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How to: balance uni work and job applications in third year

Semester two of third year arrives without announcing itself, and suddenly the prospect of graduating and getting a job is very real.

You’re scrolling through job applications, graduate schemes and master degrees when you should be writing your dissertation. Which do you prioritise? You want to graduate with the best degree you can, but you also want to have a plan for the end of term.

Here are some tips on how to manage third year, semester two, and everything it’s throwing at you.

Make a schedule!

Even if I make a to-do list, I sometimes end up focusing all my time on one project until I’ve finished it, leaving little time for any other tasks. Now, I allocate chunks of time for different jobs, and make sure I stick to it unless I absolutely can’t. For example, you could put two hours aside every Wednesday to write your dissertation. Then, spend a couple of hours every Friday on completing job applications.

Don’t feel pressure from those around you

It’s so easy to feel as though you should be working in the same way as your housemates or course mates, but try not to let this influence you. If you feel as though you want to spend time applying for jobs, but your friends only want to work on assignments, don’t think you’re doing the wrong thing. Whatever feels most important to you is key.

And don’t compare yourself!

Everyone takes a different path after uni, but after living the same life as your friends for three years it feels as though everyone should be taking similar next steps. This isn’t the case! Some people will be moving home, others will be staying at university, and some will be changing cities. You might know people that are going straight into a career, and others who are taking smaller steps. None of these are the right or wrong choice, and none of these options guarantee happiness, so just try to make the best of your own decisions.

Take time out

The quickest way to fail is to burn out. Although it feels like you should be working 100% of the time, it’s just as crucial to take time out. If you’re rested and happy, and are making time for whatever recharges you, you’re more likely to focus when it comes to your to-do list. Keeping your life happy, will help you to see your work in a positive way.

Appreciate your last few months

Although there’s still time before uni is over, that final day is definitely creeping up. Take time to enjoy all the aspects of university you love, spend time with the friends that you might not see as much after graduating, and try not to take it all too seriously. Even if the jobs don’t come to fruition just yet, or you don’t get the exact grade you want, everything will work out in the end. For now, cherish the good times.

Good luck for whatever is in store for you next, and happy job hunting!

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