Uni life: Writing your dissertation in a single day

Last minute essay writing panic, cheating on your exams and how to find the perfect uni job....

One man. One hangover. One 8000 word dissertation. One day.

Is it possible to write an 8000 word essay in 24 hours with no sleep and a killer hangover? In one of the most dramatic stories ever to hit the uni life forum, this week we found out.


Initial responses were skeptical. “You've got no chance OP. Drink a beer and cry yourself to sleep,” said Wilfred Little. 

“You could hire 8 people to write one thousand words of the essay each,” suggested DanteTheDoorKnob. “We could write it online and everyone could contribute 100 words,” offered 999tigger. 

It was looking pretty bleak. But then a glimmer of hope appeared: “I know someone who started a 5000 word essay at 10pm with it being due in the next morning. It was an economics essay at Warwick and they got a first,” said MarkSearle. Maybe, just maybe he could pull it off. “Start now... only use short words. Switch off the interwebs…. GO!” said the bear. “I wish you luck,” said beccacylx. 

Hours passed without any response from Ivann505. “Have you made any progress?” asked lshea16. “I wonder if OP's dead,” said Japonisme. By the following morning, full blown hysteria was starting to set in.


What had happened? Had he passed out on his keyboard, too exhausted to go on? Was he catatonic, staring silently at the wall, contemplating his fate and his life choices thus far? Nobody knew. 

Finally, at 11:37 am Ivann505 posted the critical update everyone had been waiting for…

“I'm currently sitting on 6745 words on the dot... sorry I took so freaking long to reply,” he said, “*** this I learned my lesson.”

He was on the home stretch. Inspired, the uni life community rallied round their hero. “We are all rooting for you OP,” said cherryred90s. “OP is a true scholar,” agreed RhaegoTarg. “Keep going, so close!” cheered LiquidGold. "Well done mate you can do it!" encouraged rockgirl19. 

“This is the most inspirational thread I've ever read,” said elen90.

So... will Ivann505 manage to hand it in on time? Keep an eye out on the next Uni Life roundup to find out!

Poll: Would you cheat on your uni exams?

Our poll revealed that a staggering would cheat on their university exams if there was no chance that they could get caught.


While the sense of guilt would be overwhelming for some students, discussion reveals that many feel cynical about their uni course and don't feel a personal sense of satisfaction from completing it. “In general I don't condone cheating, but I think pretty much everything I have learnt at uni is pointless other than to get me a job at the end,” says LiquidGold. 

“Your ability to do whatever job you find yourself in after graduating is far less dependent on your exam results than the likelihood of you getting your foot in the door at said job,” agrees Cll_ws.

"No one will give you an award for having 'integrity',” says Abstract_Prism. 

“I would have said no to this, probably, at the beginning of my course at Uni. Towards the end though, I'd gotten much more pragmatic,” says Hanvyj. 

If this all sounds a little deflating, don't get disheartened. It's not unusual to feel burnt out by university, particularly towards the end of the second year when the novelty wears off and the pressure piles on. Take a moment to remind yourself why you're doing the course and what you're going to get out of it at the end. You also need to remember that keeping up motivation when things get tough is great preparation for your graduate life, whether you decide to go in to the world of work or continue your studies.

Advice: Finding a job

"I live in London and I've applied to SO MANY jobs," says tealights, " What am I doing wrong?"

Finding a job can be tough but the trick is to keep going and don't take rejection personally. Here's three key pieces of advice to help you get your dream uni job.

1) Check with the SU and look for work on campus: "This is the best way to work while you're studying as they'll pay well, they won't be overly demanding in terms of when you work as they'll understand you're studying too," says Rowena96

2) Tailor your CV: "Show how whatever experience you do have is particularly relevant and what skills it has given you," says Rowena96. Companies will receive loads of CVs and applications, so you need to make sure yours stands out. If you're getting no interviews, it's time to re-check your CV.

3) Apply in person:For retail jobs and local businesses, applying in person is a good way to go. It means the manager will have already met you face-to-face, which will work well in your favour if a position comes up further down the line. Don't be afraid to talk to people and ask them if they have any positions open or know any other businesses that do. The worst they can say is no. 

Top conversations this week: 
Should I leave Hull for Leicester? 
Just wrote my dissertation in four days, AMA 
Is your course male dominated?
Your favourite things about uni life?