Skip to main content

22nd May 2024

The post-diss bliss…or is it?

The promise of post-dissertation freedom was quickly squashed by essay deadline demands, and the desire to do anything but re-open my laptop is taking over
The post-diss bliss…or is it?
Credit: Alexandra Baynes @ The Mancunion

The second I hit submit on Turnitin, clutching my housemate’s hand in my clammy palm, I anticipated the floodgates of relief to open – maybe even a few stray tears of solace. Images of freedom flashed before my eyes: trips into town, a coffee in Withington, nights out with my friends, followed by a hungover Domino’s in the park. These dreams were quickly shattered.

The second I shut my laptop lid, I was instead met with the distant echoing laughter of my other impending deadlines taunting me.

Here we go again.

After spending nearly every day in the library for the last month, I think I’d rather admit myself to a psych ward than step back into Blue 2. I probably qualify, since I was definitely bordering on delirium towards the end there anyway, the library walls burnt into the back of my retinas. They will feature in my nightmares for the foreseeable.

So forgive me for not ardently leaping back through those revolving doors to once again whip out my battered laptop almost immediately after. It was hard enough to just reopen the lid. Or fight the urge to throw it out my bedroom window.

Now, I’m desperately clinging to my last tether of sanity that’s threatening to snap under the weighty knowledge of more immediate and imminent deadlines. It’s a particularly cruel tug-of-war between wanting to devote honest time to my academic work and trying not to recede to the mental state of the Joker. I may as well just invest in the face paints now.

And of course, Manchester chooses to have its exclusive five sunny days of the year right at this moment, the warm weather whispering in my ear like the devil on my shoulder, telling me to sack off my assignments for a trip to Platt Fields. And because I resemble something genetically closer to a reptile than a woman the second the sun gets its hat on, the devil wins. So what if I lack the composure to resist? If Snow White could be persuaded by a hag with an apple, my flaking resilience against the promise of warm weather and a pint in the Friendship Inn beer garden can be forgiven, I’m sure.

Although, full disclosure, it doesn’t take much to persuade me to procrastinate – after all, I’m sitting here, eating banana bread I wasted my morning making, writing an article complaining about the work I have to do instead of actually doing the work. But I’m British, and I’m a student – complaining is a right of passage. And I’m also not sorry, even Gordon Ramsey couldn’t yell at this banana bread.

Deep in the depths of the decaying logical part of my brain, I know that the sooner I put my head down and get on with it, the sooner I am free to frolic about in the Manchester sun’s five days of fame. But perhaps I’m simply too capricious for that, and lazing about is significantly more tempting when I know I shouldn’t be. 

The other mental barrier compromising my tact and self-discipline is knowing that the second I finish my essays, my friends’ exams begin. Persuasive though I may be, trying to rally the troops in exam season is a waste of breath, and I don’t particularly fancy a party for one – I believe swigging vodka from the bottle in your room by yourself is generally considered alcoholism. It makes the rewards of finishing much less fulfilling.

Alas, I soldier on (reluctantly). There is a light at the end of the tunnel, bright with the promise of transcending the perpetual stress of never-ending deadlines. Trips into town and hangover pizzas in Platt Fields await.

More Coverage

Challenges facing international students at the University of Manchester: Where do we fit in?

Under-resourced UK universities lean on international student fees to supplement their institutions; simultaneously, Britain’s borders are becoming more restrictive to students under the current government. This paradox leaves international students caught in the crossfire

200 years of the University of Manchester… celebrating white male alumni

As the University of Manchester prepares its bicentenary celebrations, it’s time to address the less-celebrated alumni, and question why these individuals have received less attention

Why are we still talking about ‘women who have it all’?

The ‘women who have it all’ narrative is alive and kicking in 2024, but instead of being empowering, it’s a patriarchal trope designed to pit one against another

Stick or twist: Why do students choose to stay in the south of Greater Manchester?

The universities along Oxford Road churn their students into Manchester city centre, and south of the city. As students turn into graduates, why do we disregard North Manchester and stay in the same southern areas?