It’s a scene familiar to most college students. First day of class, you open your course syllabus excited to see what lectures and new information you’ll be enjoying in class, and immediately you see those words. Term paper. Senior thesis. Cue an anguished silent scream to rival Michael Scott and immediate mental images of you slaving away in the library while your friends party and relax their way through senior year.

It’s always best to be prepared, so here is a guide to the seven stages of successfully completing your senior thesis project and the drink you’ll need to survive each step.

1. Brainstorming potential topics: Beer


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The first and most crucial stage of writing a paper, coming up with a topic, can be an overwhelming world of possibilities. If you’re smart, you’ll begin this process early. Professors would recommend during your summer break, but passing up a ballin’ lake party to brainstorm thesis ideas feels kinda lame.

Luckily you can kick back and enjoy a cold one with your friendly, dependable Bud to upgrade your brainstorming to lazy summer boat ride level.

2. Deciding your topic and identifying a mentor: Mojito


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Thesis topic identified. Now you’re excited and ready to take the academic world by storm. You’ve spent enough time discussing your proposal with professors and potential mentors that you’re feeling just confident enough to dismiss the bartender’s disapproving glare when you request your mint leaves muddled with your ice. It’s ok, you have a thesis topic.

3. Doing your background research and literature analysis: Wine

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Because nothing says classy like sipping away at a glass of a deep Merlot while you peruse JSTOR for articles to add to your already startlingly large reference page. You’re feeling pretty confident in your argument and have no doubts this will be the most awe-inspiring work of academia you’ll produce in your four years on campus.

Honestly, this research gig isn’t all that bad. You should probably just finish the bottle to demonstrate your command of the situation.

4. Starting the writing process: Irish Coffee

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You’re still struggling to fully commit to writing mode so procrastination-induced late nights are becoming a weekly occurrence. It’s ok, though, because you have your trusty Jameson-spiked Folger’s to warm your stomach and stimulate your brain cells.

At this point, you’re beginning to recognize the difficulty of reaching that ambitious page-per-day goal you set yourself way back in the summer. But don’t worry, coffee is healthy.

5. Moving closer to the submission deadline: Red Bull and Vodka

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You’ve officially reached full-blown panic mode. You haven’t seen your bed in days, and your only hope is to power through the sleep-deprivation daze. Red Bull gives you wings, right? Much like the morning after a night of drinking this sickeningly sweet concoction, every part of your body now hurts under the pressure of completing the project by that looming deadline.

In between gulps, you curse yourself for ever voluntarily choosing a major that requires a thesis and loathe the day when you thought this would be a fun learning experience.

6. Deadline day: Tequila

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Somehow and against all odds, you’ve finished, bound, and turned in a thesis that wasn’t complete sh*t. At this point, the only way to move forward is to forget the experience ever happened. You’ve spent weeks silently sobbing about whether to use footnotes or in-text citations, now it’s time to put that salt on your hand and throw back a few.

Always a solid go-to for a night to forget, Jose Cuervo will happily assist you in making your thesis journey nothing more than a fuzzy memory.

7. The rest of the semester: Mimosas

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Now that you’ve completed the hardest project of your academic career, it’s time for a break. You’ve earned it. Take a few minutes at the breakfast table over a boozy brunch to thank the friends who’ve stuck with you through this crazy process and endured your tipsy philosophizing and caffeine-induced highs.

You wrote a thesis you’re actually pretty proud of and certainly aren’t ashamed to present to the academic world. Yay you! Now raise a toast to yourself, drink some water, and go to bed.