What a cheery topic, you’re probably thinking. Unfortunately, deadlines are a common occurrence at university (obviously) so it’s important to get to grips with them!
This year, a lot of my deadlines all come at once in Term 3 – and when I say a lot, I mean 25,000 words worth of deadlines. This means that in the first two terms, I have only submitted 15,000 and then in the first three weeks of the final term, I’ll be submitting another 25,000. This is partially down to my choice not to take any exams this year: two of my four modules gave me the choice to submit two 5,000 word essays or one 5,000 word essay plus an exam. I prefer essays to exams, so I chose for my year to be 100% assessed – but the downside is the sheer volume of work that’s due in at once!
Currently, it’s the beginning of Week 8 of Term 2, which means that there are only three weeks left (including this one) until the end of term. Then we have a five week Easter break, and then we come back for Term 3, which is also ten weeks, but my last deadline is in Week 3 – so as you can see there’s a lot to do in a relatively short space of time. There are no contact hours in Term 3 though, so I will have a bit more free time than I do right now.
It can be a really daunting prospect to have so much to do in a short space of time and not know where to even start. Because of this, I’m going to write below what my plan is right up until the deadlines of what I will work on and when. I made this plan a couple of weeks ago so I’ll show you what I’ve been working on for those weeks as well:
Week 6: Practice of Poetry essay (5,000 words). I’d already researched this and made a plan, so it was just the writing to do. This week was also Reading Week, so I had no contact hours to interrupt the flow of writing! Week 7: Final tweaks to my poetry essay, and 5 poems for Practice of Poetry portfolio (which is around 25-30 pages of poetry in total – the rough equivalent workload of a 5,000 essay) Week 8: 5 poems for portfolio and research for 19th Century Novel essay Week 9: 19th Century Novel essay (this essay is also 5,000 words long and I plan on getting 2,500 words of it written during this week) Weel 10: 19th Century Novel essay (the remaining 2,500 words) You might notice that I’ve split this essay across two weeks rather than one as I did with the Poetry essay. This is because I am less confident in this module, so I want to give myself a bit of extra time to think about what I am writing. Also, I wrote the Poetry essay when I didn’t have contact hours, but in these two weeks I do, so I need to factor that in too.
Easter break Week 1: Final tweaks to 19th Century Novel essay. Research and plan Arthurian Literature and its Legacy essay (again, 5,000 words) Week 2: I’m in Edinburgh for most of this week so I won’t be getting much work done. Therefore, I’m only aiming for 5 more poems for my portfolio Week 3: Arthurian essay (2,500 words of it) – it is the Easter holidays after all, so I want to make sure I get some time to rest as well! Week 4: Arthurian essay (the second 2,500 words of it). Plan the fiction and non-fiction elements of my Composition and Creative Writing portfolio. Week 5: Composition and Creative Writing portfolio (5,000 words)
Term 3 Week 1: Any final revisions needed for both my 19th Century Novel and Arthurian essays. 5 more poems for my portfolio. Week 2: My two essay deadlines are on Tuesday. Then I can spend the rest of the week working on the final bits for Practice of Poetry and Composition and Creative Writing Week 3: Final deadlines on Tuesday. Second year – complete!
As you can see, I’m going to be seriously busy for the next couple of months, but it will be worth it in the end! I’m the kind of person that likes to plan what I’m doing meticulously, so knowing what I should be working on when really helps. I hope that this gives you an idea of what university deadlines are like – or if you’re a current student, helps you to plan your own!