That time I failed at life (Part One)

Now since this is in a way meant to be a cautionary guide, I thought it was time I gave you some tips; what not to do if you have 2 essay deadlines.

Number 1: don’t finish editing your footnotes the night before- you will be up until 4am and feel like someone’s run over your head repeatedly with a lorry the next day.

Number 2: Don’t wait until the deadline day to print your essays on your own printer- it will break after printing the first essay, and you will still be trying to print the other one 45 minutes before your deadline.

Perhaps I should just tell the story, even though my calves cramp just thinking about it.

I had 2 essays, worth 50% of 2 different modules due in on the same day, and because I’m an idiot who never learns I waited until the deadline date to print them on my own printer which then broke, after 15 minutes of trying to fix it (prayers and sacrifices were offered to multiple deities during this portion of the morning) it was 11:25 with my deadline at 12. And after throwing on some clothes and after my flatmate, being the goddess that she is, gave me her library password, because in my aforementioned never-learning stupidity, I forgot it because I had my own printer, I set off at a run at 11:30 on the 30 minute journey into my university, for my 12 o’clock deadline.

Just writing that is giving me palpitations.

So, true to form, I ran for 2 minutes, got tired, burst into tears, had a panic attack and called my mummy. Yes I, a 21-year-old student, called my mummy sobbing because I was scared I would hand my coursework in late.

So I continued walking/power-walking/hyperventilating to the library, buoyed by my mum and flatmate’s encouragement of ‘don’t worry, if you rush you’ll totally make it!’ And as I ran past all of the lovely Geordies with their kind faces and welcoming smiles, I suddenly became very aware of the level of insane I must look- make-up-less, hair not brushed, in half-pyjamas, half-clothes, clutching my coursework and sobbing hysterically while on the phone to my mum.

If I’d been in a film, it would’ve been that point that I’d have met my soulmate. But no- James Cameron did not direct my life, so I kept running.

11:43- At this point I couldn’t feel my legs; but the library was in sight; if there were enough computers, which there never are during exam period, I might just make it.

11:45- At library; blessedly, beautifully, astonishingly there is a free computer, and my flatmate’s password works on the first try, even with my shaky hands and current inability to walk.

11:50- Managed to print work at put it into polly pocket, now have to sprint to the school office and fill in 2 forms before handing it in.

After this precious copy of my essay is safely in a polly pocket and put in my backpack, I decide to power walk because at this point the uni is crowded and I don’t want to look too odd, but then a girl sprints past me, clearly in the same predicament, and I take that as a sign that despite my boobs repeatedly hitting me in the face, and the loss of feeling in my ankles, that I should be running too.

So I keep running, narrowly avoiding causing a car accident and I get into the school building and up the spiral staircase and I can see the finish line- and the table with the stack of forms. I grab 2 and hurriedly fill them out, legibility not seeming important at this present moment.

Midway through the form a woman comes to empty the slot we put our work through and I ask politely (by this I mean beg pathetically) if she wouldn’t mind waiting just a second while I fill these out, and she informs me that I still have a little bit of time before 1 and she’ll be back so not to worry; I could see the fear in her eyes, I know I looked like there should be someone with a huge butterfly net chasing me.

So I keep filling the forms in, finish them and put them in each essay’s polly pocket, stopping to check I’ve put the right form in each- I did not run here to fail because of something so stupid.

And then- I push them through the slot, simultaneously realising that I made a 30 minute trip in 10, and that I can’t feel my knees or ankles, and that everyone in the room in staring at me because I appear to be having an awakening moment and I’m seemingly mesmerised by the hand-in slot.

After this I check the time (11:55) and I call my mum and flatmate, they both say the exact same thing; ‘Oh thank god, I really didn’t think you’d make it!’

And that kiddies is what not to do when handing in essays.


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