Opinions & Features Workshop (Oct 26th)

Illustration by Tricia Lim

Types of students the night before their undergraduate thesis dissertation is due

By Ava Zardynezhad, April 8, 2021—

At some point in time, many of us thought it was a good idea to do an honours degree. In our defense, we may not have been in the best position to decide, when we sold our souls to the gods of academia. Though, for some of us, this whole thing worked out better than others. To celebrate thesis due dates approaching — or passing — here is a list of different types of students the night before their thesis due date: 

The proactive 

This gem of a human being is the envy of the entire graduating class. They finished their rough draft a month ago and even had enough time to get two rounds of feedback from their supervisor. They’ve already submitted their dissertation. What’s more, they’re so prepared, they’ve even put together the slides for their defence presentation. They are a force of nature, somehow still motivated to get out of bed in the mornings. 

The “Oh, no”

This individual has come to the most daunting 2 a.m. realization — everything they’ve done and written up to this point has been a mistake. They are now left with less than 12 hours to rewrite their entire dissertation. Brave soul, I will pray for you. Hapless body, it was nice knowing you. 

The sharer

This student is all about taking others along on the ride. Even if you’re not an honours student or doing a thesis, you will have experienced every step of the process solely by way of friendship with this individual. The night before their thesis is due, you will be the wiser and expect at least one Instagram story showcasing a) the first page of their dissertation, b) their cursor clicking on the submit button, or c) the time at which they submitted the document to D2L. 

The believer 

This tragic hero is subject to such dramatic irony that your only response can be “oh honey.” There are two subtypes of the believer — the first believe that they will finish their dissertation before the morning sun breaks through the blinds, and the second believes that they will survive this process. This second subtype are those who willingly, out of sheer pleasure and interest, sign up for a masters or a PhD. I salute you. 

The sleep-typist 

This soldier is fighting through a week of sleep deprivation. They are typing through the darkest hours of night like there’s no tomorrow. Their eyes might be shut, but like “some bold seer in a trance/seeing all [their] own mischance,” this subtype of the procrastinator braves through the consequences of their poor decision making as they try to finish at least three sections of their dissertation before the deadline. Their dissertation will be riddled with grammatical errors, dreadfully-spelled words, expressions of frustration and exhaustion, profanity and — in extreme cases — dialogue from the show they were binging instead of actually working on their thesis. Better luck next time, soldier. 

The regretful

This pitiful soul will spend the night caught between multiple mental breakdowns, proofreading their manuscript through tears. In the final hours of their journey, the regretful begins questioning every choice that has led them to this torturous state of existence. I have no words for you — only hugs and chocolate pudding. 

The clueless 

This type of student is pretty self explanatory. Even as they take the final steps towards finishing the beast that is their thesis, they understand nothing and nothing makes sense. They either picked a topic really “above their pay grade” or their project is just so confusing they gave up on figuring it out two months into the process. This student’s biggest worry isn’t the dissertation, it’s the defence. Best hit the books, dear one. 

The citation machine 

This mundane scholar has done the ultimate no-no — leaving citations to the last possible minute. Like many before them, this student has not noted their sources so they will spend the next short hours polishing up their detective skills as they search through over 40 open tabs for clues. At the end of the night, they would have missed at least a paragraph’s worth of references. My greatest hope for you is safety from the eyes of the university’s office of Academic Integrity.

This article is part of our humour section.



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