It’s that time of year! Aren’t you having a lovely week? Don’t you just adore your subject? No, obviously not, you hate every moment of your life and desperately wish you’d applied to somewhere with less work. Here’s how to push on through.
1. Don’t do an arts subject
Oh. Too late. You made your choice. But relax, relax, you’ve got this… It will be fine. It will definitely be fine. No way have you completely wrecked yourself. Let’s move on!
2. Vitamin pills compensate for the horrific quantity of junk food you’re going to ingest.
Lots of people say that you should eat healthily, sleep lots, and take regular breaks during times of stress. Unless you are some kind of superhuman that everybody hates, you will not be doing that. What’s worse: you’ll also feel guilty about not doing it.
Go to Sainsbury’s. Buy all your favourite crisps and chocolate. You need comfort, not salad. Stock up on paracetamol, caffeine, and every kind of multivitamin you can find. Get enough protein. Hummus counts.
3. Reward yourself. No, not with a ‘break’ or a ‘walk’ (gross) – with Gossip Girl, cinnamon hot chocolate, and complex fantasies about the deaths of your enemies.
4. DO NOT waste time on referencing. Use RefME, never look back. (Scan the barcode of your book, choose which style of reference you want, boom. Done.)
Other things not to waste time on include: painstakingly reformatting your thesis to make it look prettier, adjusting your line spacing, and writing footnotes which you think are funny. They won’t be.
5. Do not try to take down an entire academic discipline. You are an undergraduate. To dons, you are an inconvenience/largely irrelevant. Your more impressionable friends will think you’re brilliant. The examiners will think you’re a tit.
6. Do not go to Bridge the night before the deadline. We know people who have done this. We know people who have missed their alarm. Work hard/play hard yes; work hard, play hard, wake up filled with horror and self-loathing: no.
7. Six-minute power naps. Trust us. Five is too short, seven is wasteful indulgence.
8. Hide your ignorance with gratuitous obscurantism. Make up words; all the best people did! Continental philosophy is ideal on this front. You can’t be criticised if you’re not even wrong.
10. Collect all the books that might be relevant to your subject. A passing reference to it will do. Anything, really. Stack them up next to you in the library. Make several piles. Crawl inside. Build a roof. Speak to nobody. Never leave.
11. Lie in bed. Listen to Keane. Cry.
12. Find someone who is worse than you. If your friends are ahead of you, which they definitely will be, stop them. Use whatever means necessary. This is a zero-sum game: the worse other people do, the better and happier you will be. Crush them all.
13. Start the fantasy novel you’ve always known you could write. Your thesis may be trash, but if you get a book deal you’ll be sorted! Loads of Oxford students do it! Or poetry. Poetry about your dark, twisted youth and the things you feel that nobody else understands. You are special. You have something.
14. Have a religious experience. Drugs, sleep deprivation, caffeine overdose, whatever. It’s an easy source of inspiration and transcendental courage – or, failing that, an excuse for a nervous breakdown (read: deadline extension).
15. Kill someone you care about. A quick excuse at relatively little cost. What tutor could blame someone so clearly in the throes of disingenuous, showy grief?
17. Give up, have a wank and read VERSA. You deserve it. Make of that what you will.
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