Hi, I'm Sophie. I'm a Postgraduate Student studying a Research degree in Media and Cultural Studies. I'm also a photographer and big lover of dogs!
Going into your final year of University can be an exciting yet unnerving time. You’re so close to finishing your studies and graduating, but also it may be the last year to make the most of having all your friends around and living that University lifestyle. It can be hard to know how to best prepare for this, so here are my top tips on preparing for your final year at University.
Getting ahead for your final year can mean you go into it in a clearer mindset and more assured. One way to do this is to establish a routine for yourself to ensure you will be able to tackle all aspects of your course – especially now that you have a dissertation to write. Even if you don’t know the details of courses and deadlines quite yet, having allocations of time for each module can make sure that you are giving yourself a good work life balance to enjoy all the moments of your final year.
Keep health in mind
During final year, you may find you have an increased workload, or even that your social life has picked up with final events and gatherings. As important as it is to enjoy this, you need to keep your health in mind. Takeaways may seem like the easy option when you’re knee deep in deadlines (and of course there is nothing wrong with the occasional one) but this type of food can make you more sluggish and may actually end up hindering your work more than it helped save you time. Eat a varied diet, exercise (even just go for walks), and get your eight hours sleep a night, because it really will make a difference to your work.
Allow yourself time off
In line with getting yourself into a routine, it is so important to allow yourself time off. Uni work is of course important, but you don’t want to get yourself into a zombie-like state where it is all you do and you become a library-dweller. Don’t be afraid to spend some time socialising in order to make you feel like you again; if going out is a part of who you are, a night out every now and then is completely okay – just remember that too much fun can often write off revision for the following day.
Talk about your feelings
Stress can be heightened during third year, and a lot of pressure can be felt from the weight of the work you are doing. Don’t be afraid to voice how you are feeling to friends, family, or the University wellbeing services. Your friends may be feeling the same and you can all support each other – after all, you are all experiencing the same overall circumstances so will understand the best. However, if your feelings of stress ever get too much, the University has many support systems in place to help you in your studies, and help make sure that your final year is the best it can be.
Plan a celebration
Completing University is a major life milestone, and something that should be celebrated. As the friends you have made may come from all over the country, it can be nice to arrange one big thing to all do together at the end of your studies before you all move back home. Not only will it give you something to look forward to and motivate you, but also it will be a great celebration of all your hard work over the last few years.
Mostly importantly, remember to have fun and make the most of the time you have left. Whether you plan to go straight into work, have some time off, or maybe study further with a Masters, your University years will be some of the best years of your life, so make sure to savour those moments.