Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dissertation fever

What is dissertation fever?

Dissertation fever is a disease that usually strikes towards the end of a degree. Whilst it has become harder and harder to predict how long it will last (depending on whether you're a Type A or Type B sufferer), it is known to wreak havoc on not only the body but usually surrounding objects, people, etc.

Are there different types of dissertation fever?

1. Type A: This is usually the most typical kind of dissertation fever. Type A sufferer is aware of the deadline for their dissertation weeks, months, even a year before said deadline but chooses to ignore it in favour of activities such as pulverizing their braincells through alcohol consumption, watching 16 TV shows all at the same time, Facebook, or simply choosing their bed over the library. A few months before, the brain suddenly registers the following: "Oh sheeeyeeeet, that goddernned dissertation, better get to work!". This is followed by plenty of hearty laughing at the fact that there's a relatively large amount of time left ("I've got three months, I'm fine!") and more of the aforementioned activities. Weeks before the deadline, dissertation fever will suddenly set in - and the more extreme of the symptoms-to-follow will too.

2. Type B: This strange individual starts their work ages before the deadline, has a good working relationship with their supervisor, is unusually organised and well-behaved about their work and usually hands in their dissertation a couple of days before the deadline. However, they too have their own bouts of dissertation fever - something that causes a symptom known as "irrational rage" in Type A sufferers.


1. Moodswings. These are particularly terrible, the sufferer will be in a good mood for a minute (usually exclaiming stuff like "HURRAH ANOTHER 500 WORDS DOWN!") to glum ("I forgot to deselect the 'include endnotes/footnotes' option in word count. FARK") to angry (watch out, books tend to fly across the room at this stage) to the dreaded level, Mordor. At this level, one cannot predict what might occur.

2. Addictions. Nicotine, alcohol, Facebook, Haribo - whatever it (or they) may be, these addictions will be abused more than ever.

3. Sudden dramatic weight loss/gain. Usually caused by relying too much on the aforementioned addiction to Haribo, either way.

4. The inability to get out of a library chair. Whether the sufferer is typing their dissertation madly or simply staring at Facebook hopelessly, library staff will eventually have to drag them out.

5. Pale skin, lank hair, bitten nails, paper cuts, nervous expression. Self-explanatory, really.

6. Sudden murderous intentions. Should be included with moodswings, but this is set aside specifically as a warning to all tutors everywhere : WATCH OUT!!! As for you, Type B sufferers, the same goes for you - never whine about your missing 50 words in front of a Type A sufferer.

How long will it last?

Type B sufferers can relax, it usually goes away relatively quickly. Type A sufferers: approximately 1 minute after the supposed deadline. Watch out, they may sink into a coma.

What can I do? A section for concerned relatives, friends, Starbucks staff members, etc.

Back away from the sufferer slowly, preferably placing a large barrier between you. Quarantine is essential at this stage. If you're feeling brave enough, offer a pat on the back or a hug (though we cannot guarantee your arm will not get gnawed off).

What can I do? A section for the sufferers

A very nasty person would say 'You should have started months before!!!!' but we say: FIGHT THROUGH IT, THINK OF THE ALCOHOL AT THE END and also encourage you with the A-Team theme song.

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