1 Vikus

Brookes Dissertation Deadline Clothing

Writer's Block: A Short Anthology of Things To Do

The idea of writer’s block is not uncommon among students, especially in your last year of university. If you’re not behind on deadlines are you really writing a dissertation? Although I’ve opted out of writing one, I still got twenty things I’m behind on that are not helped by feeling writer’s block. I will relate a few aspects of Oxford life that have helped me cope during these periods where I got to nurture my brain into productivity again. Quick disclosure being, I also write often and for pleasure, so this isn’t exclusively in academic writing.

Reading being a helpful thing that it is, reading for pleasure becomes a lost art whilst being a student. It sounds crazy but picking up a book without expecting heavy academic content from it can actually be a truly relieving thing. In honour of LGBTQ History Month, I purchased a really cheap copy of all of Oscar Wilde’s plays. Reading them at night and acting out the parts all has been a thoroughly enjoyable endeavour that’s restored my ability to A) pick up a book and B) enjoy what I’m reading. After all, I do actually enjoy reading my assignments, my course and the modules I picked were picked for a reason (I like, like what I study). So sometimes it becomes a matter of shocking your body back into remembering ‘reading is good, do it’.

Talking to friends about my feelings became a really important step in kicking my brain back into high gear. It might come as a surprise; they weren’t totally foreign to what I was feeling. In fact, highkey, they were feeling exactly the same way, only perhaps, coping way better with things. Each one of my flatmates was a grounding force in helping me write again. One would tell me to start small, writing bits and pieces till I felt confident enough to go all out in a paragraph. Another would tell me to go into the wilderness (aka South Park) and sit back and take in the scenery, no music or phone, just me and nature for a couple of minutes. Sometimes that’s what it takes for your mind to relax enough into wanting to say something and put it on paper.

Having said that, attending lectures and seminars (but especially lectures) can do wonders for a blocked mind, especially if you’re taking notes. My mind goes into auto-pilot for the hours that I’m making notes trying to make sense of theorists and academics. But the feeling of accomplishment at the end can be quite encouraging.

The university Poetry Centre will be having a few events in the coming weeks, looking forward to a recital makes me genuinely excited to have something to say. Expectations and deadlines are nerve-wracking, but maybe they serve a purpose. That sense of urgency will help break you out of a block too. Ultimately, I’m not the person to ask how to be the most productive writer, but I find every little bit of advice help when trying to get into the groove of things.

Best of luck Brookes.

It’s that time of year again. Dissertation photos are back. They’re a bit like dreams, everyone thinks theirs is really fascinating, but no one else ever cares.

Unfortunately, they don’t look like they’re going away. Doing something for charity, fine. Posting something worthwhile or slightly amusing, also fine. Posting a picture of several thousand words of the most banal shit that only you and a select few of your coursemates care about, is not.

If you don’t upload a picture, did you really do a dissertation? There are some people who genuinely think posting it on Facebook gets you more marks.

So, in the next step of our war on self-aggrandising, pompous hand-in pictures, we’ve put some of the most sickeningly annoying types of dissertation selfie into categories.

Before beginning, here are some heinous reminders of the standard dissertation photo in all its horror.

Ever had a dissertation so good you just had to eat it?


Well done guys


Trust me, you don’t want to ‘see more’

Top marks should be given to our Rebecca who managed to finish off her dissertation before the deadline with just two hours sleep! Not to mention a 21st birthday, a trip to Israel… it’s almost as if she didn’t know when the deadline was months in advance.

‘An Investigation into the Correlation of Holding up a Dissertation and the Weight of my Head – by A. Douche’

As well as these atrocities, there are a few sub-genres of the dissertation selfie:

The ‘I couldn’t resist!’ selfie

The worst part about this developing trend is that most people are fully aware that a dissertation selfie is one of the most despised things you can do.

They know exactly how annoying it is and have probably slagged someone off for it or written an overly bitter article on The Tab about it, yet they STILL FUCKING DO IT.

“Oh, I just couldn’t help myself!” Yes you could. Of course you could. It’s pretty easy, really.

All you have to do is somehow not make the concious effort to dress up, preen yourself, pose, snap, filter, crop and post an image onto at least three social media sites. Not so hard when you think about it.

The “I’ve worked so hard. My dissertation has ruined me” selfie

Of course you worked hard. It’s a massive project and it’s the most important piece of coursework you’re probably ever going to do. Everyone works hard on it and everyone looks a bit rough after spending all their waking hours slaving over it.

You’re not unique. Frankly, if you hadn’t worked hard on it, you’ve probably made a mistake.


The “I’m so happy! I just can’t believe I did it!” selfie

Congratulations. You should be happy you’ve finished it. But again, nobody cares.

Also, way to rub salt in the wounds of people who haven’t finished yet. That will make all your friends still living off RedBull in the library ever so happy, won’t it. It’s just getting selfish now.

The “I’m above dissertation selfies” selfie

These guys go out there and mock those who are doing one. Fair, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re still doing your own.

The ironic dissertation selfie is a bit of a humble brag – you’re taking the piss out of people but still making it abundantly obvious that you have finished your coursework too. I’m onto you.

The number selfie

Thankfully not as common as the ironic-but-actually-wants-attention selfie, the ‘number selfie’ is a monstrous development of the ‘I’ve worked so hard’ variant.

Oh, you’ve worked four years for this, have you? Didn’t realise you started drafting your disser in freshers’ week. Thank god you didn’t go out – you would never have finished in time.

The pre-selfie

There are no words.

The this-University-is-actually-encouraging-it selfie

The this-is-what-fucking-happens-when-you-encourage-it-London-Met selfie

Other slightly more rare types of selfie include:

The teamwork selfie…

The kissing-the-paper selfie…

The ‘I wish it wasn’t over’ selfie…

And the naked selfie.

This article was originally published on The Tab Nottingham.


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