Things I have thought during essay season.

It’s deadline season, which means that I’m up to my eyeballs in essays; I’m writing a lot so all thoughts of blogging have been erased from my mind, that is until I sat and pondered about all the things I’ve contemplated during the past week and a half. It’s inspired by the post I did about what went through my mind when I was ill, and by the looks of things the pressure is starting to get to me or the norovirus may have done some lasting damage:

1) ”How disappointed would my parents be if I dropped out?”

The prospect of packing: the only thing that stops students from dropping out.

The prospect of packing: the only thing that stops students from dropping out.

I cannot be the only one who looks at their desk when they wake up in the morning, and sees the stacks of books and sheets of paper and envisions arriving home with a couple of suitcases and saying ”Sorry Mum, sorry Dad I gave university a shot but the deadlines got to me”. This is especially true for humanities students; we’re used to having minimal contact time with our tutors so for a large part of our degree we’re left to run free when we’re not attending one of our lectures or seminars which adds up to the not so intimidating amount of six hours a week. However, around two weeks before the deadline it hits us that we should probably get cracking with those essays whose combined word count adds up to 10,000 words which is how much we have to write for our dissertation. After spending so much time in the library you consider changing your address, a complete lack of any real human interaction and almost overdosing on Pro Plus you really begin to wonder if that flimsy piece of paper you’ll get at the end of it is actually worth it.

2) ”What’s it like to laugh?”

What my face has been like for the past week and a half.

What my face has been like for the past week and a half.

I was talking to my friend today about my lack of human interaction in the past week, and I realised that I cannot remember the last time I had a real good laugh, although admittedly it’s difficult to find the humorous side of life when you’re trapped in the library with only linguistics to keep you company, I was a little shocked that I had to really think about the time I had a good giggle. It’s at this point I started to panic, because I realised that if I have a face like a slapped behind now then by the time third year hits my face will probably make sunny skies stormy.

3) ”There should be a policy that if you hit the word count for a 4000 word essay you get 59%”


Although ”19th Century America Literature” is one of my favourite modules, the 4000 word essay that I have been writing for it has been a source of great anxiety to me. One of the things I dislike about big essays is that there’s a greater chance that you’ll go off on a tangent and waffle than if you have a three thousand word essay; so I have had fantasies where my department made a policy where if you’ve written a 4000 word essay and it’s not a complete mess in terms of structure and content then you all automatically awarded 59% and then you’re just marked on how well written it is, because quite frankly if I get a bad grade on this essay after pouring my heart and soul into it then I may just pack my bags and leave uni.

4) ”What would happen if I missed my hand in?”

Me still coming to terms with missing my hand in six months later.

Me still coming to terms with missing my hand in six months later.

The ”What if I fail?” is probably the most common fear students have, but I think ”What if I miss my hand in?” is probably the second most common. I have a perpetual fear of missing my hand in, so much so that after celebrating finishing my essay at a dnb event the night before my hand in, I decided to stay awake instead of going to sleep when I eventually got home at around 5:00am. My reasoning was that if I fell asleep I probably wouldn’t wake up for another twelve hours, so I sat up and waited till the sun rose and I could deliver my essay safely. I always imagine what my reaction would be like if I missed my hand in and I don’t want to be melodramatic and say they would have to put me on suicide watch, but the doctor would definitely have to put me on some form of sedative while I learned to come to terms with it.

5) ”I’ll soon be free”

Me when I've finished my essays.

Me when I’ve finished my essays.

The beauty of being an English student at Loughborough is that our deadlines are well before people finish their exams so we are blessed with two weeks off where we have no lectures. This time last year I was looking forward to partying, but this year after spending far too much time looking at Grice’s Classical theory and the Relelvance theory, all I want to do is lie down in a darkened room for a couple of days whilst I put my fried brain back together. However, it’s this though of freedom that keeps me going, until I think of the next round of essays coming my way…..


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