A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Survival after a week-long battle


11:50 pm, 200 words to go…

11:55 pm, 50 words left!

11:59 pm, oops let me get to

11:59:58 pm, SUBMITTED!

I guess this pretty much sums up a lot of people’s reading week or exam week at college. (I’m not going to be optimistic about the productivity of college students, sorry) I just survived from a week-long battle against academic accuracy, procrastination, junk food, snacks, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and serious mental disorder (just kidding). And here I am going to share how crazy I was during my reading week.

I have three final assignments as follows:
Creative writing of 2500 words
Book review of 2500 words
Historical paper of 3500 words

And here my reading week starts.

Saturday 22 March
8 am, woke up, “ha it’s still early let me get another 5 minutes of sleep”
11 am, woke up again, “nice let’s make some brunch”
1 pm, “I probably need a nap”
3 pm, let me Skype with my parents for a few minutes
8 pm, reviewing the creative writing that already I finished before reading week
9 pm, submitted the piece and started Facebooking
12 am, time for aerobics!
2 am, philosophical conversation between me and my ego: “did I accomplish something? yes!”
3 am, cut off my Wi-Fi connection and actually go to bed

Sunday 23 March
groceries snacks drinks tea cakes
I just don’t want to read for my book review. Some people can read 200 pages in a day right?

Monday 24 March
Book review word count:0
Historical paper word count: 0
Some people are just able to write very fast.

Tuesday 25 March
Book review word count: 0
Historical paper word count: 2 (my name)
2 am, well I’ve started with my historical paper! And now let’s make plans for Spring Break

Wednesday 26 March
Book review word count: 200
Historical paper word count: 600
Wow that’s an amazing day! (Deadline in 2 days only)

Thursday 27 March
Book review word count: 2565 (finished)
Historical paper word count: 1000
10 pm, started working
4 am, doing aerobics
6 am, playing my ukulele while watching the break of dawn
8 am, finished the book review with the help of Wikipedia, Sparknotes, Google, and Google Scholar

Friday 28 March
Book review: finished and submitted
Historical paper word count: 3507 (finally finished)
3 pm, get up
4 pm, crunched a whole bag of “ijsbergsla”
5 pm, a bar of dark chocolate
6 pm, tea and pancakes
7 pm, actually started working from 1000 words

And then it came back to the timetable I mentioned at the very beginning.

I would like to criticize myself for being totally disorganized and irresponsible for my health. It has been like this since I started college, deadlines seem to be more and more like motivators in my studies. But to be honest, the quality of my papers under such high pressure was…

not bad!

I actually don’t feel very guilty, because normally I slept (a bit) earlier and did exercise everyday. For huge papers like I had for my reading week, it just takes time to formulate the most suitable structure for you.

But don’t be deceived by the superficial legitimization, if you are really looking for self-improvements during three years of college. I still remember that someone told me about his own strategies for writing good essays. “I must finish my paper a week ahead, then I will have time to revise and refine it. That’s it. Simple, huh?” I finally know why I only survived, but he always harvested a lot in the week-long battles.

Let’s stop our useless complaints and procrastinations, shall we?




…yeah sure, I’ll stop from tomorrow


by Xueyan Xing (coming all the way from China; studying at Leiden University College The Hague)

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This entry was posted on March 29, 2014 by in Culture, Leisure, Study, Xueyan and tagged , , , , , , , .

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