drinks when you are both next out.

This is a far too tempting offer for most of us weak-willed and sleep-deprived students suffering the worse caffeine-car-crash since every episode of “Friends” came onto Netflix.

Your arch-enemy at times

Word count-down

On deadline day, Snapchat is the most depressing app to go on. People snapping the “exciting” news that they only have 50 more words to go. Classmates suffering hangovers from “The best night since New Year’s 1999” and care- free PE students chilling with their feet up watching the Derby, making your dark day, that much darker.

You have written 43 words in 2 hours. You think going through 4 cans of Monster was a good idea and are now really regretting that choice with the now, far too frequent, bathroom breaks.

You have organised your entire folder of work and renamed all your torrented songs in just under 3 hours but you still have only written the title and the introduction paragraph that you have “re-written” from the girl that sits across from you, by deleting about 4 words and using the theasurus for another 3.

It’s the final countdown!

Deep thoughts

Staring out the library window to see everyone else running around with bundles of books, greasy bed-hair and bags so full you wonder how that 5’2 girl, you talked to once in Freshers, is still standing up straight. Your half-awake mind offers you some deep questions such as “If life is unfair to everyone, is it truly unfair at all?”, “Do they sterilise the needles for lethal injections” and “If I fail this module, what do I need in the next one so I can still achieve a 2:1?”

These however offer you no solace for your very sad looking Word Document that contains less than a page of usuable content and 4 clip-art images that you thought were mildly amuzing during your 14th break in the third hour of “working”.

What will I do after University?


With 3,492 words left, if you write 58.2 a minute for an hour you will be done. You’ve sadly been stuck on this number so long now though that you have also googled whether it is a prime number and that, in Roman numerals, it is MMMCDXCII.

You also wonder how many words you can get away with; “If this is a 2000 word essay, I’m allowed 10% either side so I can get away with 1800 words right?” You also wonder if you would be happier with the Word Paperclip sat on your screen keeping you company? Sitting alone for hour after hour could be made that little bit more interested by being corrected by some all-knowing, animated, cocky loop of pixelated steel, surfing on a sheet of paper.

‘It appears you have added clip-art to your dissertation. Delete?’

Flaunt it

You have finally made it – congratulations. Now you can submit this satanic essay you’ve already forgotten everything about. You will now sleep for 13 hours and then get absolutley Jillian McKeith’d tomorrow night at Stone Roses.

Well at least after you have snapchatted your submission, made a status wishing your essay “Good Ridance”, updating your Twitter rant about the education system, Instagrammed the now empty desk and obviously ‘bragged’ to all your lecture mates about how badly you failed it.

Now all you can do is forget about it until you receive your, slightly lower than expected, grade back and worked out what you have to get in the next module to pass this £27,000 crash course in self-doubt, introduction into alcoholism and first insight into what horrible concoctions of food you will be living off until you get a proper job that you are far-too qualified for, in about five years.

‘Success is about dedication. You may not be where you want to be or do what you want to do when you’re on the journey. But you’ve got to be willing to have vision and foresight that leads you to an incredible end.’