A note to self.
Mission: Complete a coherent, 2500 word essay on both Wollstonecraft’s The Wrongs of Woman and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and a critical reading of secondary sources.
- 2032 experience points
- Dark shadows under the eyes (mid headgear), gives -10 agility stat points, and has a 0.02% chance to cause sleep and confusion while equipped
- A passing grade (unlocks ability to graduate)
Dilemma: Due in 14 hours.
There are many things you learn throughout your University career. One of those being, why procrastination never works out. Year after year, essay after essay, I almost consistently tell myself that waiting until the last minute to do an assignment worth a large chunk of your grade is wrong. Needless to say, myself and countless other students seem to be up at various hours at night, the night before our assignment is due.
Thus, my slightly comedic and very much disturbing story of how I wrote an essay, last night, in less than 14 hours. I am now going to attempt to reiterate it to you and to myself, to the best of my ability, off of 4 hours of sleep, in order to maybe, just maybe, create a mental note that this is not a good idea.
It all started at around 8 o clock last night where I decided it was about time to start. I got to writing – if you can even call it that, and tried to make out an intro paragraph with an at least semi reliable thesis. That lasted about 30 minutes, 25 of which were spent staring at either my screen, my notebook or my cat. Note: Looking up pictures of the movie based on the book you’re writing on, does not count as research.
This went on for a couple hours, with only slight distractions to eat, press f5 on my Facebook page and send random messages to my boyfriend. I find it humorous when my essay word count goes up by 200 words every couple hours, but my MSN conversation windows are a mass collage of my purple font, for pages on end. After sending a couple “UGHHHHHH” or “GUHHHHH” messages to my partner in crime (Sherwin), I decided I’d better keep writing.
Somewhere around midnight I decided it’d be a good idea to stretch my legs. Stretching is good, right? Wrong! I fell asleep, only to wake up with my cat head butting me for attention.
Note: When preparing to stay up all night writing an essay, lock up all blankets, pillows and comfortable looking objects (including your cat). Coziness is the forbidden fruit to essay writing.
Back to work!
Until about 2am its a blur of writing paragraph after paragraph on why women in the late eighteenth century are damn fools and should stop being so air-headed. I think I actually wrote “Women are portrayed as dense, air-headed and stupidly in love”… luckily I edited that out. Half the time I had to remind myself what I was writing about. I even had to ask Sherwin to translate one of my own notes because I had no idea what I was talking about and which character from which novel I was referring to. Note: When writing a paper, its important to know the names of the characters you’re writing about.
Writing these useless sentences went hand in hand with edging my cat off my keyboard, listening to a Netsky Mix and drinking about a galleon of Brain Power tea.
Note: When you feel like you’re getting no where, write down all the quotes you want to use and then look at your word count. It went up! This encouragement may get you through to another hour.
I got to 2300 words at around 2:30 when I decided to call it a night, set my alarm for 630am and wake up to edit before my 10 o clock class.
Now I’ll tell you what -actually- happened. With nightmares of my alarm not going off, my computer crashing and Austen coming from the dead and yelling at me for my distasteful writing practice… I didn’t fall asleep for quite some time. My alarm gave me a heart attack some 3 or 4 hours later, and I didn’t actually get out of bed until 7:45. Somehow, though, I managed to finish the essay, edit it and even found time to go to jstor (life saver) and find a couple quick secondary sources. Voila! Essay complete.
Until I realized I was 230 words over, in which case with a quick click + highlight + del, I deleted a paragraph, attached it to my email, said bye to my cat and ran out of my apartment.
I should probably note here that when I got into the elevator I nearly scared myself with my own reflection. Hot mess is an understatement.
I left my place at 9:30am. Class starts at 10:10am. I got off at St. George station, literally sprinted down the street, nearly face planted down some stairs (what are stairs doing under that pile of leaves anyways?), and booked it into the library. After a record speed printing session I ran to class and actually made it around 10:12ish. Parched, exhausted (one could say, in need of some mad healing) … but I made it.
So, why am I telling you (and myself) all this? Because procrastination, although tempting, is never worth it. Now, telling myself this is not enough so I have deviously come up with many solutions to the never ending cycle of procrastination.
- Write down in your calendar that the essay is due a week before it actually is. Then, when you realize no one else is handing it in you still have a week to edit!
- Reward yourself when you’re done. If you finish the essay a couple days early, give yourself a few hours of mindless anime watching, gaming or staring at facebook. Whatever floats your boat.
- Reward yourself as you write. Each paragraph = a mcdouble. Successful? I think yes.
- Think about it as a one time quest. Do you want to do it half assed and then see that all your friends have the “Snotty, proud, gonnaputthisessayonmyfridgebecauseIgotanA+” headgear on, while you’re stuck with gloomy dark circles under your eyes? Its not fun. Don’t do it. Unless you want to be a scrub. Which no one wants to be. Ever. Unless they’re newbs. Which you’re not.
Until next time.