51 Pages Later
Oh it’s so nice to be back in the ordinary world of normal things! For the last few weeks, I (along with everyone else on my course) have been working almost solidly on four lab reports that were due in yesterday. The way it works is that we spent every Monday and Tuesday of this half of term in labs carrying out lots of experiments and writing lots of results. Throughout this time, we’ve been doing lots of calculations and research in order to answer a few questions for each report and to say why we got the results we did and what should have happened had everything gone perfectly. Now, lab reports aren’t a foreign thing to us AT ALL. Last year, we had one due in pretty much every week. However, those ones had a limit of four pages, they were generally much simpler and they were spread out over the year. This time, the reports don’t have a limit, they’re on much more complex topics with more room for interpretation and all four were due in at exactly the same time. On top of that, we had to be in labs on Monday and Tuesday over the last two weeks to carry out the last of our lab classes this year. Needless to say, this is why my blog posts have been a bit sparse recently.
I was pretty much on top of my work throughout, but then it got to the going through and checking over everything, noting down little things to change and add in and it just took soooooooo much longer than expected! I was working pretty much solidly from 8:30 till midnight for three days in a row until the Wednesday evening (or Thursday morning…) when I finally finished at quarter past one in the morning. It turned out that everyone on my course had underestimated how much there was to do and nearly everyone had finished in the early hours of that morning or didn’t go to sleep at all to try and get them finished. It was quite fun being up in the dead of night – my friends and I had a group Facebook message going all the time we were working on it so we could help each other out and it felt like a really secret club of sleep deprived people! As it got later and later, the messages became less and less coherent and people started to go a little mad. I was the first to finish and ended up having a shower at about 1:30am before going to bed a 2am. I then set my alarm for 6:30 so I could catch the bus into uni and beat the huge queues I assumed there’d be for printing everything out (even though the deadline was 4pm). There was just one other girl there when I arrived at 8am, and she wasn’t even on my course so I would have been fine to print it all off between lectures, but I was paranoid that there would be too many people there trying to do it at the same time. The reason there weren’t many people printing was because SO many people just didn’t finish them in time. There were some very stressed people working right up until the deadline, and when I went with my friend to hand hers in at 4:15pm (after the deadline) there were still loads of cover sheets on the desk, meaning that loads of people still hadn’t handed them in.
I managed to get mine in for 11am and it felt like such a weight had been lifted! I’d been working on them for about 2 or 3 weeks and they were FINALLY done. All 51 pages of them. That’s 13,726 words. Everyone that I saw from my course that day just looked like zombies and everyone was comparing how much sleep they’d gotten that night. I was one of the ones with the most sleep and I’d only had 4 and a half hours! This is just one of the reports:
And once I’d handed mine in I realised that it was the last day of term! The lab reports had eaten up so much of our time that we hadn’t done anything nice together for ages, so we ended up having a very rushed Wagamama’s before two of us went to watch our other friend perform with his choir. It was very good – they were performing Mozart with an orchestra and we both really enjoyed it. I was quite amazed that all three of us managed to stay awake for the whole evening though. I got home at about midnight after running off of 13 hours sleep in the last 65 hours and just collapsed into bed. I was unfortunately woken up by a stray alarm somewhere in the house at 8:30 this morning, so I think I might have a much needed nap before meeting my friends again tonight. Originally we were going to try and finish the last lab report (that’s due in after the holidays), but we’re all SO DONE with work at the moment that I think we’ll just have a nice day of doing nothing and a night filled with a few drinks and good company.