Elena Cresci is tired. She hasn’t slept in 48 hours. The curse of the all-nighter strikes again! Today saw deadline day for many students of Swansea… so just how many were organised enough to avoid the zombie look today?

We’ve all been there. The deadline of your essay is looming, and yet somehow everything but writing it seems to be more interesting. After all, your room desperately needs tidying and your CD collection definitely needs alphabetising. While you’re at it though, you may as well sort your iTunes as well, and maybe after that you could bake a cake, and then OBVIOUSLY the washing up will need doing… the next thing you know, it’s the night before your essay is due and you’re nowhere near ready to Turnitin.

This morning was a hard one

The nightmare of the last minute essay is familiar to most of us, and I’m no exception. The deadline for my latest English essay seemed to sneak up on me out of nowhere. How did I go from having at least a week to go to having to forsake a night’s sleep to get my essay in on time? I don’t think I’ve ever left an essay so late. Suddenly it became clear that my only hope lay in copious amounts of energy drinks, junk food and sheer desperation. In the end they got me through, and the essay was handed in with an hour to spare. OK, so, I may have been trudging around campus like a zombie, but it was DONE.

I’m far from the only one, and I’m hardly the worst example. Whether it’s an essay, a report or a dissertation, the all-nighter remains a classic student tactic.

Psychology and Criminology student Lewis Mitchem found his all-nighter taking a turn into the culinary; while he was meant to be doing a practical report, he ended up cooking no less than five dishes. “I cooked sweet and sour chicken, Thai green curry, spaghetti Bolognese, beef in oyster sauce and tuna pasta salad and then froze every single one of them to eat in the week!” Quite the achievement, but did he finish his report? “Yeah I finished it at like ten to five in the morning. It was horrible.”

Nicola Brown, a postgraduate student who I’ve known since back in my days as a fresher, told me of the time she ended up with food poisoning on her double-essay-whammy of an all-nighter. “[It was] probably something to do with a poorly defrosted microwave meal… I spent two hours in bed feeling like utter crap, was too ill to keep working…luckily it subsided at about 4am and I got the two essays done in time.”

The last minute bug is by no means restricted to Swansea alone; Charlotte Marchant of Kingston University found herself having to do a dissertation, which took her peers three months to do, in a mere three days. “I lost the plot. Got through a crate of red bull, a box of pro plus and lived on chocolate brownies. Didn’t wash, barely slept. Need I say more?”

At least I can breathe a sigh of relief as I’ve already got some of my dissertation out of the way. I’m not sure I’m hardcore enough to do this again…