I can’t type this final paper. Every time I try to put pencil to paper my mind just goes blank. I can’t construct a thoughtful rhetorical argument about the cause of political divide in the German political system and I can’t spout the pros and cons of a parliamentary system and I can’t even remember what constitutes a proper sentence without running on and not just get it over. This essay is due the last day of class and I need it to be over. I need it to be all over. What’s the best way to get over this writer’s block so I can finish these finals?
See you in the summer sun,
Frantic Finals Fanatic
Dear “Frantic Finals Fanatic”,
All of you people and your problems have my temper wearing thin. I’ve had it up to just about here. I know you can’t see my hand gestures, but let me assure you that they are large and unnecessary. I don’t know who in their right mind keeps sending questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, but I can’t take it anymore. There’s just too many for me to keep up with. I don’t know how to keep this defiant façade up any longer. The collective three of you have worn me down. I’ll answer your questions, but the advice will be more questionable than that three-week-old package of hamburger in the back left of your fridge.
I get you Frantic. I really do, and I’m here to help. I have almost completed two whole semesters of college and in that time I’ve encountered papers that absolutely stump me. I mean how do you expect me to come up with four whole pages of commentary on this film? College is so exhausting. My College Algebra final was killing me last semester, and I only had to use three letters on that exam. Anyway, enough of my many qualifications; on to the advice.
- Go for a walk. Having a chance to move your muscles and get some fresh air will give your brain just the refresher it needs to keep moving forward. You could take a walk down to the Short North or perhaps into the city. Keep walking until you think of a new way around your essay writing problem. The solutions still not coming to mind? Keep walking. Spend hours walking, years if you have to. Walk for so long that your legs give out as your body crashes down around you. Only in a state of total bodily exhaustion can your brain begin to do its job.
- Eliminate all other distractions. Put your phone on silent and turn off your wifi. Take any pesky friends who are bogging you down with their emotions and need for companionship and politely tie them up in your closet. After all, out of sight, out of mind. Who needs friends anyway? Not you. You’re an essay writing machine.
- Utilize the tool of procrastination. Sure your teachers are repeatedly reminding you that procrastination on this final paper is not an option, but who put them in charge? The best way to write a fifteen-page research paper on the life cycle of the common moth is to wait until the day before its due to start. Educed by both finals stress and the fear of failing out of college you’ll be able to type at the speed of something really fast. Add a pot of coffee or two in order to boost your alertness and your grade. Will it be good? No. Will it be done? Yes.
- When in doubt you can always trigger the apocalypse. No Earth means no paper. Right?
Well Frantic, I hope that helps. If you’re still having trouble you could always check out our piece “17 Ways to Start an Essay”. That author is great and certainly knows what she’s talking about and is in no way the type of person who would stoop to self-promotion.
An anonymous Sundial member whose name definitely won’t be in the byline