Preparing for the Third Year – Dissertation, making the most of your last year

With the third year looming in September, it can be both a stressful and emotional time. Finding a balance between…

With the third year looming in September, it can be both a stressful and emotional time. Finding a balance between making those final Lincoln memories with your friends and doing the best you can academically can be tough, however preparing for it over summer can help to ensure you’re given the best start and are organised for the year ahead. This article will share a few tips on how you can prepare for the third year so you can make the best memories whilst still using it academically!

Start researching for your research project or dissertation

The first tip is to start looking at your third-year research project, or dissertation. After just finishing my third year myself the dissertation was a large part of the stress I felt, particularly towards the end with all of the exams and coursework to do at the same time.

The best way to get ahead is to start researching and refining your ideas early. Start collecting a folder of resources and use them to plan a skeleton project that can be refined and developed with your supervisor at your first meeting. This will also give your supervisor a great impression and showcase your enthusiasm for the project which can later reflect in things like references or your supervisor’s contribution mark. Moreover, exploring your ideas can also save you time later on as you’ll know what’s been done before and what is still novel within your research area. When you know your timetable later on in summer you could even contact your supervisor to arrange a meeting for when you’re back at university.

Get yourself organised!

Similarly to this, find out when your coursework and exams are due and write them in a calendar. This will help you to organise yourself and give you a good idea of when to start your projects to remain on top of your work. It could also be useful for planning fun trips or nights out with friends as it’ll show when you’ll have more free time. This also works for jobs if you’re wanting to work during your final year, letting employers know ahead of time when you’d like fewer hours works for both you and them as it’s giving them notice whilst also allowing you to get a rough idea of your budget beforehand.

However, the last year shouldn’t all be work work work, it’s also important to balance this with fun things too. Creating a Lincoln bucket list with your friends is a good idea as it’ll give you things to do when you’re stuck for a day out whilst also making sure you’re making the most of your last year. This can even be season-specific, like attending the Christmas light switch-on or going to a gig at the Engine Shed, look out on the Student Union website for what’s going on so you can plan!

Plan for the future

Finally, although this can seem far away, start thinking about what you’d like to do afterwards and reflect on your university experience. The third year will be over before you know it and trying to job search or apply for a master’s at the end with everything else going on too can get very overwhelming. Planning ahead and at least having an idea of what you’re thinking of doing can be the perfect safety blanket, instead of panicking and having no idea this time next year.

The overall goal of third year is to enjoy it! It’s your last year so it’s important to have as much fun as possible and make the most out of your time in Lincoln.

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