December 14, 2015, by Sunita Tailor

Joint Honours – Twice the work?

I am lucky enough to be a joint honours student, studying both English and Philosophy. I have to say that each subject is like one of my children, I love them both equally (well, maybe I love English a little bit more!) I feed them, nurture them and entertain them, but come deadline time, my two academic babies turn into horrible teenagers. By this of course, I am referring to the dreaded end of term deadlines for both subjects, which just so happen to fall on the same day this year. YAY! How am I supposed to deal with two essays, combining to almost 10,000 words of writing? My intuitions told me to start early, but realistically that was never going to happen. Having struggled with this pre-Christmas nightmare for three years now, I believe I am in the perfect place to impart some wisdom on how to deal with clashing deadlines. They may not even be cross-subject; you may be unlucky enough to have two English deadlines close together. So sit back and let me educate you on how to (mildly effectively) deal with the impending doom of deadlines, or as I term it: IDOD!

Hard working student


Tip 1: Delegate specific time to each essay!

This doesn’t mean that you should schedule your English essay from 10.51 am to 2.36 pm on alternate days of the week. What I mean is, you should have a vague idea in your head of when you are going to get specific work done, based on lecture times, seminars and factoring in some relaxation too.. I find that having a general plan of what you want to achieve and when is the best start to any early IDOD worries. It will stop you from tearing out your hair and stress eating  twenty-two Oreos. Trust me!

Tip 2: Try to avoid doing both essays simultaneously – if possible!

I speak from experience when I say that having two hugely different topics percolating in your head for a long time can have some interesting results. In first year, I was foolish (or what I thought at the time was genius) enough to write two essay at the same time in 2 days – boom! Get them done. However, whilst postulating both my Studying Literature reading list and the metaphysics of our existence I was subject to some cross-contamination. I bet that’s the first time metaphysics was spoken of in relation to literary devices. If at all possible, try and avoid having numerous essays on your mind at the same time.

Tip 3: Don’t submit your essay 1 minute and 12 seconds before the deadline!

When you have 2 deadlines, there is a good chance that the second of those essays will be running close to finish line, however, do your upmost to submit at least one hour before the deadline. There is quantitative data proving that those who submit closest to the deadline don’t do as well as those submitting earlier. Just imagine the deadline is 1-2 hours earlier than it actually is. It will allow you time to edit and proof-read comprehensively. Moving your deadline forward slightly will massively help you to manage things and bring your blood pressure down around the IDOD!

DON’T WORRY, BETTER DAYS ARE COMING – They are called Saturday and Sunday!


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