The 12 Stages of Writing an Assignment at University
It’s a known fact that we all hate writing essays, and slaving away in the library all day isn’t our idea of fun. More fool us for choosing this life. Here are all the different stages you’ve probably been through when trying to write that 3000 word assignment due in a week.
1. You take the lazy approach to begin with.
This is the main approach for most students. You’ve had the assignment for five weeks but you never do it early because you’ve been partying too hard. It’s the day before, and you’re just making a start on the assignment now. Hopeful you will get it finished tonight so you can go out with your mates…
2. And tell yourself it won’t take long at all to write.
In hindsight, you realise that you couldn’t have been more wrong if you tried, and you definitely should have started it three weeks ago. But now you have to race against the clock to get it finished.
3. So you head off to the library to start, but all the books you need have been reserved.
That’s right, the books on the very extensive reading list that was suggested for the essay have all been taken out at the library, and they’re not due back until after the deadline. Fantastic.
4. You start writing, but encounter Writer’s Block.
Writer’s Block is “losing the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown.” Otherwise known as spending 3 hours staring at the screen because you don’t have a clue what to write. You just continue to stare, hoping words will magically appear but unfortunately they don’t. You’ll eventually have a lightbulb moment at 2am.
5. And then inevitably start procrastinating.
Literally every student ever would much prefer to do anything besides doing a bit of work. Procrastination is the main reason why essays are put on the back burner. We tell ourselves we will get it done today, but 20 words later, we are treating ourselves to a “5 minute” break. That eventually turns into 4 episodes of Breaking Bad, and then your bank account is suddenly £100 lighter from online shopping. You tell yourself you must finish your essay the next day but you know you’ll end up binge watching again. #nowillpower
6. Which soon cause a few breakdowns along the way.
I must have a breakdown a good few times a week over uni work. A breakdown will either happen at the start of an essay when I don’t have a clue what I’m doing or halfway through when I’m struggling what to say. Both of them lead to frustration, self-pity and a lot of sobbing. I’ll tell myself “I can’t do it,” “there’s no point in uni,” or “I’m destined for a life on the dole.” Crying like a baby finding the will to go on is a personal favourite of mine. I’ll sulk and be stroppy for a while until I get that lightbulb moment and return to my work. After a whole day of sobbing and shouting, I am completely ready to go through it all again when the next essay is due.
7. You struggle with the word limit so start to add in more quotes.
You put quotes in left, right, and centre because you don’t have a clue what you’re saying. You’re hoping some fancy quotes will make up for that and your lecturer will see past the complete nonsense they are reading.
8. And there’s an awful lot of waffling that goes on too.
I would like a large helping of waffles with a sprinkling of waffles on top and a side dishes of waffles. Better wash all that down with a big glass of waffles too. Waffling is a skill all students possess the art of talking absolute bullshit and adding as many and’s and moreover’s in just to get that word count up. The essay may sound like something that comes out your mouth after a few treble vodkas but as long as it has hit the word count, who cares?! Well, that is until your get your grade back. 48%. ouch.
9. The stress of it all gets to you, and you start to snack on whatever food is around.
Stuffing our faces whilst writing an essay seems to be the only thing to get us through it. We all need a little snack for a bit of motivation. That little snack soon turns into an unhealthy binge of 3 cheeseburgers, a whole cheesecake, 2 share bags of crisps, and a box of Milk Tray. No wonder we’ve been piling the weight on. I blame all this uni work.
10. You try to stay awake all night just to finish the work off so by 9am the next morning, you’re completely sleep-deprived.
If the stress eating and breakdowns weren’t already bad for our health, being sleep deprived will surely add to that. There’ll be some assignments that will stress you out to the point where sleeping will become impossible until the hand-in date or you’ve put it off for ages and do an all-nighter and finish it 3 minutes before the submission deadline. Either way, you’re going to go through being sleep deprived at some point so be prepared when you look in the mirror and see a zombie staring back.
11. Your short-term thoughts after submitting the assignment is to sleep forever.
Sleep is not for the weak. More like sleep for a week.
12. But when it finally hits you that it’s all over, you know you just want to party.