Six stages of accepting that your life is out of control

They say that the best part about college is discovering more about who you are as a person. For some, this means uncovering an unknown passion. For others, this could be getting involved in a club that offers leadership opportunities. For the lovely students at Trinity University, this mostly means learning how you react under pressure. Whether it’s during the transitional first weeks of college or the season of mid-terms that is now (barely) behind us, every student goes through a period where they realize that they don’t have it together quite as well as they thought they did. For your personal use, here is a list of the stages of coming to terms with the fact that your life is a gargantuan trainwreck. Note that this is not a survival guide, but merely a list for reference. Once you reach this point, there is no way out.

Stage 1: True Obliviousness

This stage is quite literally the beginning of the end. It comes on slowly and almost without warning. At first, the Student hardly notices at all. Laughing to himself, he says, “Three midterms, two club meetings, an internship and a 10 page research paper that I haven’t even read the instructions for, all this week? HA! That’s child’s play!” Chuckling, he pulls out his cellphone and commits three consecutive hours to playing Candy Crush. Priorities. There will be plenty of time later for the tomfoolery that is homework.

Stage 2: Feigned Obliviousness

As due dates draw closer, a shadow of doubt crosses the Student’s mind. “Maybe I should be starting this now,” the Student thinks. “No, that can’t be right. There’s still plenty of time. Clearly Skyping my dog is the most important thing I could be doing right now. I don’t want him to forget me.” Anxiety levels slowly begin to rise, but not enough to distract from Fido’s sweet face.  

Stage 3: Denial

The Student should be working on that research project now but can’t because he is suffering from dementia and also blindness; clearly this can be the only explanation for the fact that the syllabus says that his biggest assignment is due tomorrow. “I swore it was supposed to be next week. Or maybe the professor just doesn’t know what month it is. There’s no way this can be right!” (False. The syllabus is correct).

Stage 4: Panic

“The library closes in 45 minutes and I’m going to finish THIS WHOLE DAMN ASSIGNMENT if it kills me.” At this point, the Student is basically hallucinating from caffeine overdose. They say that drinking 8 Redbulls in a row can kill you, and he’s already over the limit. This can only go one of two ways; either the caffeine turns him into Bradley Cooper in Limitless, or the literal Grim Reaper ascends from below the CLT and takes his soul where it belongs. It’s unclear which is the best option at this point.

Stage 4: Rage

“How DARE my @&^$(@$ professor assign me normal homework on top of this project! Don’t they know that I’m going to leave everything until the last minute?!” (The fact that every due date has been clearly spelled out in the syllabus since day one is irrelevant).

Stage 5: Acceptance

Sinking onto a pile of tear-stained papers and broken dreams, the Student admits defeat. His work is almost indecipherable, and every source in the bibliography has been ripped straight from Wikipedia. While the Grim Reaper is still nowhere to be found, there is no doubt that this is The End. As he hits print, a single tear rolls down the Student’s cheek. He does not notice that he spelled his own name wrong in the paper’s header.    

Stage 6: Netflix Binge

Screw it. McDonald’s is always hiring.