A GIF Story: The 10 Stages of Writing an Essay the Night Before it’s Due

It goes without saying that the last few weeks before the start of summer tend to be the most stressful of the academic year. As looming deadlines for assignments draw nearer, and the duration of spring semester dwindles down, so too does our willingness to do work in any sort of timely or efficient manner. Sadly for us, this means that the 10 page paper we were supposed to “begin thinking about” two months ago? It’s unquestioningly put on the back burner until it becomes physically impossible for us to procrastinate any longer, which almost always ends up falling around 7pm or 8pm the night before. If you’re anything like us, Collegiettes, this predicament sounds eerily familiar, and usually goes something like this:

Pre-writing warmup: First, you unsurprisingly allow yourself a few moments to drown in existential dread because you know the night ahead of you will be a long and sleepless one.

Stage 1: You skim over the rubric one more time, and briefly consider drafting an outline to organize your ideas, but two seconds later, you realize that the time for outlining has come and gone. Oh well, c’est la vie.

Stage 2: You reluctantly open Microsoft Word, and type your header followed by a random title that isn’t nearly creative or original enough. Time to reward yourself with a 10 minute break.

Stage 3: You consider numerous ways on how to start your paper, but you keep on rethinking your words and end up just staring at your computer screen.

Stage 4: You begin to wonder how you are even a productive member of society, given the fact that you have a serious case of writer’s block, and have barely formed a single, coherent sentence.

Stage 5: Somehow it takes you more than an hour, but you manage to come up with a semi-decent thesis and introductory paragraph, and thus the creative juices start to flow.

Stage 6: Suddenly you enter rapid-fire mode, and begin typing like a madman and churning out hundreds of words at what seems like an extraordinarily fast rate. You’re not totally sure if your writing is following a logical argument, but it sounds good in your head so you really DGAF.

Stage 7: You’re on a roll until you check your word count and tragically see that you still need to add a few more pages to the length. Your despair deepens as you glance at the clock and notice that it’s already past 2 in the morning.

Stage 8: You frantically start typing whatever your heavily sleep-deprived train of thought is telling you. The thesaurus then becomes your best friend, and you proceed to rephrase a bunch of points you already made.

Stage 9: You’re still short a page, so you imperceptibly change all the commas and periods to size 13, and straight to the printer you go. It doesn’t matter how well-written it is at this point, all that matters is that it’s finished.
Stage 10: By this time in the night, you could probably watch the sunrise if you wanted to, but instead you choose to cash in on the precious amount of sleep you have left. You most likely will be waking up in less than a couple hours to submit your paper and head to class. Don’t worry— sleep, food and bathing is for the weak anyway.
Post-writing cool down: Vow that you will at least try to never again leave an essay for the last minute, and remember to give yourselves a congratulatory pat on the back, Collegiettes. You deserve it.
GIF Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.