Advice

Badvice – How to write an essay in less than 12 hours

Last minute assignment Photo credit: Mike Mantin via Flickr
By Sarah Harris

When I told my housemate what I was writing about for this week’s Badvice, she said she felt no one was better suited to write this article than me. This article is due in little under 12 hours, and in 7 hours I have to be up and at the Student Media office for a radio show, so it’s fair to say that I’m a very last-minute person.

Although you probably won’t admit it, if you’re reading this article, it means you’re very likely a last-minute person too. We could blame the fact that we have about a dozen deadlines all at once but surely the fact that we’re painfully aware of the looming pile of work on our desks should make us more motivated to get some work done? Or not.

It’s always admirable to see first years in the library a week after Freshers. Especially when you know they probably won’t be going back till it’s time to start working on their dissertation in final year.

I shouldn’t be telling you this but being a last-minute person isn’t entirely the worst thing. Personally, I find it much easier working under pressure as it means I haven’t got the luxury of accidentally binge-watching an entire series of Friends.

Adrenaline starts to kick in after 3 hours or so and to be honest, you don’t really have a choice but to get it done. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably be too exhausted by the end to even proof read it and will hand it in regardless of the fact that you know you’re barely going to scrape a pass.

Of course, you’re going to need a few aids to help you go through it. And before I carry on, let me just say that there’s absolutely no way you will get this done while intoxicated so make sure you turn down all shots offered to you whilst trying to bang out 3000 odd words in a limited time.

You’re going to need a lot of caffeine and sugar to get through those gruelling hours, so make sure you head down to Lidl and stock up every kind of chocolate you can find. Don’t overdo it though or you’ll probably end up running down Salisbury Road half naked.

If you find it easier to work around other people then persuade your housemates to pull an all-nighter with you. If you try to lure them in with snacks, they’ll probably accept because at the end of the day, we’re all just hungry students, right? If they don’t oblige, then head to the Arts and Social Sciences Library which is open 24/7 and full of students who are in a similar position to you.

I like to put on a bunch of crappy Adam Sandler movies on in the background to keep me awake and add a bit of light-heartedness to the tension. He also happens to make me feel a lot better about myself every time I have a scheduled breakdown.

So, you see, it’s okay that you left your work
till the last minute, because quite frankly, everyone does at some point. But
will you learn from your mistake? Probably not.

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