The Seven Day Thesis

sad pumpkinsSituation

So you’re a normal everyday schmuck, gliding through life on the internet feathered wings of procrastination. You have a brainpan full of excuses and a full DVD collection so you’re all set.


And then, out of nowhere, you‘re told by a far more responsible classmate that your major academic work, hypothetically let’s call it an MA thesis, is due in seven days and not the 24 days  you were counting on.

the problem is that it’s far enough away that you must try to beat the deadline, but close enough that it’s going to be a headache the likes of which usually come from distilled fruit.

Damage Control

How to handle this scenario? Following these five rules will help you get that (hypothetical) thesis in on time with a minimum of blood spilled, public weeping and destroyed relationships.

Freak out

OK, this is going to happen; a freak out is totally unavoidable. So make it a good one, make it acute and make it in front of no witnesses. Close your windows, lock your knife drawer and lose your mind ala Steve Martin in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Once it’s out of your system, you’re ready to plan out the week ahead of you.

Call your mom

Only your mom can make you feel as though putting off your hypothetical academic work to the last possible second is not your fault. You will need this kind of support as you begin Hell Week, so give her a call and ask her for reassurance…and cookies.

NB: If you do not have a mom, call someone else’s mom. Do not call your dad. Dads are far too pragmatic in situations like these and the last thing you need to hear is something like this: “Wow, really shit the bed on that one, didn’t you Einstein?”

No, this will not help Hell Week at all.

Get Supplies

The last thing you need is to have to leave your house for anything over the next seven days, so stock your house like a Freeman’s compound in Idaho (without guns) and get to work. You will need food, popcorn, chocolate, tuna fish, toilet paper and black olives.

Leaving your house is a dangerous venture as it usually leads to not going back home to continue your work and instead finding a place to sit and pretend that you are not miserable.

Avoid Friends

Hypothetical Conversation

Lee: “Hey, what are you doing?”

Me: “I am going home to write my hypothetical thesis.”

Lee: “You want to get a beer instead?”

Me: “Yes, please. Where shall I meet you?”

Here’s the thing, a beer obviously sounds better than writing a hypothetical thesis, so you are going to choose to do that. However, at this point anything sounds better than writing a hypothetical thesis, so it would be no different if the conversation went like this:

Me: “I am going home to write my hypothetical thesis.”

Lee: “Want to carry really heavy rocks from one place to another and then eat nails?”

Me: “Yes, please. Where shall I meet you?”

The best option is to just avoid your friends all together. Tell them you have pink eye and a weird urge to rub your eyeballs on their faces. That should keep them away. If not, tell them you will need to borrow some during the week or that you need to have a good cry; those always work.

Reward Yourself

By day four of your hypothetical seven-day thesis, you will have undergone a few changes. This could mean talking out loud to yourself or your cat (or fish); it could mean pacing and singing your work in Pavarotti’s voice. You need to get out of the house before you are invited to visit a building with sedative lunches, padded walls and a roommate named Napoleon Bonaparte.

Reward yourself! Set a word goal and if you get there allow yourself a reward. This could be two beers at your local pub, or an hour on the internet. Or you could allow yourself two hours of pleasure reading or watching TV.

NB: This reward is only if you make your goal! Until then, avoid booze and pretend your TV has a raging case of herpes


Following these five easy rules will ensure the completion of your hypothetical academic work. If not, however, do not fret, just go to a pub near a university and tell anyone your story. Then have a few glasses of distilled fruit.

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