Student Life | Writing that Essay

I feel like I need to stand on a roof and shout from the top of my lungs! I need to cry, I need to laugh; I need to just let out one big sigh of relief!

Yes! My report that I have been slaving over for the last 4 months is now finally written! It is complete! And boy was it one crazy emotional roller coaster! I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to chuck my books at a wall and my laptop out the window (on my worst days)! It was like a mind-boggling, mentally emotional psychological endurance test, like no other! - If ever there was such a thing, or just call me extremely dramatic (your call)?

But guys, I can safely say I have made it through, books and laptop all in one piece (a few library fines here and there - oops!) and for the better part feeling calmer and relieved! Whew! Never, ever, ever will I write a report again. Never! Just the Harvard system citation alone is enough to make you want to jack in all hope of a degree, no matter how much you're dedicated to your course!

However, this isn't a 'ranty' post so that aside, the past few months has seen me on more than one occasion find weird and crazy ideas to help cope with the stress, anxiety and pressure of writing a piece of work worth reading. And so, what I wanted to share with you today was my Top 5 tips to help relieve the stress and get through, well, dissertations, final year projects and just general university life. So here they are...

Tip 1. Stay Calm! Easier said than done I know but I have had first hand experience of witnessing and personally experiencing nerves and anxiety to a dissertation, to the point where my friends and I don't sleep, we're an emotional bag of jittery nerves and literally will cry over our failed attempts to cook microwaveable soup at dinner uttering the words 'I can't do anything!' And if there's one thing I can say, it's, it does not help! No matter what situation you are in! If the dissertation is written and you are still worrying STOP! Why are you worrying? The deadline is next week and you've written it! All you can do is back it up, print it half a dozen times (if you feel this is necessary) and keep it in a safe (but memorable) place to be handed in, and sit back and enjoy watching the rest of us work ourselves into a tizzy for not following your admirable footsteps in being on it and organised. As for the rest of us, well I can only hope that we've learnt a valuable lesson in all of this! To not be dis-organised and lazy! That being said, getting stressed and worked up at this late in the game just won't solve or do anything, but perhaps see you actually lose that last 200 word paragraph you spent 5 hours writing! If you chose to be the latter and dis-organised my only advice is to stay calm, think rationally, be focused and back that work up!

Tip 2. Keep your energy levels up! You are going to need one hell'a a lot'a sugar! I'm talking chocolate, I'm talking cake, heck any sort of candy and junk food you can get your hands on. This dissertation is going to mentally test you (a little over the top, I know) and drain you and for that you are going to need energy and what form does energy come in, SUGAR! Or you can be good and healthy and opt for more nutritious choices such as porridge with almond milk, or banana's and dried fruit and nut mixes. Either way, food and coffee were my go to's when I started feeling stressed or just needed a time out.

Tip 3. REFERENCE! Now this might come as a given and fill you with... 'Well duh Eunice, you're hardly going to submit a dissertation without referencing!' but no! What I am talking about and what I witnessed, even thinking, 'well that's a terrible idea' and then went on to do it myself was - being too lazy to write the references down as you write your essay so you wind up with a written essay filled with not the references, no, but little brackets and highlights saying 'reference this'. Reference what? Where on earth did I find this fact? I am 100% sure had I not been lazy, had I been focused and 'on it' I could have saved myself one hell'a a lot'a time by not having to go back to the library, re-book my books out and sit for hours sifting through pages trying to find said quote, said fact, said anything to make it look like I hadn't plagerised! It was at this point I wanted to throw my laptop out the window and the books at a wall! Nothing, could have been more tedious and strenuous than this experience. 

Tip. 4 Take a Time Out! Endless hours of writing is strenuous, tiring and completely mind boggling and after a while you'll probably be questioning life, your literary skills and wondering 'what an earth is spouting out of my mouth?'. At this point it's probably advisable to take a break, whether it be a 5 minute walk, a brew or a spot'o cleaning, do put your health first! I spent many hours, days even, just sat at my desk, no exercise, no fresh air; completely neglecting my health and it was horrible. It is so easy once you start writing to get sucked up into it and carried away but you really do need to just take 5 minutes here and there to gather your thoughts, re-focus and look at it all with a fresh pair of eyes. It will help and certainly will give you a sense of clarity.

And lastly...

Tip 5. Be on it! I know I have said this quite a bit through here but I really can't stress this enough! There is nothing worse than knowing you are the only person up at ridiculous 'o' clock tapping out an essay 4 hours before the deadline whilst the rest of your friends have uploaded their 'selfies' with their shiny, new, freshly bound dissertations to Facebook and Instagram bragging about how happy they are to finally accomplish it. It just isn't fun, it leaves you in a state of anxiety and panic and wishing you hadn't procrastinated away all those hours on YouTube (or whatever form of procrastination takes your fancy) and thus tapping out an essay that you know in yourself could have been written so much better had you taken the time to write it and care for it earlier.

I hope this has been somewhat helpful and interesting to read. I am purely talking from my own experiences. I am pretty lazy when it comes to work, I do procrastinate (a lot) and my education life has literally been built up of all nighters, panic and wishing I had done it on time. Slowly though, in my final year I am realising this madness cannot continue and actually managed to get this report finished this weekend. So, all I hope is that you can learn from my bad choices and do better!

Happy Wednesday guys!

How do you cope with deadlines?

Eunice Caroline.
Just that Jersey Girl.


  1. Rebecca Beardsley11 February 2015 at 17:11

    Congratulations on finishing yours for a start! I had to write mine about this time last year, along with multiple other essays and I can remember the stress! Me and my friends all gained weight from the amount of crap food we ate, we all called it "the dissertation belly" haha.. And referencing! God I hate that shit. We needed at least 40 and I remember just throwing random references in just to bulk it out! And then looking at my reference list and realising I'd referenced the same report twice.. Nooo! Glad it's all over. Phew. Good luck with your results! xx

  2. Thank you :) Tea yes, I always love having one in the evening to wind down and relax too! xx