Essay Crisis

Dania Kamal Aryf gives words to a most relatable of Oxford experiences... Illustration by Liv Fugger.


The transient turning of pages when the words no longer start to make sense,
When the lights suddenly start feeling too bright,
yet your room still seems to be about as dark as these intangible thoughts that cloud your mind.

People often say that progress,
is not always linear. 

and p r o g r e s s,

sometimes doesn’t always look like 2,000 words* (including citations) on a Microsoft Word document;
and that’s okay.

Stand-still water by the side of the table, held by a transparent glass so fragile you wonder what it would take for it to break and spill over 

you start to think if the glass of water can sometimes be as a metaphor of your life: the vulnerability of your arguments in this essay being so…
see through,
so breakable,
so fragile.

Where everything might be a little bit. too much:

Bubbles of gas trapped underneath the surface of still,
coffee breath at 2 o’clock in the morning;

Time starts to feel so stagnant in this strange world of yours. 

Your existence slips into in a limbo –
And these long nights always feel like a fever dream;
Blurring the boundaries between reality and obscurity,
it becomes hard to tell the difference.

Always feeling like a dead body can also sometimes mean
that it takes so much to do so little,
and progress sometimes feels nonexistent.

The clock in the corner of your room ticking like a time bomb,
its volume amplified as loud as your chaotic thoughts,
Chaotic thoughts
Heartbeat racing, rapid drumming awaiting the moment it detonates
Especially when your soul has worn away after many hours of toil;

Starts to feel so transient in this strange world of yours. 

But p r o g r e s s , 
also means that I am still determined to do my 3am best
Even if my best may be equivalent to 
my more intelligent and articulate and always-has-their-shit-together-unlike-me tute partner’s worst, 

I am still making progress,

And that’s okay. 

Illustration by Liv Fugger.

For Cherwell, maintaining editorial independence is vital. We are run entirely by and for students. To ensure independence, we receive no funding from the University and are reliant on obtaining other income, such as advertisements. Due to the current global situation, such sources are being limited significantly and we anticipate a tough time ahead – for us and fellow student journalists across the country.

So, if you can, please consider donating. We really appreciate any support you’re able to provide; it’ll all go towards helping with our running costs. Even if you can't support us monetarily, please consider sharing articles with friends, families, colleagues - it all helps!

Thank you!